Pokémon Sword and Shield: How to Evolve Inkay into No. 291 Malamar

Need some quick help evolving Inkay into Malamar?


Pokémon Sword and Shield may not have the entire National Dex at its disposal, but there are still 72 Pokémon that don’t simply evolve at a certain level.

With Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, a few evolution methods have been altered from previous games, and, of course, there are some new Pokémon to evolve through increasingly peculiar and specific ways.


Here, you’ll find out where to find Inkay and how to evolve Inkay into Malamar.

Where to find Inkay in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Inkay came into the Pokémon franchise with Generation VI (Pokémon X and Y) and is now a rather easy to find feature of the Galar region in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Listed below are the weather condition requirements and locations where you can find Inkay in Pokemon Sword and Shield, with the areas showing the highest chances of you finding Inkay being at the top:

  • Hammerlocke Hills: Overcast weather;
  • Bridge Field: Intense sun;
  • Hammerlocke Hills: Snowing or normal weather conditions;
  • Circhester Bay (down Route 9): Any weather conditions;
  • Giant’s Mirror and Dusty Bowl while cycling on water: Snowing;
  • Bridge Field: Snowstorms or normal weather conditions;
  • Hammerlocke Hills: Intense sun, heavy fog, raining;
  • Bridge Field while cycling on water: Any weather conditions;
  • Route 7: Any weather conditions;
  • Bridge Field: Snowing, sandstorms, thunderstorms, raining;

How to catch Inkay in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Inkay is a dark-psychic Revolving Pokemon – which hints to its peculiar evolution requirements – and so it has very few weaknesses.

Inkay is immune to psychic attacks but is weak to fairy-type attacks and is especially susceptible to bug-type attacks. All other attack types do regular amounts of damage. As such, you’ll want to approach Inkay with a similarly-levelled Pokemon using weak-to-moderate power attacks.

You can find Inkay in the wild from level 26 up to level 45. The weaker Inkays are found in Hammerlocke Hills and Bridge Field, with the stronger specimens roaming Route 7, Circhester Bay, and the pockets of water at Bridge Field, the Giant’s Mirror, and the Dusty Bowl in the applicable weather conditions.

With the weaker forms of Inkay, you could probably get away with using Great Balls, but those that are level 40 and up, you’ll most likely want to deploy Ultra Balls.

Quick Balls always have a chance at catching Inkay when thrown as the first move of the encounter, and if you’re deep into the game with Pokémon that are at a strong enough level to defeat the Champion, you can try a Level Ball.

How to evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Inkay has one of the most peculiar evolution requirements of any Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield. The evolution process does help to explain why Inkay is classed as a Revolving Pokémon any why Malamar is an Overturning Pokémon.

The process of evolving Inkay into Malamar is to flip your Nintendo Switch upside-down when it hits level 30 or above. To avoid any frantic diving for the console, a lot of players prefer to activate the evolution of Inkay manually via an item with the Nintendo Switch console in handheld mode.

To make things easier, here’s a step-by-step guide to evolving Inkay into Malamar:

  1. Capture an Inkay.
  2. If the Inkay is below level 29, put it in your team and train it up to level 29.
  3. If the Inkay is level 30 or above, just place it in your team.
  4. Go into your bag and hover over some Exp. Candy and select the sufficient amount (four Small Exp. Candy should suffice for a level 29 Inkay), or a Rare Candy – both found in the Other Items pocket.
    If you check the summary of a Pokemon, you can see how much xp it needs to level up. S Exp. Candy gives 800 xp, M Exp. Candy gives 3000 xp, and L Exp. Candy gives 10,000 xp.
  5. Before you press to give Inkay the boost, turn your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode upside-down.
  6. From here, select the xp-boosting item and give it to Inkay.
  7. After it chimes in that Inkay has levelled up, you should leave the Bag screen by tapping the ‘B’ button to see Inkay evolve.
  8. You can turn your Nintendo Switch back around once Inkay starts to evolve into Malamar.

How to use Malamar (strengths and weaknesses)

Malamar is a dark-psychic Pokemon, and so it is only weak to fairy-type attacks but is very weak to bug-type attacks. Immune to all psychic attacks, other type moves only do a normal amount of damage to Malamar.

Its limited weaknesses give Malamar obvious perks, as do its abilities. Contrary is very useful for further stifling opponents as moves used on Malamar that lower stats instead raise stats.

Contrary also means that opposition moves that raise its stats instead of lower them, but very few opponents opt to enhance your Pokémon. The exception, though, is Swagger, which confuses your Pokémon as well, so Contrary comes in handy in this sense too.

Malamar’s other possible ability is Suction Cups, which prevents the Overturning Pokemon from being forced into switching out. Inkay’s evolution can also have the hidden ability Infiltrator, which allows Malamar to ignore any stat boosts provided by an opponent using Substitute, Safeguard, Light Screen, or Reflect.

Evolving Inkay into Malamar is certainly odd, but as it stands, a wild sighting of Malamar has not been reported. It can be encountered in Max Raid Battles, but it’s often at a high level.

There you have it: your Inkay just evolved into a Malar. You now have a deceptive Pokemon in its type – being dark-psychic instead of some form of water-type as it’s essentially a squid – that is immune to psychic attacks and only weak to bug and fairy moves.

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Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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