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Friendship is its own reward in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, but there are more material reasons to raise it as well. Discover it all here.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: How to Check and Raise Friendship

Friendship is its own reward in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, but there are more material reasons to raise it as well. Discover it all here.

You can still make friends with your Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, and hidden buffs await if you choose to do so. The system is a little different this time around, so you’ll need to relearn how to check your friendship with a Pokemon as well as how to raise friendship with them

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Making friends shouldn’t be a stressful process in any situation, so let’s go into the details of how to make friends with your Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet.

How to Check Friendship in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Checking on your Pokemon’s friendship rating is easy, though you’ll need to put in several hours before you reach the NPC who actually does the checking.

In the city of Cascarrafa, there’s an NPC on the north side of the central square who calls out, “You friendly with your Pokemon?”

Depending on your friendship score, she’ll say something different. Here are all the phrases she’ll say based on how friendly you are with your Pokemon.

  • No friendship buildup: “Oh my gosh! What happened between you two?! There’s not even a smidge of friendship here!”
  • Very minor friendship buildup: “Are you two just starting to get to know each other? I’m sensing some awkwardness here…”
  • Minor friendship buildup: “You two seem kinda neutral—like you don’t mind each other. I hope you get closer!”
  • Moderate friendship buildup: “You’re starting to get friendly. I bet you’ll get along better soon!”
  • Good friendship buildup: “You’re getting along well…but I’m sure you could get way friendlier!”
  • Great friendship buildup: “You’re good friends, all right! You definitely enjoy each other’s company!”
  • Fantastic friendship buildup: “Wow, you’re pretty great friends! You sure mean a lot to each other.”
  • Maximum friendship: “Whoa, you’re the best friends ever! I can tell just being together gives you warm fuzzies!”

The higher friendship levels also come with unique bonuses, so your investment in your Pokemon goes beyond helping them evolve.

  • With good friendship, your Pokemon has a 10% chance of surviving a hit that would otherwise KO them.
  • At great friendship, your Pokemon have a 15% chance of surviving a hit that would otherwise KO them.
  • At great to maximum friendship, your Pokemon have a 20% chance to heal from a status condition on their own.
  • At maximum friendship, your Pokemon have: a 20% chance to survive a KO, a two-times crit rate and a 10% chance of avoiding any opponent Pokemon’s moves.

How to Raise Friendship in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Raising your friendship values with your Pokemon takes much longer than checking it. There’s also a cap on how much friendship you can gain by traditional means. There are new ways to improve your friendship in Scarlet and Violet above that cap. We’ve listed them here.

  • Every level up gives a minor boost to your friendship score up to the cap.
  • Battling a Gym Leader, the Elite Four, or the Champion gives a moderate boost to friendship up to the cap.
  • Walking with your Pokemon in Let’s Go gives a slight increase to friendship over time.
  • Feeding a friendship-increasing Berry (Grepa Berry, Hondew Berry, Kelpsy Berry, Pomeg Berry, Qualot Berry, Tamato Berry). Note that these Berries will lower your Pokemon’s base stats.
  • Wearing the Soothe Bell provides a static bonus to any Friendship gains you make up to the cap.

There are also ways to lose friendship:

  • If your Pokemon faints.
  • If you use an Energy Root, Energy Powder, or Revival Herb item.

Once you reach the cap and the NPC no longer updates her phrases, there are only two ways to raise friendship to its maximum: feeding your Pokemon sandwiches, playing and washing them, and otherwise interacting with them at picnics.

Whenever you set up a picnic, you can press ZR, the right trigger, to spawn a soccer ball you can kick around with your Pokemon. Going up to any of your team and pressing X will allow you to give them a bath and then a rinse.

If you want to make every one of your Pokemon partners your best friend ever, you’ll be spending a lot of time eating with them, playing with them, and bathing them. Return to the NPC to check your progress, and keep up the good fight.

That’s about everything you need to know about friendship in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. It’s not the most transparent system, and many hidden factors are at play. For more Pokemon content, check out our guides to how to breed and get eggs, how to get Tera Shards, and the best gym order. Our guides hub has more.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.