Why Your Pokémon Don’t Obey: Understanding the Importance of Friendship in Pokémon Training

Why Your Pokémon Don’t Obey: Understanding the Importance of Friendship in Pokémon Training

If you’ve ever played a Pokémon game or watched the anime, you know that forming a strong bond with your Pokémon is crucial for success. However, have you ever wondered why your Pokémon don’t always obey your commands, even if they are at a high level? The answer lies in the concept of Friendship, which is often overlooked by trainers. In this article, we’ll explore what Friendship is, how it affects your Pokémon’s behavior, and how you can improve it to create a winning team.

What is Friendship in Pokémon?

Friendship is a hidden value that affects your Pokémon’s behavior, mood, and even evolution. It is represented by a meter called the Happiness Gauge, which can be checked in your Pokémon’s summary screen. Friendship can be increased by performing several actions, such as winning battles, feeding your Pokémon, and walking with them. Conversely, it can decrease if your Pokémon faints, is traded, or given certain items like bitter herbs.

How does Friendship affect your Pokémon’s behavior?

Friendship influences several aspects of your Pokémon’s behavior, such as its willingness to obey you, use certain moves, and perform better in battle. A Pokémon with high Friendship is more likely to follow your commands, even if they go against their natural instincts. On the other hand, a Pokémon with low Friendship may disobey you, act stubbornly, or even refuse to battle. Moreover, Friendship affects your Pokémon’s chance of getting critical hits, avoiding enemy attacks, and curing status conditions.

How can you improve your Pokémon’s Friendship?

Improving your Pokémon’s Friendship is essential to create a stronger and more reliable team. Here are some tips to increase it effectively:

1. Spend time with your Pokémon: One of the best ways to raise Friendship is to interact with your Pokémon regularly. Take them for walks, play mini-games with them, and talk to them frequently.

2. Battle with them: Winning battles is a great way to boost Friendship, especially if you use strategies that take your Pokémon’s emotions into account. Avoid using moves that hurt your Pokémon or cause them to faint.

3. Use special items: Several items can increase Friendship when used on your Pokémon, such as the Soothe Bell, which doubles the amount of Happiness gained from actions. Other items like vitamins and berries can also raise Friendship, depending on their flavor.

4. Avoid actions that lower Friendship: Some actions can decrease your Pokémon’s Friendship quickly, such as fainting in battle, trading them away, or using bitter herbs. Try to avoid them whenever possible.


In conclusion, Friendship is a fundamental aspect of Pokémon training that should not be underestimated. By improving your Pokémon’s Happiness Gauge, you can create a bond of trust and loyalty that will benefit you in the long run. Remember to interact with your Pokémon frequently, avoid hurting them in battles, use special items wisely, and watch out for anything that lowers their Friendship. By doing so, you’ll create a winning team that will obey your every command and overcome any challenge.


1. Can I improve Friendship retroactively?

Yes, you can use special items and actions to increase Friendship even if your Pokémon is at a low level. However, it may take longer to reach the maximum level than if you start early.

2. Can a Pokémon’s Nature affect its Friendship?

Yes, some Natures increase or decrease Friendship faster than others. For example, a Lonely Nature Pokémon will gain Friendship slower than a Jolly Nature Pokémon.

3. Does Friendship affect how your Pokémon evolves?

Yes, some Pokémon evolve only if their Friendship is high enough, such as Eevee into Espeon or Umbreon.

4. Can Friendship exceed 255?

No, the maximum level of Friendship is 255, after which it will not increase anymore.

5. Does Friendship affect how much Experience Points my Pokémon gains?

No, Friendship does not affect Experience Points directly, but it can influence how your Pokémon performs in battle, which can affect how much Experience Points they gain.

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