The 10 Most Complicated Pokémon Evolution Lines

With the introduction of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, there are over 1,000 of them, some of which are the most difficult to evolve.

The recent release of Pokémon Crimson and Violet continues the series' dominance in pop culture, with the game's Paldea region expanding its roster of creatures to a staggering 1,000-plus. Given that this is one of the main attractions of the franchise and the game series, many of these species can evolve.

However, it's not always as simple as reaching a certain level. Some Pokémon, like Kalos' Inkay and Hoenn's Feebas, require surprising, complicated, and/or tedious conditions to be met before they can evolve.


The Nintendo 3DS-era Pokémon X and Y are generally considered by fans to be the games with the greatest potential due to their bare-bones content. They certainly aren't without interesting ways to evolve, though. Inkay was a cute dark/psychic squid creature that evolved into Malamar, but the way it evolved at the time stumped many players.

To evolve, Inkay first needs to reach level 30, then the player needs to physically hold the 3DS up while leveling up. As far as evolution goes, this one is pretty clever, but frustrating for players who don't know the ropes.


Johto games (gold, silver and crystal) are widely considered A fan-favorite Pokémon region, and for good reason. As the first sequels to the mainline series, these games broke the mold of the time and introduced well-loved staples. One concept is "baby" Pokémon, in the sense that older species are retroactively given pre-evolutions.

Tyrogue is among them, and its three branches evolve very specifically. To evolve into a native Hitmontop, its attack and defense stats need to be equal; to evolve into a Hitmonchan, its defense needs to be higher than its attack; to evolve into a Hitmonlee, its attack needs to be higher than its defense.


Although Feebas have been (fortunately) streamlined since their introduction in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Feebas were once notorious for their painstaking evolution process to become the elegant yet powerful Milotic. The aforementioned Hoenn region game introduced the Pokémon Contests feature as an optional side event, and unfortunately for players, Feebas is directly related to it.

Players need to hone the somewhat silly Feebas' beauty stats in these matches until it finally evolves. Since then, though, it's gotten even simpler, just trade with a Prism Scale in hand.


There are many memorable dragon Pokémon in the mainline games, but Goodra deserves it At least one thing worth mentioning is its capabilities. However, it started with the subtle, humble beginnings of Goomy and Sliggoo. But the final step from the latter to Goodra will require some patience and perseverance.

To evolve a Sliggoo into a Goodra, it needs to be at least level 50 when upgraded in Rain or Fog. Note, though, that these weather conditions must be naturally occurring: they cannot be instigated by using weather like rain to artificially alter the battlefield terrain.


Black and White's Unova area does an admirable job of feeling like a "soft reboot" of the mainline games, as the main story's gameplay makes the player completely dependent on this generation's new creatures - much like the Kanto area. Also, it surpassed Kanto as the region with the most original species (156). Two of these species, Karrablast and Shelmet, are more closely intertwined in terms of lore, biology, and game evolution.

This is another clever way to incorporate world building in the universe into the mechanics, but the trade evolution feature they use to evolve is still bland from a bygone era. To evolve a Karrablast into an Escavalier and a Shelmet into an Accelgor, the player needs Find people to trade opposite creatures with them.

Galarian Yamask

When Pokémon Sun and Moon were introduced in zone formats, they became arguably the most popular game mechanic since X and Y's long-lost Mega Evolutions. Even better, they weren't one-off gimmicks that Game Freak dropped in the next generation, and Sword and Shield introduced some inventive Galarian forms.

Galarian Yamask and Runerigus are two such species, but the evolutionary process to get to the latter falls into the "tedious" category. Points for lore creativity are well deserved, but getting the fragile Yamask to sustain at least 49 health without passing out is a tall order.

Galarian Farfetch'd

Farfetch'd was a somewhat memorable Pokémon in the original game due to its interesting design and lore gimmick. Farfetch got the attention it deserved when Sword and Shield came out in regional form. In addition to its Galarian form, it underwent primitive evolution, but at a high technical cost.

Galarian Farfetch needs to hit an opponent three times in a row to win. Beyond that, the other half of the challenge is finding an opponent who can hold out in terms of HP until those Three key points are gone.


In the main series of Pokémon games, Mel-tan and Mel-Meta appear at a strange in-between period. It doesn't technically belong to any region/generation of the game world, but they were officially introduced for Let's Go, Pikachu! And Ibrahimovic!

The process of evolving Meltan into Melmetal is a bit cumbersome, while other complex evolution lines are not, as it requires the player to log in and play the mobile AR game Pokémon GO to complete. After playing the latter, players need to collect a whopping 400 Meltan candies.


Pokémon Legends: Arceus was critically acclaimed as a breath of fresh air for the mainline game series, and part of the appeal of venturing through Emerald (the feudal-era Sinnoh) is encountering new Emerald forms and primal species. Ursaluna is one of the latter, as the original evolution of the now second-stage species Ursaring from the Johto region.

This is a very powerful physical attacker, but the way to get it can slow down the game loop. Players need to do everything possible to dig for treasure to find peat blocks, but the hardest part This process can be said to be waiting for the appearance of the full moon.


In the Gen 3 Hoenn games, it was not difficult to evolve a Wurmple to the evolution itself. The challenge is getting it to evolve into a specific stage 3 Pokémon. The Wurmple is one of various species with split evolutionary paths throughout the franchise.

In this case, it can evolve into Silcoon, which eventually becomes a butterfly creature, Beautifly, while it can also evolve into Cascoon, which becomes a moth, Dustox. Things get tricky if the player specifically wants one or the other, as it can only evolve into a Silcoon or Cascoon at level 7, depending on hidden "personality values" that can only be seen by hacking the game.

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