How to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

If you need to know how to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet we’ve got you covered, because the Emanation Pokémon needs more than just a rare candy.

How to evolve Riolu: Riolu and Lucario's official Pokedex art, both with solid white outlines, superimposed on a blurred promotional image for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

As much as we love the baby form of Lucario, it’s not the strongest Pokémon out there. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet because the Emanation Pokémon just doesn’t pack enough punch to take on the gyms of Paldea.

If you’re looking for more help with the newest Pokémon games, check out our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet tera raid battles guide, or our Pokémon Scarlet and Violet legendaries guide. If you’re trying to complete your Pokédex, check out our guides on how to evolve Finizen, how to evolve Sneasel, and how to evolve Charcadet too.

Where do I find Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?

Before you can evolve your Riolu, you have to find one first. Luckily, they’re not too difficult to find compared to their evolved counterparts, and you can find them fairly early on your journey in Paldea.

How to evolve Riolu: A screenshot from Pokemon Scarlet of Riolu's Pokedex entry showing its habitat in the south west of Paldea.

Riolu spawns in South Province Area Four, so you’ll want to head there to get this little guy on your team. To get to South Province Area Four, you must:

  • Leave Mesagosa through the West Gate
  • Head south
  • Cross over the land bridge

Once you’ve crossed the land bridge, you are firmly in the right province to find a Riolu. If you’re having trouble getting one to spawn, try making a sandwich with a fighting-type encounter power.

How do I evolve Riolu into Lucario?

As cute as Riolu is, its evolved form Lucario is one of the strongest fighting Pokémon out there and probably of more use to you and your team. Evolving Riolu into Lucario isn’t the easiest feat, but it’s significantly easier than hunting down a Lucario in the wild.

To evolve Riolu into Lucario, you must level it up during the daytime with a high enough friendship level. Friendship level is a hidden stat in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, so the only way you can check it is by speaking to a brown-haired NPC with a Marill in Cascarrafa that’s stood next to a fountain.

How to evolve Riolu: A screebshot from Pokemon Scarlet of the cover image for Riolu's Pokedex entry, showing a Riolu in a landscape filled with trees, looking over its shoulder.

There is a range of ways you can raise your friendship level with your Riolu, such as:

  • Catch it in a Friend Ball
  • Bring it out in Let’s Go mode
  • Give it a wash
  • Battle with it
  • Have a picnic

You can also get your Riolu to hold a Soothe Bell as this makes the Pokémon holding it more friendly. You can buy one of these from Delibird Presents. If you follow these steps to raise your friendship level with Riolu, the next time it levels up it should evolve into Lucario.

That’s everything you need to know about how to evolve Riolu in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Why not check out the list of our favorite Pokémon characters next?