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I hatched a Riolu in Heart Gold and then traded to Platinum. Gave Riolu my soothe bell and started biking up and down until I hit 40,000 steps. It is my understanding that every 256 steps raises the pokemon happiness 1 level. In my example, 40,000 steps would actually be 156.25 points of happiness. With the soothe bell doing 2x the amount, that would be 312.50 points of happiness. Am I correct in the statement of the soothe bell doing 2x the amount? If so, how come my Riolu still does not have the maximum amount of happiness to evolve?

EDIT: Now over 45,000 steps and still not enough.

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Have you leveled up Riolu since you have done all the walking? A Pokemon does need to level to evolve, even if there is a conditional (i.e. 220+ Happiness). What generation are you playing, by the way? There is generally a happiness checking NPC in the generations with Happiness as a factor who can give you a gauge of where Riolu is at. –  Rilgon Arcsinh Aug 31 '12 at 4:34
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I am playing Platinum and was using the happiness app checker to see how happy he was. I only had 2 small hearts, I know it will show 2 big hears when max happiness. It finally showed 2 big hearts close to 50,000 steps. I then used a rare candy and evolved. –  C-dizzle Aug 31 '12 at 4:38
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Ah. In Generation IV (D/P/Pl), the Soothe Bell applies a 1.5x multiplier to all Happiness gains, but this rounds down, meaning that for a +1 gain like walking 256 Steps, the Soothe Bell is actually ineffective. As Riolu's Base Happiness is 70, you'd need (220 - 70) * 256 = 38400 steps - assuming no happiness reducing effects - to have him ready for evolution. –  Rilgon Arcsinh Aug 31 '12 at 4:40
    
No negative effects, freshly hatched from an egg. So I immediately slapped on the soothe bell and started riding around. Never used it in battle so never fainted, poisoned, etc... –  C-dizzle Aug 31 '12 at 4:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In Gen III it added +1 happiness to positive happiness events. However, in Gen IV and V the Soothe Bell multiplies happiness gains by 1.5x (rounding down), not 2x. It would appear that "rounding down" is a key part of the equation, as, from what information I can find, happiness appears to be an integer value. A number without a fractional or decimal component.

So, while in theory the soothe bell should reward you with 1.5 happiness for every 256 steps, in practice that .5 is being rounded down. Additionally, it is +1 happiness for every 256 steps, not 0.00390625 happiness for every step. So in all likelihood, in your example, those 40,000 steps have only provided you their base +156 points of happiness.

EDIT: Forgot base Happiness; 70 for Riolu, which means, the total would be 147*256= 37,632 steps. Which you've more than passed. Have you leveled the Riolu at all? Pokemon that evolve through happiness still need to gain at least one level to trigger their evolution. It doesn't occur solely after the happiness threshold has been passed.

The Friendship page of Bulbapedia has a handy chart for Pokémon happiness events. There are three ways in Sinnoh to gauge a Pokémon's happiness; The Pokétch app Friendship Checker, Dr. Footstep on the left side of Route 213, Or a female NPC in the back of the Pokémon Fan-club in Hearthome City

Although perhaps not entirely relevant to your question, as your Riolu was hatched, Pokémon caught with a Luxury Ball receive additional happiness from leveling up and walking. This bonus stacks with the soothe bell.

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Trent... as mentioned above, I leveled Riolu once I saw 2 big hearts on the friendship checker app. Even if the soothe bell doesn't work as intended, I still don't understand why I needed so many steps to reach max level. At a base happiness of 70, I should not have needed 48,000 steps to get the 2 big hearts to show up. –  C-dizzle Aug 31 '12 at 12:53

Riolu also has to level up during the day to evolve.

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(looks it up on bulbapedia) Facepalm yep, I think we missed that key point. –  Trent Hawkins Jan 16 at 23:07
    
@TrentHawkins I knew how and when to evolve Riolu, the main problem was figuring out if the soothe bell was working. –  C-dizzle Jan 16 at 23:36

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