Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Every way to get Malamar

pokemon scarlet violet trainer with malamar

The squid Pokemon Inkay was added to Pokemon Scarlet and Violet in The Indigo Disk DLC and fans are once again left scratching their heads over how to evolve it into Malamar. Thankfully, it’s the same method as ever.

Originally introduced in Pokemon X and Y, Inkay and Malamar were given a unique evolution requirement. Though Pokemon games have gotten creative with how they evolve Pokemon, as was seen in recent years with Hisuian Qwilfish and Overqwil, Malamar is one-of-a-kind.

Instead of needing to be traded while holding a specific item or needing a certain level of affection, Game Freak instead opted to make the most out of some of the new features of the Nintendo 3DS hardware. Every mainline Pokemon game has dabbled with generally neglected hardware features and accessories, whether that’s forcing players to buy link cables for their Game Boy or incorporating the Nintendo DS microphone into moves.

This specific requirement was maintained in successive generations and it’s currently the only Pokemon that relies upon hardware. Here’s every way to get Malamar in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

inkay is evolving pokemon scarlet violet

How to evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Inkay evolves into Malamar by reaching level 30 or higher while the player is holding the Nintendo Switch upside down. At present, Inkay will only evolve if the Nintendo Switch is in handheld mode.

Inkay can be caught in Blueberry Academy’s Terarium, which was introduced in the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: The Indigo Disk DLC. It can be found throughout much of the Coastal Biome, as well as in three-star Tera Raid battles.

inkay habitat pokemon scarlet violet

The player will need to get an Inkay up to level 30 by battling or using Rare Candies or EXP Candies. Any level up past 30 will trigger the Inkay to evolve into a Malamar, but only if the Nintendo Switch is being held upside down, with Joy-Cons attached. All Inkay are above this level when caught in the Terarium. The easiest way to evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is using EXP Candies outside battle while holding the Nintendo Switch upside down. Utilizing candies is the most convenient and foolproof method for evolving Inkay, as it doesn’t require the player to hold their Switch upside down for any length of time and requires no guesswork in terms of experience gains.

It is currently not possible to evolve Inkay while the Nintendo Switch is in docked mode. Some third-party Joy-Con controllers may prevent the player from evolving Inkay. It is unlikely that this will change, as previous Nintendo Switch Pokemon games with Malamar have required players to play in handheld mode to evolve Inkay.

How to get Malamar in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet without evolving Inkay

Players can get a Malamar in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet without evolving Inkay in a few different ways.

Malamar does not appear in the Terarium but can be found in five or six-star Tera Raid battles. When evolving an Inkay becomes more trouble than it’s worth, catching a Malamar from a raid would fill the Pokedex spot.

Malamar can also be freely traded between players without restrictions. The Pokemon is also available in Pokemon Sword and Shield, and can be transferred into Scarlet and Violet using Pokemon HOME even without a subscription.

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Written by Cassie Gardner

Cassie Gardner has been playing games since she was but a child, starting with a Game Boy when she was 5 years old. The discovery of Pokemon led to a lifelong interest in role-playing games of both the video game and tabletop varieties.

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