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Ever since it made its debut in the movie “Lucario and the Mystery of Mew” and later made its way to the video games in Diamond and Pearl, Lucario has been quite a popular Pokémon. Its popularity even landed it a spot in every Super Smash Bros. game since Brawl.

Fortunately for fans of this Pokémon, Lucario is available once again in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Here’s how to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which is the best way trainers can add a Lucario to their teams.

Where to find Riolu and Lucario

Lucario in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Lucario is a bit rarer than Riolu in the wild. | Provided by Game Freak

Both Lucario and its pre-evolution Riolu can be found in the wild in the Paldea region. However, Lucario is available in fewer locations, much like other fully-evolved Pokémon such as Dudunsparce. There is a static Lucario encounter in Dalizapa Passage. Otherwise, it only spawns in the wild in North Province Areas One and Two.

While still somewhat rare, Riolu is is a bit more common in the wild. It has static spawns in North Province Area One and South Province Area Four, along with random spawns in South Province Areas Two and Four. Riolu can also appear in three-star Tera Raid Battles throughout the region. As a result, the best way to get Lucario in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is to simply evolve Riolu.

How to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Soothe Bell in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Players can obtain a Soothe Bell well before the first Gym. | Provided by Game Freak

Riolu can be a bit tricky to evolve in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, since it’s not a traditional evolution. Before Riolu can transform into Lucario, it must first reach a happiness value of at least 220, indicating that it has high friendship. Then, the player must level up their Riolu during the day. After completing these steps, it will evolve into Lucario.

Fortunately, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet provide players with an easy way to raise their Pokémon’s friendship early on. As soon as trainers reach Mesagoza, the city where the Naranja and Uva Academies are located, they will have access to a shop known as Delibird Presents.

Delibird Presents sells a number of useful items, with more items getting added with each Gym Badge the player obtains. However, even before the player has any Gym Badges, they will be able to purchase a Soothe Bell from Delibird Presents. Then, the player simply needs to give this held item to their Riolu, which will cause its friendship to increase more quickly.

There are other methods to raise friendship as well, such as running, using Riolu in Let’s Go! mode and washing or feeding it sandwiches during a picnic. Players can also see any Pokémon’s happiness level by visiting the Friendship Checker in Cascarrafa. With a bit of exploring, trainers should be able to quickly grow closer to their Riolu and evolve it into Lucario in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.