Pikachu is easily the most well known Pokemon as the mascot of the franchise, even getting its own game last year with Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu. Those who had a save file for that game could get a Pikachu in the new Pokemon Sword and Sword with a special Gigantamax form, but that comes at the cost of not being able to evolve it. You can still catch a wild Pikachu and evolve it though, and this guide will detail how you can do that.
How to Evolve Pikachu Into Raichu
Ever since the very first Pokemon games with Red and Blue, Pikachu has had a different method of evolution than just leveling it up. You could level Pikachu all the way up to level 99 and it’ll never evolve that way.
Instead, you will have to use a special evolution stone to get Pikachu to evolve into Raichu. That specific stone you will need is a Thunder Stone, which this guide covers how you can get one in Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Once you have acquired the Thunder Stone, go into your bag and select the Thunder Stone item. Now, you can look to the left and see the list of Pokemon in your party. Make sure Pikachu is in your party first of all. Once Pikachu is, select Pikachu with the stone, which should say Compatible. If you accidentally grabbed the Pikachu from Let’s Go here, it will instead say Incompatible, so make sure you get the right one.
Once you use the Thunder Stone on Pikachu, it will evolve into Raichu. This cannot be evolved into the Alolan Form of Raichu like this, which you would have seen in Pokemon Sun and Moon. For this, you’ll get the classic Electric type only Raichu that most will recognize in Pokemon Sword and Shield.