Friendship is a unique attribute found in the Pokemon world. It cannot be measured by any number on the Pokemon’s summary pages, but it can be measured by select NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) in most games. Certain NPCs will even give special items if the first Pokemon in your party is friendly enough towards you.
All Pokemon will have zero happiness when first captured, unless it is captured in a Luxury Ball. The happiness of the Pokemon will slowly build over time. There are a few things you can do or avoid doing to make sure a Pokemon’s happiness level increases quickly.
Increase a Pokemon’s Happiness
- Use the Pokemon in battle
- Use various items on the Pokemon
- Allow the Pokemon to hold the item Soothe Bell
- Give it massages from masseuses in-game.
Decrease a Pokemon’s Happiness
- Allow the Pokemon to faint in battle
- Use bitter items on the Pokemon
- Keep the Pokemon stored in the PC
- Trade the Pokemon
Evolution and Attacks
Other than obtaining items from NPCs, friendship is used for two things: select attacks (Return and Frustration) and evolution. Certain Pokemon can only evolve if they are friendly enough toward their trainer. Sometimes friendship is needed along with an item, select time of day, or select locations to evolve.