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.

  • 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. Aug 31, 2012 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, 2012 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. Aug 31, 2012 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, 2012 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 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, 2012 at 12:53

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

  • (looks it up on bulbapedia) Facepalm yep, I think we missed that key point. Jan 16, 2014 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, 2014 at 23:36
  • @TrentHawkins Did you mean Force palm? XD Mar 10, 2019 at 22:24

Well, first, hatched pokes have 120 happiness, so it might have been a better idea to evolve it in the original game, before trading it, which gets happiness reset to base 70.

That aside, the Gen IV mechanics for Soothe Bell changed, and instead of adding an amount, it multiplies 1,5x the points gained. Sadly, happiness is not a decimal number, so any decimal gain is rounded down, which means that for walking 256 steps it does gain 1,5 points with Soothe Bell, instead of +1 but it is rounded down and become +1 anyway. Soothe Bell is useless for raising happiness through walk.

Now, a poke that needs happiness to evolve does so by leveling up with a minimum of 220 of happiness (max happiness is 255)

220-70 = 150 --> 150 x 256 = 38400 steps

So it does take the almost 40000 steps to be at the minimum happiness level required to trigger evolution.

Why 45000 steps are not enough, beats me, it should have been enough 5000+ steps ago, unless you managed to faint your Riolu A LOT or gave it those bitter medicines.

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