Evolving Pokemon in Pokemon Go is much easier than in the main Pokemon games on Nintendo handheld consoles. You only need to farm for Pokemon-specific Candies, shove them into the Pokemon’s mouth, and watch the magic happen. Of course, farming for these Candies can be tiring, too, especially if the Pokemon you’re hoarding is quite the rare one. Still, it’s much simpler than the main games. This one-trick pony evolution is one of the most notable changes from the main games in Pokemon Go.
The original way Pokemon evolved
Evolution in the main games has become varied now, but back in Pokemon Red & Blue, there were simply three forms of evolution: leveling, using elemental stones, and trading. Using elemental stones was the easiest to achieve. All you needed to do was find (it’s not that hard) or buy (DEFINITELY not that hard) an elemental stone and use it on the Pokemon that you wanted to evolve (there were only a few of them, though). Leveling simply required you to grind for experience, an easy thing to do, too, with all those wild Pokemon lying around. The last one, trading, was probably the most troublesome to achieve, mainly because it required real-life skills: making friends.
Trading required you to hook up with someone via a Game Boy link cable. You would need to send over the Pokemon you want to evolve to the other player and then watch it evolve in their save file. Afterwards, your partner would need to send the evolved Pokemon back to you. Luckily, there weren’t many Pokemon in the original games that required this very specific evolution method. In fact, there were exactly only four of them in total, and with one of them scraped off in the Pokemon Yellow Special Edition. In no particular order, they are…
Alakazam evolves from Kadabra and serves as the final evolution of the notoriously hard-to-catch Abra. (Seriously, Pokemon Go players would never understand how frustrating it was to catch a teleporting Abra.) Without a doubt, Alakazam is the best and most powerful among the four – it is second only to the legendary Mewtwo in the Psychic category and still stands as one of the most powerful Psychic-types to this day. Its defensive capabilities are still practically non-existent, though, even in Pokemon Go where the typical stats are absent. Alakazam can be found in the same way as other Psychic-type Pokemon in Pokemon Go – near hospitals and residential areas during nighttime. Of course, being a final evolution Pokemon, it’s much rarer to encounter than a Drowzee or its pre-evolved forms.
We’ve already written about Gengar and its siblings previously. But for your convenience, we’ll proceed as normal. Gengar is the only fully evolved Ghost-type Pokemon in Pokemon Go. It is the evolution of Haunter and can be similarly found near churches at night, but as a rarer encounter. Since it’s the only fully evolved Ghost-type Pokemon both in Pokemon Go and in the original games, it’s pointless to declare it as the best Ghost-type Pokemon. But to be fair, Gengar is still one of the best in the main games, thanks to its access to an excellent range of moves – an advantage that went away in Pokemon Go. The absence of Abilities and type immunities also worked against Gengar’s favor, leaving it even more defenseless.
Although there wasn’t that much competition in the original games, there’s no denying that Machamp was the best among Fighting-types. And until Heracross and the other high-powered Fighting-type Pokemon arrive, it will still carry that status. It is the final evolved form of Machop after evolving to Machoke. And like its pre-evolved forms, Machamp can be found in Pokemon Go by frequenting gyms, sports centers, and other recreation areas that are littered with sporty and sweaty people. In Pokemon Red & Blue, Machamp can be acquired the same way as the other three. But Pokemon Yellow gave players a helping hand by making Machamp attainable through an in-game trade, which is a trade between you and an NPC. Technically, Machamp is still part of the original evolve-by-trade quartet because Pokemon Yellow is a special edition game.
Last but not the least is the fully evolved form of Geodude, the second-most annoying Pokemon in the original games, courtesy of its encounter rate in caves (Zubat is at the top, in case you’re wondering). Similar to the Golem in League of Legends which you can encounter in the Summoner’s Rift when you buy a League of Legends account, this Golem (the Pokemon) is like a chunk of rock which grew arms and legs. Its rock body is more refined than its pre-evolved form, Graveler, and actually looks like a very, very hard soccer ball. Like other Rock-type Pokemon, Golem can be encountered near quarries, hiking trails, farms, and parking lots. But unlike the other three above which are considered powerhouses in their category, Golem is far from being the best Rock-type or Ground-type Pokemon (it’s a dual-type) – both in the original games and Pokemon Go.
The list of Pokemon that evolve via trading has more than doubled since the original games. But a lot of them must also hold a very specific item before trading; otherwise they won’t evolve. (Hold items are currently not featured in Pokemon Go. These items usually provide in-battle bonuses to Pokemon, like a burst of Speed or Attack.) Niantic can shake things up by adding more ways to evolve Pokemon, too, if only to lessen the repetitiveness of farming for Candies.
It’s interesting to see how Niantic handles evolution when more and more generations of Pokemon are included in the game. Because, really, nobody wants to endlessly farm for Candies for hundreds of Pokemon. That’s too much, even for the most dedicated fan out there. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to farm for Pokemon Candies and even hunt Pokemon all the time – you can have someone do it for you while you sit back at home and probably watch a few episodes of the Pokemon TV show.