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A whimsical illustration of Porygon2.
Image via the official Pokemon TCG

All Pokemon That Evolve by Trading, Listed

Don't forget to trade back!

This guide goes over all Pokemon that evolve by trading and extra information about this unique evolution phenomenon.

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List of All Pokemon That Evolve by Trading

Trading to complete your Pokedex has never been more relevant than when it comes to Pokemon that evolve by trading. The following table lists all Pokemon, in National Pokedex order, that evolve by trading, any extra requirements they may have to successfully evolve, and their evolution.

Initial PokemonFull Evolution RequirementsTrade Evolution Pokemon
PoliwhirlTrade while holding King’s RockPolitoed
Alolan GravelerTradeAlolan Golem
SlowpokeTrade while holding King’s RockSlowking
OnixTrade while holding Metal CoatSteelix
RhydonTrade while holding ProtectorRhyperior
SeadraTrade while holding Dragon ScaleKingdra
ScytherTrade while holding Metal CoatScizor
ElectabuzzTrade while holding ElectirizerElectivire
MagmarTrade while holding MagmarizerMagmortar
PorygonTrade while holding UpgradePorygon2
Porygon2Trade while holding Dubious DiscPorygon-Z
FeebasTrade while holding Prism ScaleMilotic
DusclopsTrade while holding Reaper ClothDusknoir
ClamperlTrade while holding Deep Sea Tooth
OR Deep Sea Scale
OR Gorebyss
KarrablastTrade for ShelmetEscavalier
ShelmetTrade for KarrablastAccelgor
SpritzeeTrade while holding SachetAromatisse
SwirlixTrade while holding Whipped DreamSlurpuff
List of all Pokemon that evolve by trading

Can You Stop a Pokemon’s Trade Evolution?

Most Pokemon can have their evolution stopped if you press the B button during the evolution animation. However, traded Pokemon cannot have their evolution stopped. The only way to prevent a traded Pokemon from evolving is by having it hold the Everstone item before trading it away. In the case of Karrablast and Shelmet evolving when traded for one another, if even one of the two Pokemon is holding an Everstone, neither will evolve.

This does not apply to Pokemon that evolve when holding a specific item. Since they will not evolve if that item isn’t held, an Everstone isn’t needed. This also doesn’t apply to Kadabra: for an unknown reason, Kadabra is specifically programmed to evolve after trading even if it is holding an Everstone.

Pokemon That Have Had their Trade Evolution Method Changed

Pokemon have had their evolution requirements changed over the course of the series’s history. Some have had their trade evolution method altered to something different, and one has even gained a trade evolution method.


Feebas is the only example thus far of a Pokemon gaining the ability to evolve when traded. Feebas’s original evolution method from Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire is to level it up when its Beauty Contest stat is high enough. Starting with Pokemon Black and White, there was no way to raise Feebas’s Beauty stat, so the Prism Scale item was introduced, and Feebas was given the option to evolve by trading while holding the Prism Scale.

The key word here is “option:” Although trading is now the main way to evolve Feebas in the games, it can still evolve by leveling up if its Beauty stat is high enough. Most games keep track of a Pokemon’s Contest stats even if the game doesn’t have any Contests of its own. If your Feebas has its Beauty high enough from a game that features Contests and you transfer it to another game, it can still evolve by leveling up.

Trade Evolution Pokemon in Legends: Arceus

The following Pokemon can evolve when traded in Pokemon Legends: Arceus:

  • Kadabra,
  • Machoke,
  • Graveler,
  • and Haunter.

However, they are also given the much better option of evolving when the new Linking Cord item is used on them, similar to an evolution stone item.

Because items cannot be held in Legends: Arceus, the following Pokemon cannot evolve when traded, but instead evolve when their associated held item is used on them like an evolution stone:

Initial PokemonEvolution ItemEvolved Pokemon
ScytherMetal CoatScizor
OnixMetal CoatSteelix
Porygon2Dubious DiscPorygon-Z
DusclopsReaper ClothDusknoir
Trade evolution Pokemon that evolve using items in Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Some of the Pokemon that evolve by trading have a branched evolutionary line, such as Scyther evolving into either Scizor or Kleavor and Slowpoke evolving into either Slowbro or Slowking. Of these Pokemon, so far Clamperl is the only one where both possible evolutions are obtained through trading.

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Niki Fakhoori
Niki’s love for video games encompasses a wide range of genres, but she is especially fond of RPGs, adventure games, visual novels, simulation games, and fighting games. Her favorite video game-related pastime is asking her unwieldy backlog why she doesn’t have any new games to play. When she isn’t playing or writing about video games, she’s playing with cats, journaling, painting, or obsessing over the latest news in the world of stationery and planners.