How to increase your Pokémon’s happiness in Sword and Shield

Happy Pokémon, happy life.

Image via Pokemon Company

The bond between a trainer and their Pokémon runs deep. And for many Pokémon Sword and Shield players, prioritizing your little pal’s happiness is an absolute necessity.

Improving your friendship with a Pokémon is a tried-and-true feature introduced in previous titles. A happy Pokémon will fight harder for you in battles and some can only evolve once their relationship with you becomes more meaningful. Thankfully, Sword and Shield provide a variety of ways to build up that friendship.

Here are some easy tips to making your Pokémon smile.

Pokémon Camp

Screengrab via Nintendo and Game Freak

The new Pokémon Camp feature allows you to take a break from becoming the world’s best trainer and focus more on relaxing with your little buddies. Players can interact with their Pokémon by chatting, playing, or even cooking up some yummy morsels.

Talking to your Pokémon will give a good indication about how it feels about you. Prompts will appear that either say your Pokémon is enjoying playing with you, or that it’s bored and wants to play with the rest of the team. Players can also entertain their ‘mon by wiggling a stick in front of them or playing fetch. And cooking various Curry plates and feeding it to your team will be sure to buy you some friendship points with your squad.

Pokémon Battles

Screengrab via Nintendo and Game Freak

For players who don’t want to take time off the grind to be the very best, successful battles are a way to improve your Pokémon’s attitude. Using your buddy to take out others will help it feel involved in the competition, proud of its achievements, and trust you more.

Constantly fainting in battle, however, will decrease the Pokémon’s happiness. To avoid any mishaps, players may want to consider battling weaker enemies until your Pokémon is in fighting form.

Soothe Bell

For players looking for an edge to quickly improve a Pokémon’s happiness, the Soothe Bell is an excellent option. The item raises the friendship level of a Pokémon faster than normal when it’s being held.

To snag one for yourself, players need to visit a stone-faced house in Hammerlocke, just right of the town’s Pokémon Center. A blonde girl in the back of the room will give you the Soothe Bell. Players can also try catching a Pokémon using the Friend Ball, which immediately increases the creature’s friendliness.

Friendship Checker

Screengrab via Nintendo and Game Freak

Players curious about how strong their relationship with their Pokémon is can talk to the Friendship Checker, who is located in the same house as the girl who gives you the Soothe Bell. You can choose any Pokémon from your party or box and ask the Friendship Checker about your relationship. The little boy’s response will vary from “you’re best buddies” to “you’re a bit too strict” depending on the friendship.