There are currently two known methods in Pokémon Go to get an Eevee to evolve into Espeon or Umbreon, the two newly added Gen II “Eeveelutions.” Both of these require some explaining, especially the main method, as it is different from the random nature of Eevee’s evolution into Flareon, Vaporeon, and Jolteon. Both discovered methods make sense once you understand them, and are actually very clever and interesting from a game design perspective.
Method #1 – The Sakura & Tamao Nickname Trick
This is essentially a continuation of the nickname trick that already existed in Pokémon Go, where nicknaming an Eevee ‘Rainer’ would guarantee its evolution into Vaporeon, ‘Sparky’ would guarantee a Jolteon, and ‘Pyro’ would guarantee a Flareon. Each of these nicknames only works one time.
- Nickname your Eevee Sakura if you want an Espeon, or Tamao if you want an Umbreon.
- Click evolve. Your Eevee will become the evolution that corresponds to your chosen name.
- Note that this trick only works once for each nickname.
Make sure your phone does not add in a space after the nickname – this can prevent the nickname trick from working, as one reddit user found out the hard way.
The nicknames Sakura and Tamao are based on the names of Kimono Girls who appear in the Pokémon anime. Each Kimono Girl uses a specific Eeveelution. Tamao is the name of the girl who has an Umbreon, while Sakura is the name of the girl who has an Espeon.
Method #2 (Main Method) – The 10km Buddy Trick
This is the ‘normal’ way to get an Espeon or Umbreon in Pokémon Go. Using this method, you can get as many Espeon or Umbreon as you like, without having to worry about random evolutions.
- Set your chosen Eevee as your buddy.
- Wait until you have walked a total of 10 kilometers and earned 2 Eevee candy with your buddy Eevee.
- If it is ‘day‘ in your region for Pokémon Go (the map looks bright, it’s a time after sunrise and before sunset), then evolve your buddy Eevee and it will become an Espeon.
- If it is ‘night‘ in your region for Pokémon Go (the map looks dark, it’s a time after sunset and before sunrise), then evolve your buddy Eevee and it will become an Umbreon.
- Just to be completely safe, you may want to wait until midday if you want an Espeon, or the middle of the night if you want an Umbreon.
- Eevee must be your buddy at the time you press evolve in order for this to work and you must have walked at least 10km in total with them. If Eevee is not set as your buddy when you evolve it, it may become a Jolteon, Vaporeon or Flareon instead.
Unless something major changes in a future update, you can use this method an unlimited number of times.
The nicest thing about this evolution method is that it is safe. Normally when you evolve an Eevee, hoping for a Falreon, Vaporeon or Jolteon, you don’t know which one you’re going to get, so sometimes you end up disappointed. If you follow this method correctly, you get what you’re hoping for.
Espeon is known in Pokémon as the ‘Sun Pokémon’, while Umbreon is known as the ‘Moonlight Pokémon’. This explains why timing is an important factor in their evolution.
The need to walk 10km with Eevee as your buddy can also be nicely explained. In the main series games, Eevee evolves into Espeon or Umbreon when it has a high friendship score (sometimes called happiness score) with its trainer. One of the best ways to increase your friendship score with your Pokémon is to travel and walk around while they are with you as one of your main Pokémon. So in other words, walking around a lot with an Eevee is one of the best ways to get an Espeon or Umbreon.
That’s why you need to walk 10km with Eevee as your buddy in Pokémon Go – it’s to simulate earning a high friendship score with them.