Friendship, also referred to as “loyalty” in Generation II core series games, and commonly referred to by fans as “happiness”, is a measurement of how much a Pokémon is attached to its Trainer and enjoys being in their care.

In all games, friendship is a value that ranges from 0 to 255 (stored as a single byte). It affects the evolution of certain Pokémon, the power of Return and Frustration, and the availability of a few in-game items and Ribbons. Certain events increase a Pokémon’s friendship (gaining a level, walking a certain amount of steps) or decrease it (fainting, using herbal medicine).

A Pokémon’s friendship is generally set when the player first obtains it. When a Pokémon is first caught from the wild, its friendship starts at its base friendship value (typically 70). Trading a Pokémon also resets its friendship to its base value, unless it is being traded back to its original Trainer, in which case it regains the friendship it had before being traded away. A Pokémon caught in a Friend Ball starts with 200 friendship instead of its base friendship, while a Pokémon hatched from an Egg starts with 120 friendship.

If a Pokémon was caught in a Luxury Ball or is currently at the same location where it was caught (its met location), any increase to its friendship is boosted by an extra point (two points if both apply). If a Pokémon is holding a Soothe Bell, increases to its friendship are boosted by 50% of the change (round up), this applies to the the friendship change after including Luxury Ball and met location bonuses. None of these effects change the amount of friendship lost for negative changes or for changes of 0 (such as using an X Attack on a Pokémon with high friendship).

Pokemon that evolve based on Friendship, do so when leveled up with a friendship value of 220 or more.

The follow events affect a pokemon’s friendship level (FL) — some of these are variable depending on the pokemon’s current friendship level (as detailed below):

Event Change (FL 0-99) Change (FL 100-199) Change (FL 200+)
Level Up +5 +3 +2
Battling a Gym Leader +3 +2 +1
Teaching a move with a TM +1 +1 +0
Using a Vitamin +5 +3 +2
Using a friendship raising Berry +10 +5 +2
Using an X-Stat item +1 +1 +0
Having the pokemon out as your “buddy” for a day of in game-time +1 +1 +1
Having your pokemon profesionally “Groomed” +10 +5 +1
Fainting (opponent <30 levels greater) -1 -1 -1
Fainting (opponent 30+ levels greater) -5 -5 -10
Fainting due to poison -5 -5 -10
Being put into storage at a Pokemon Center -3 -3 -5
Using Herbal Medicine -5 -10 -15

Some unique, location-specific pampering (massages, hot springs, fancy meals, etc.) of your pokemon may also raise their friendship. The amount varies from location to location depending on the specific treatment being offered.


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