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. On top of those, even more are on the way in the upcoming expansions.
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.
In this guide, you’ll discover where to find Riolu as well as how to evolve Riolu into Lucario.
Where to find Riolu in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Riolu has been in the National Dex since Generation IV (Pokémon Diamond and Pearl) and has earned a huge fan following since.
How to evolve Riolu hasn’t changed in Generation VIII from the original method of getting Lucario in Generation IV, but finding Riolu in Sword and Shield is certainly a tough ask.
Finding Riolu in Pokémon Sword and Shield is, by far, the most difficult part of the whole process of getting a Lucario.
The only way that you can find Riolu is in the following location and weather conditions:
- Giant’s Cap: Snowstorms (Overworld)
While it is nice that Riolu pops up in the overworld, the Emanation Pokémon is an incredibly rare spawn in just one type of weather.
To make matters worse, the best place to find Riolu is wrought with Sneasels, which are both aggressive and look similar to Riolu in the tall grass.
However, there is a way that you can change the weather and set your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield time to increase your chances of spotting a Riolu.
To trigger snowstorms in Giant’s Cap, you’ll want to change the date on your Nintendo Switch. For a complete guide on how to change the weather in Sword and Shield, consult this guide.
There is a proven date and time on which you can increase your chances of seeing a wild Riolu, though. Credit to BeardBear for this, as changing the date to 1 February 2019 and 11:40 soon resulted in a Riolu popping up.
The best place to look is the large patch of tall grass on the hill by the lake. To speed up the process, get on your bike, cycle around the patch, and then off to other nearby areas to trigger a new set of spawns when you cycle back.
How to catch Riolu in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Riolu appears in Pokémon Sword and Shield between level 28 and level 32, but as we discussed above, Riolu is a very rare Pokémon to find in the Wild Area.
When you finally catch a glimpse of a Riolu, they will charge at you if you come into range. However, as they are so rare, you’ll want to make sure that you catch Riolu in your first encounter.
When you’ve encountered Riolu and enter into battle, you should keep in mind that it is a fighting-type Pokémon.
As such, avoid using fairy, psychic, or flying-type moves as they are super effective against Riolu. To notch down its health, use rock, dark, and bug-type moves as they are not very effective against Riolu.
The best way to go with this rare Pokémon is an Ultra Ball as soon as you cut it down to half of its health. You could also try a Quick Ball at the start of the encounter as they’ve proven to be quite potent in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
How to evolve Riolu into Lucario in Pokémon Sword and Shield
Riolu can evolve into Lucario at any level, with evolution requirements being that it has a very high happiness value of 220 and then levels up during the day.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the best way to achieve a high happiness rating is to utilise the Pokémon Camp – opened by pressing X and navigating the menu.
In a Pokémon Camp, there are many ways in which you can boost Riolu’s happiness and earn it xp so that it can level-up.
Talking to Riolu, playing fetch with a ball, having it attack the feather stick, and cooking good curries will all increase the Pokémon’s happiness.
A great tool to use when trying to increase Riolu’s happiness is the Soothe Ball. You can get the Soothe Ball as an in-camp toy by talking to the Camping King (to the side of the steps to Motostoke in the Wild Area).
By having the Camping King rate your Curry Dex, you’ll receive new toys for your Pokémon Camp once you’ve made a certain number of curries. Once you’ve made 15 different curries, they’ll give you the Soothe Ball.
Playing fetch with a Soothe Ball in a Pokémon Camp will increase its happiness at a greater rate.
To tell how happy your Pokémon is, you can open a Pokémon Camp and observe their behaviour.
A new Riolu will tend to walk to fetch a ball and show very little emotion in camp. However, once Riolu becomes happier, they’ll run around for the ball and show hearts when you talk to them, as you can see below:
As playing with and feeding your Riolu in a Pokémon Camp will give it experience points, be sure to set up camp during the day and give Riolu lots of attention. If it levels up as a result of the extra experience, it may evolve into Lucario.
You can also increase Riolu’s happiness by allowing it to feature in battles, but finishing a battle with the Pokémon fainted won’t help to increase its happiness.
Giving Riolu a Soothe Bell will also help to increase the rate at which its happiness goes up. You can pick-up a Soothe Bell from the house below, found in Hammerlocke.
After a few successful battles and plenty of playtime, cooking, and interactions in a Pokémon Camp, your Riolu should be happy enough to evolve into Lucario – provided that it is daytime.
If, however, you don’t want a Riolu and just want to catch a Lucario, you can encounter the fighting-steel type Pokémon wandering around the overworld of North Lake Miloch in normal weather conditions.
How to use Lucario (strengths and weaknesses)
Lucario is a fan favourite for a good reason: the Aura Pokémon boasts very good attack, special attack, and speed base stats.
Also, being a fighting-steel type Pokémon, Lucario has very few weaknesses and is strong against many different move types.
Lucario is susceptible to ground, fire, and fighting-type moves, but normal, grass, ice, steel, dark, dragon, bug, and rock-type moves are not very effective. Furthermore, poison-type moves don’t affect Lucario.
The powerful and speedy Pokémon has access to three different abilities, one of which is a hidden ability, which are as follows:
- Inner Focus: Lucario’s stats won’t be lowered by the ability Intimidate, nor will it flinch.
- Steadfast: Lucario’s speed increases by one level whenever it flinches.
- Justified (Hidden Ability): Whenever a dark-type move hits Lucario, its attack is raised by one stage.
There you have it: your Riolu just evolved into a Lucario. You now have one of the most popular Pokémon in Sword and Shield which boasts a great amount of speed and power in both forms of attack.
Want to evolve your Pokemon?
Looking for more Pokemon Sword and Shield Guides?
*Outsider Gaming may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase. All prices listed were accurate at the time of publishing.