Happiness and Friendship – Sun and Moon
Happiness, sometimes known as friendship, is a hidden value distinct from the more commonly known affection stat. Unlike affection, it doesn’t offer any benefits in battle, but can help evolve certain Pokemon like Munchlax. If you remember your Pikachu from Pokemon Yellow, it’s the happiness value that affected its responses to you overtime.
There are a number of ways to increase happiness and friendliness, but notably, it is not increased through Pokemon Refresh, this generation’s Pokemon-Amie. That’s used for boosting affection, a stat you can read more about over here. To raise happiness, the main thing you want to do is keep your Pokemon in your party and keep leveling it up. Gaining levels and walking a certain number of steps with it raises happiness / friendship. Additionally, giving your Pokemon massages, vitamins, and berries it likes will raise this value (A masseuse can be found in the town home to Sun and Moon’s second kahuna). Have your Pokemon hold a Soothe Bell to boost all earned friendship. This item can be found on Route 3. Past the mountainous section filled with dive-bombing birds, just past the meadow and before the bridge, you’ll be able to head right to a small area with a grassy patch. Standing nearby is a breeder, and he’ll give you a Soothe Bell if you talk to him.
All the while, keep your teammate from fainting and don’t give it any bitter food or medicine, as both of these will reduce happiness. Getting to low health or experiencing status ailments like Poison or Burn, however, won’t lower friendship.
Certain Pokemon will evolve once they level up while their happiness / friendship value is at 220. Some of these include Munchlax (into Snorlax), Eevee (into Umbreon or Espeon), Pichu (into Pikachu), and Riolu (into Lucario).
There are also two moves affected by the friendliness value: Return and Frustration. The former will be more powerful the happier your Pokemon is, and the latter will be more powerful if your Pokemon’s friendship value is low.
That’s all there is to Pokemon happiness in Sun and Moon. For more tips, tricks, and walkthroughs, check out our Ultimate Guide filled with everything you need to know.