How to Get Maximum Friendship in "Pokemon Emerald"
By Jason Williams
Updated September 22, 2017
While most Pokemon statistics are visible on the Status screen, "Pokemon Emerald" also tracks a hidden statistic: Happiness. This value ranges from zero to 255, with a higher number equating to a higher overall happiness level. This value determines the strength of certain attacks, and certain species only evolve when they reach a happiness value of 220 or greater. There are a multitude of methods you can use to achieve the maximum happiness for any of your Pokemon.
Keep the Pokemon in your party and walk or bike around -- every 256 steps will increase the happiness of your party Pokemon by one point. Use the Mach Bike, obtained in Mauville, to greatly speed up this process.
Give the Pokemon stat-enhancing items (Protein, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Carbos or HP Up obtained from the Energy Guru in Slateport or the Department Store in Lilycove; the rare PP Up also works) -- this will give a Pokemon five happiness points if its current happiness total is below 99, three points if its total is between 100 and 199 and two points if its total is between 200 and 255.
Use the Pokemon in battles against Gym Leaders, members of the Elite Four or the Pokemon League Champion -- this will give it three happiness points if its current happiness total is below 99, two if its total is between 100 and 199 and one if its total is between 200 and 255.
Increase the Pokemon's level by gaining experience or using a Rare Candy -- this will increase its happiness by five points if its total is below 99, by three if its total is between 100 and 199 and by two if its total is between 200 and 255.
Give the Pokemon a Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa or Tamato Berry to increase its happiness by two points at the cost of reducing the EV stat listed in the berry's description.
Capture a Pokemon with a Luxury Ball, located in the abandoned ship and given as a reward in Master rank contests, to double the captured Pokemon's happiness.
Give a Pokemon the Soothe Bell (obtained by showing a reasonably happy Pokemon to the woman in the back of the Pokemon Fan Club in Slateport) to increase happiness gains by 50 percent.
You can check your Pokemon's happiness by speaking to a woman in Verdanturf Town who will examine the Pokemon at the top of your party. The Pokemon's happiness is between 250 and 255 if she says the Pokemon adores you -- more than enough to evolve the Pokemon if it evolves from happiness.
Togepi, Pichu, Igglybuff, Cleffa, Azurill, Chansey and Golbat evolve by leveling them up when their happiness is above 220. Eevee evolves in the same manner, but it can evolve into two different Pokemon depending on the time set on the in-game clock -- it will evolve into Espeon if it levels between noon and 11:59 PM or Umbreon if it evolves between midnight and 11:59 AM.
The power of the move "Return" is based on a Pokemon's happiness value -- a Pokemon with maximum happiness will result in Return having a base power of 102. The move "Frustration" is also based on happiness, except it becomes stronger when used by an unhappy Pokemon -- since it is easier to gain happiness than to lose it (as gaining it is as simple as walking around), "Return" is the better and more practical of the two moves.
The television will occasionally advertise a sale at the Energy Guru's shop in Slateport after you defeat the Elite Four -- during these sales, stat-enhanced items will cost only half as much as normal. These items are normally very expensive, so stocking up on them during sales would be wise.
Avoid allowing the Pokemon to faint, as this will lower its happiness by one point.
Avoid giving it herbal medicine (obtained from the Herb Shop in Lavaridge). Herbal medicine is cheaper than normal medicine, but it will greatly lower the Pokemon's happiness points.
Avoid trading a Pokemon, as this will bring its happiness value to its original base happiness stat (70 for most Pokemon).
Jason Williams has been involved in journalism since 2000 as both a writer and an editor. Graduating from the International Baccalaureate program in 2004, he has written on a wide array of topics, specializing in topics of natural sciences and technology.