How can players evolve Inkay in Pokemon GO?

Inkay has a particularly odd evolution method in Pokemon GO and the franchise as a whole (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Inkay has a particularly odd evolution method in Pokemon GO and the franchise as a whole (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon GO added Inkay to its roster during the Psychic Spectacular event in 2021, with the Dark/Psychic-type being somewhat of an oddball ever since. This largely stems from its unique evolution method, which carries over from previous Pokemon titles. Inkay possesses one evolution in the form of Malamar, and trainers will have to do something a little unorthodox to obtain it.

Known as the Revolving Pokemon, Inkay has appeared in Pokemon GO through various methods including spawning in the wild, being a low-tier raid boss, as a research reward, and even in the egg pool rotation. If trainers snag an Inkay of their own, they're likely curious as to how to evolve it.

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While the process isn't too difficult, newer or returning Pokemon GO players may need some help with what Inkay's evolution entails.


How to evolve Inkay into Malamar in Pokemon GO

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In the mainline Pokemon series, Inkay evolves by leveling up after reaching level 30. However, trainers have to hold their devices upside-down to initiate this process. The same method applies to Pokemon GO, but instead of leveling Inkay up in the conventional sense, players will require 50 Inkay Candies instead.

Once players have enough Inkay Candy, all they need to do is undergo a typical evolution, but from an upside-down perspective.

How to evolve Inkay

  1. Collect 50 Inkay Candies. This can be accomplished in many different ways including catching Inkay during encounters, setting it as a buddy and walking with it, or using Rare Candies, among others.
  2. Once you've got your candy, open your Pokemon list from the main menu and find Inkay's page.
  3. Turn your device upside-down, then scroll up through Inkay's page until you find the evolve button. Tap it and spend your 50 Candies, and Inkay should begin evolving into Malamar.
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That's all there is to it! As long as Pokemon GO players have 50 Candies for Inkay and their device can recognize when it's being held upside-down, then acquiring Malamar is quite an easy task. While this evolved Pocket Monster does have some viability in PvP game modes, Malamar's stats hold it back from being a huge contender, unfortunately.

Although its maximum IVs are underwhelming, Malamar does have the upside of being a considerably unique Dark/Psychic-type creature. It can perform quite well against Ghost-types and other Psychic-types, but struggles in the meta when facing off against Fairy-types, which tend to be pretty common in the Great and Ultra Leagues.

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Whatever the case may be, Malamar may still receive new moves in Pokemon GO that may provide it with more battle viability. Otherwise, if nothing else, the Dark/Psychic-type monster serves the purpose of being one more step on the path to a completed Pokedex.

In the end, whatever trainers decide to do with Malamar is entirely up to them. It may not be the most popular Pocket Monster in the game, but it certainly still has its uses for trainers who are willing to put in a little time and effort.