How to Evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield

Pokemon Sword & Shield Inkay is a Pokemon that you can catch and evolve into Malamar if you know what to do. Evolving Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield is a bit tricky, because it doesn’t involve any particular item. Instead, you have to interact with the console itself in a specific way. With all that said, we’re going to explain how to evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield in this guide what you’re reading.

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How to Evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield
How to Evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield

Pokemon Sword & Shield How to Evolve Malamar from Inkay?

To evolve your Pokemon Sword & Shield Inkay into Malamar, you have to turn your console upside down in handheld mode just before it starts evolving at level 30. So, here’s what you have to do. First, make sure that your Switch’s Gyroscope options are turned on and working properly. Then, when your Inkay is close to level 30, switch your Switch over to handheld mode. Go into battle against whatever Pokemon with Inkay. When you win, don’t exit the post-battle text immediately. Instead, turn the console upside down counter-clockwise, and only then press A to exit the dialogue. Keep it upside down until the evolving animation is over.

Alternatively, you can feed your Inkay Exp. Candy and then quickly turn the console upside down before the evolution begins. Some people say that you can do all this in docked mode by turning just the controller upside down, but I don’t recommend it. Turning the whole thing in handheld is a surefire way to succeed. Also, we’ve seen claims that Inkay can still evolve beyond level 30 once it levels up again. However, we’re not sure if that’s true or not. Best you do it proper at level 30 just in case.

So, that’s how you evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon Sword & Shield. For those of you that need help with something else, allow me to take you to our list of Pokemon Sword & Shield guides. Among others, we’ve written articles like Shiny Charm Location, Lucky Egg Location in Pokemon Sword & Shield – How to Get, and Nessa Gym Waterfall Puzzle Solution.

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Author JoeTheBard profile picture
A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.



  1. S

    All pokemon who evolve by level can evolve at a later level. Don’t publish inaccurate speculation like that when it’s super easy to do the research (or even just experiment) and find out the truth. You can capture Inkay at level 40+ on Route 7 so it would be pretty dumb if the game didn’t let you evolve it because it was already past level 30.

    This has ALWAYS been how level-up evolution has worked in the game for over 25 years.

    1. J

      To steve who says not to publish inaccurate speculation its just speculation, they didnt have proof of lvling up past 30 working ive been trying to get my inkay to evo after 30 becasue yes i did get one lvl 40+ and as of 3 lvls of trying to get it to evolve it still hasnt worked so they could be right i find it weird that it has to be exactly 30 and i would assume it would still evolve after that lvl but 3 tries in at lvl43 and still no malamar

      1. J

        I also couldn’t evolve Inkay (handheld upside-down and lvl 60+). Making sure gyro settings were enabled, it still didn’t work until I remembered the other set of joypads on the game controller were still turned on. After putting them to sleep, a rare candy did the job while holding the console upside down.

        1. J

          Yes, the extra paired joy cons were stopping my evolution too, thanks for the info!

        2. J

          This was very helpful. I was using one of the Hori left Joycons* (with the real D-pad) and couldn’t get it to evolve. Using a stock Joycon (and made sure yo pro wasn’t connect) allowed me to evolve a 60+ Inkay.

          *Pretty sure they don’t have an accelerometer in them.

        3. A

          Thanks Josh! My pro controller was still on when I quickly switched to handheld mode from docked and was preventing my evolution. I changed my controller grip in the Switch settings to make sure the pro controller was off and used a rare candy and it worked. LVL 51 Inkay. It’d be nice if the article reflected this for others in the future.

  2. A

    My inkay was level 38 when I caught it, the trick worked when it was leveling up to 39. So can confirm any level above 30 and you can evolve.

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