Learn how to make the most of Mega Evolution's mega benefits to Pokémon GO Trainers.
It's impossible not to get fired up watching your orange Fire- and Flying-type Charizard suddenly change its appearance to a black Fire- and Dragon-type behemoth with substantially higher strength. Unlike evolving your Pokémon, which is permanent, Mega Evolution offers you an opportunity to temporarily exceed the normal boundaries of Evolution—and it comes with some pretty sweet benefits.
Mega Evolution was first introduced to the Pokémon world in 2013 with the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games. The ability to bring Mega-Evolved Pokémon into battle came to Pokémon GO in August 2020, and since then the process has been fine-tuned to make Mega Evolving Pokémon easier and more beneficial for Trainers.
To make the most of this exciting process in Pokémon GO, you'll first need to become a Mega Evolution master. Read on to learn how.
Mega Evolution is a temporary process that increases a Pokémon's CP, typically lasting for eight hours. The Pokémon's HP does not change. Some Pokémon temporarily change type while Mega Evolved, which is important to consider when planning a Mega Raid Battle lineup. For example, the Dragon- and Flying-type Altaria becomes the Dragon- and Fairy-type Mega Altaria. And the Fire- and Flying-type Charizard has two possible Mega Evolutions: the Fire- and Dragon-type Charizard X and the Fire- and Flying-type Charizard Y.
Essentially, Mega Evolution in Pokémon GO makes your Pokémon stronger and kickstarts certain bonuses that remain active while your Pokémon is Mega Evolved. The exact bonuses depend on your Pokémon's Mega Level—see “Understanding Mega Levels in Pokémon GO” for more information.
Just as some Pokémon evolve while others do not, some Pokémon can Mega Evolve while others cannot. Moreover, Shadow Pokémon can't Mega Evolve regardless of species. For a full list of Pokémon that can Mega Evolve, see “Pokémon That Can Mega Evolve in Pokémon GO.”
You'll need a certain amount of Mega Energy before you can Mega Evolve a Pokémon, and there are a few different ways to acquire it. The most accessible option is to participate in Mega Raids, which are Raid Battles that feature Mega-Evolved Pokémon. At the end of a successful Mega Raid, you'll earn Mega Energy for that Pokémon regardless of whether or not you catch the Mega-Evolved Pokémon. The faster you defeat the Raid Boss, the more Mega Energy you'll receive, so be sure to invite friends and plan your lineup carefully. Depending on how quickly you defeat the Raid Boss, you can expect to earn between 150 and 250 Mega Energy per successful raid.
To find a Mega Raid, look for tan-and-brown Eggs with the Mega Energy symbol appearing above Gyms. In some cases, a single successful Mega Raid will give you enough Mega Energy to Mega Evolve your Pokémon, while other Pokémon will require more. The exact number of Mega Raid Battles you'll need to win depends on how much Mega Energy you earn after each raid and how much Mega Energy a given Pokémon requires. You can track your Pokémon's Mega Energy right next to where that Pokémon's Candy and Candy XL are displayed.
Note that you can also earn Mega Energy by completing certain Field Research and Timed Research tasks. Once you've collected enough Mega Energy, your Pokémon will be ready to Mega Evolve.
As mentioned before, not every Pokémon can Mega Evolve. You can use the “Can Mega Evolve” tag from the search field to find out which of your Pokémon (if any) are capable of Mega Evolution. To open the search field, first tap the Main Menu button in Map View, then tap the Pokémon button, and finally tap the Magnifying Glass button at the top of your list. From there, simply click the Can Mega Evolve button featuring a Mega Energy icon and choose the Pokémon you'd like to Mega Evolve.
When you're looking at a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve, the amount of Mega Energy required for Mega Evolution will appear beneath the green Power Up tab. Simply tap the pink Mega Evolve tab, then tap Yes on the confirmation screen that appears. Your Pokémon will undergo Mega Evolution, which lasts for eight hours. Only one of your Pokémon may be Mega Evolved at a time, so if you choose to Mega Evolve a different Pokémon before the eight hours is over, the first Mega-Evolved Pokémon will return to its previous state.
Mega Evolved Pokémon are extremely useful in Raid Battles, especially against powerful Legendary Pokémon that can be difficult to defeat otherwise. Fortunately, you can also Mega Evolve your Pokémon while waiting in the Raid Lobby, which is an extremely useful way to make some last-minute preparations. When looking at your Battle Party, the Mega Energy icon will appear to the left of the lineup if one of your Pokémon can Mega Evolve. Simply tap the Mega Energy button to see which Pokémon are ready for Mega Evolution and Mega Evolve your Pokémon before the Raid Battle begins.
Mega-Evolved Pokémon can be used in Gyms, raids, and Trainer Battles. Although Mega-Evolved Pokémon generally can't be used in the GO Battle League, exceptions for special events may apply. Given that Mega Evolution lasts for eight hours and often comes with a Mega Energy cost, it makes sense to get as much use out of each Mega Evolution as possible. Raid Hours, which typically happen on Wednesdays from 6:00–7:00 p.m. local time, are an excellent opportunity to Mega Evolve effectively. Just make sure that your Mega-Evolved Pokémon has a type advantage against the Pokémon featured in that week's five-star raids.
Bringing a Mega-Evolved Pokémon into Raid Battles can have a significant impact: other Trainers' Pokémon will receive a stat boost, with an even higher bonus applied to allied Pokémon that share a type with your Mega-Evolved Pokémon. Note, however, that these effects are not cumulative—if multiple Trainers utilize Mega Evolution in a Raid Battle, the stat boosts will remain the same as for a raid with only one Mega-Evolved Pokémon in it.
You'll receive more Candy and XP for catching Pokémon that share a type with a Mega-Evolved Pokémon during its Mega Evolution period. At a high enough Trainer level, you can also gain an increased chance to earn Candy XL for Mega-Evolved Pokémon that have reached High Level or Max Level. If you have a Mega Blastoise that has reached High Level, for example, you'll earn extra Candy and XP when you catch Water-type Pokémon during its Mega Evolution period. Take advantage of these benefits by using a Lucky Egg or Pinap Berries to quickly accumulate Candy and XP.
Your Pokémon's Mega Levels increase the more frequently you Mega Evolve them. There are three Mega Levels—Base Level, High Level, and Max Level—which apply to individual Pokémon rather than an entire species. For instance, even if one of your Mega Lopunny reaches Max Level, the rest of your Lopunny will still have to Mega Evolve to increase their Mega Levels individually.
After you Mega Evolve a Pokémon for the first time, you can Mega Evolve it again without Mega Energy after a rest period. Pokémon at the Base Level have a rest period of seven days, but you can also use a reduced amount of Mega Energy to Mega Evolve your Pokémon before then. The Mega Energy required to Mega Evolve a Pokémon will decrease as the Pokémon's rest period becomes shorter, and a Pokémon's rest periods will become shorter as its Mega Level increases the more it Mega Evolves.
While viewing one of your Pokémon that has Mega Evolved, tap the Mega Energy icon to the left of your Pokémon. There you'll find all the key information you need: its Mega Level, its remaining Mega Evolution period or the time left in its rest period, its Mega Evolution bonuses, and the number of Mega Evolutions required before it can reach the next Mega Level. A Pokémon that you haven't Mega Evolved won't display this icon or information, but if it's ready to Mega Evolve for the first time, you'll see the pink Mega Evolve tab below the green Power Up tab.
As your Pokémon's Mega Level increases, it will earn additional bonuses, its Mega Evolution rest period will decrease, and it will enjoy a reduced Mega Energy cost to Mega Evolve. For example, below is a list of what you can expect from a Mega Beedrill at each Mega Level.
1 Mega Evolution required
Catch Candy Bonus (1)
Boosted Ally Attacks (10–30%)
7-day Mega Evolution rest period
Reduced Mega Energy to Mega Evolve (20)
7 Mega Evolutions required
Catch Candy Bonus (1)
Boosted Ally Attacks (10–30%)
5-day Mega Evolution rest period
Greatly reduced Mega Energy cost (10)
Great XL Candy Chance (10%)
Catch XP Bonus (50 XP)
30 Mega Evolutions required
Enhanced Catch Candy bonus (2)
Boosted Ally Attacks (10–30%)
3-day Mega Evolution rest period
Massively reduced Mega Energy cost (5)
Excellent Candy XL Chance (25%)
Enhanced Catch XP Bonus (100 XP)
Different Pokémon will have their own Mega Level requirements, Mega Evolution rest period lengths, Mega Energy costs, and bonuses. It's a good idea to take notes for each Pokémon you want to Mega Evolve.
The following Pokémon can Mega Evolve in Pokémon GO and will remain their original type unless otherwise noted.
Charizard (Fire/Flying) → Mega Charizard X (Fire/Dragon) or Mega Charizard Y
Gyarados (Water/Flying) → Mega Gyarados (Water/Dark)
Ampharos (Electric) → Mega Ampharos (Electric/Dragon)
Altaria (Dragon/Flying) → Mega Altaria (Dragon/Fairy)
Now that you're a Mega Evolution master, enjoy Mega Evolving your Pokémon and good luck with your next Mega Raid Battle! Remember to check Pokemon.com/Strategy for more Pokémon GO, video game, and Pokémon TCG tips.