Evolution (進化 Shinka; Dub: Digivolution/Evolution) is the process in which Digimon undergo a radical reconfiguration of their body structure data and usually transform into a new, stronger species of Digimon. Most Digimon can evolve into a wide variety of Digimon, and what they evolve into can be influenced both by the environment they are exposed to and by their various inherent traits. There are many methods by which Digimon can evolve, with many different requirements.
Evolution is measured by a Digimon's Evolution Stage. Most Digimon species belong to one of six Evolution Stages, and when they evolve, it is typically to a Digimon of a higher Evolution Stage than their previous form.
As part of their life cycle, all Digimon undergo evolution in the wild over time, and they usually stay evolved. However, Digimon can also draw power from the energy, emotions, and/or willpower of humans to evolve much faster. Tamers and Chosen Children use their bonds with their partner Digimon, together with their Digivices (and sometimes, other items), to temporarily evolve their Digimon into more powerful forms.
All Digimon naturally consume ("load") data, including the data of other Digimon which they have defeated, to sustain themselves. When they have loaded large enough amounts of data, they may undergo evolution. What a Digimon evolves into is determined by numerous factors. The most common of these factors are:
|Field||Environmental influence||Prowess and innate abilities|
|Fields are categories that sort Digimon by biological traits that they have in common, like element and species, so a Digimon will usually evolve into a Digimon of the same Field as itself.||Digimon can evolve to adapt to the environment in which they live.||Some evolutions only become available to a Digimon if they are sufficiently skilled, talented, or strong.|
|Floramon can evolve into Kiwimon. Both belong to the Jungle Troopers Field.||Some Leomon evolve into Panjyamon by, in the course of their training, acquiring power over the cold in the freezing lands of the Digital World's Ice-Snow Area.||It is said that only Renamon who possess outstanding abilities and high experience are able to evolve into Kyubimon. An alternative evolution is Youkomon.|
|How it is raised||Intake of specific data||Modification|
|The quality of care and attention that a Digimon receives when it is being raised affects how it will evolve.||Exposure to, or consumption of, human data or programs can cause evolution into a Digimon based on that data.||Some evolutions come from a Digimon altering itself or being altered by an outside force, such as other Digimon, humans, or viruses.|
↙ ↓ ↘
|A Digimon will evolve into Numemon if care mistakes are made when raising it.||Pulsemon evolves into various Digimon using different sources of exercise data: Bulkmon from body composition monitors, Exermon from yoga lesson data, and Runnermon from a treadmill.||By mechanizing its body, Greymon evolves into Metal Greymon.|
These factors mean that any two Digimon who start off as the same species can evolve in completely different directions from each other depending on the lives that they each live. The diversity of evolution pathways is a survival strategy that allows Digimon to adapt and endure the harsh, survival-of-the-fittest environment of the Digital World. In Digimon Adventure, Gennai says that there is no "right" or "wrong" in evolution in and of itself.
There can be other factors involved in different stories. For example, in Digimon Savers: Another Mission, the influence of the Dark Area is altering the evolutionary trees of Digimon so that they are evolving into many different forms.
Evolving again gets harder and harder with each Evolution Stage that a Digimon reaches, because each new Stage requires more and more data than the last. There are fewer and fewer Digimon of each subsequent level (individual wise, rather than species wise - as each level generally has more species than the previous level), and the majority of Digimon in the wild do not evolve any further than the Adult level.
When a Digimon transforms into a Digimon of a lower Evolution Stage than their current form, the process is usually called devolution (退化 taika, lit. "degeneration" or "regression"; Dub: De-Digivolution/Degeneration). Devolution is most commonly seen in partner Digimon when their temporary evolved state ends, but is occasionally depicted as also occurring to independent Digimon. It is sometimes treated as a regular evolution though, with the Digimon directly evolving to a lower level. In some of the Digimon World games, a Digimon can evolve to Scumon or Platinum Scumon regardless of its current level if it poops too many times (e.g., a Perfect level can evolve to the Adult level Scumon, despite being a level higher). In Digimon Tamers: The Adventurers' Battle, Apocalymon evolved to Mephismon. In Digimon Masters, the Ultimate version of Shoutmon can evolve to the Perfect level OmegaShoutmon despite it being a level lower.
Partner Digimon Evolution
It is common in Digimon media for Digimon to draw strength and energy from humans. For example, many early episodes of Digimon Savers tell stories about Digimon who have infiltrated the Real World and are feeding on the emotions of troubled people.
Humans who are partnered with Digimon and have a Digivice, like Tamers and Chosen Children, are able to use their energy to artificially invoke a temporary evolution of their partner Digimon to a higher Evolution Stage. These evolutions are generally short-lived and only last for one or two battles. After the battle, they will usually devolve back to the form that they regularly inhabit when their human partner is not evolving them (almost always of the Child level).
The ability of a human to evolve their partner Digimon is typically based on the bond that the two share, and on the emotional state and maturity of the human partner. When both their relationship and their mindsets are healthy, they are able to evolve, and as they improve, they become able to evolve into stronger and stronger Digimon. It is also common for the human partner to acquire and use items and other powers to facilitate their partner Digimon's evolution.
| + |
|In Digimon Adventure, Kido Jou's Ikkakumon can Super Evolve into Zudomon using Jou's Crest of Sincerity.||In Digimon Tamers, Matsuda Takato and his partner Digimon, Guilmon, can undergo Matrix Evolution to fuse together into Dukemon.||In Digimon Savers, Thoma H. Norstein's Gaomon can evolve into Gaogamon using Thoma's Digisoul, i.e. the power of Thoma's emotions made manifest.|
| + |
|In Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01, Yagami Taichi uses the Digimental to evolve Zeromaru (Ulforce V-dramon) into his Super Ultimate form, Ulforce V-dramon Future Mode.|
In Digimon anime productions, there are two traditions relating to the evolution of the main characters' partner Digimon:
- The evolution of partner Digimon into their regular evolved forms is usually depicted with reusable stock footage that showcases the Digimon undergoing the evolution process, usually in a long and flashy manner. Each Digimon anime series has entirely unique and distinctive stock footage styles.
- A partner Digimon who is undergoing evolution will call out both to announce that they are evolving, and to announce the name of their evolved form. This usually follows this format (using Terriermon as an example):
Sometimes, the human partner will also call out something when they initiate the evolution process.
Only a small minority of partner Digimon do not make any sort of call when evolving under ordinary circumstances. These include:
- Wallace's Gummymon in the 2000 Summer Toei Anime Fair Digimon Adventure 02 movies
- Kurosaki Miki's black Pawn Chessmon, and Shirakawa Megumi's white Pawn Chessmon, in Digimon Savers (both Pawn Chessmons are entirely mute, including when evolving; Miki and Megumi sometimes make the evolution announcement calls on their behalf)
- Multiple Digimon in Digimon Adventure tri. forego this, and instead evolved without saying anything. Often times this happened without reused stock footage too, with them simply becoming the Digimon after a flash of light.
- Many voice acted video games tend to have most storyline Digimon silent during their evolution sequences, which with a few exceptions are permanent evolutions.
Evolving by Combining
Another way to evolve is for two Digimon to combine together and create a single Digimon that usually has greater power. The concept of evolving in this way was introduced in 1998 in the Digimon Pendulum series of virtual pets. There are several named methods of evolution that work by combining multiple Digimon: Jogress Evolution, fusion, DigiXros, and (for Appmon) AppGattai.
Following the level retcons in the Digimon Reference Book that gave Xros Wars Digimon levels, the ability for the Fusion to be at a lower level than one of its components occurred. For example, Shoutmon X4B (a fusion of Shoutmon X4 and Beelzebumon (2010 Anime Version)) is a Perfect level Digimon despite Beelzebumon being an Ultimate level.
(Dub: DNA Digivolution/Jogres)
|Fusion, a.k.a. Jogress[see below]
(Dub: DNA Digivolution/Fusion/DigiFuse)
|Two Digimon combine together to evolve into a new, stronger Digimon who is typically of a higher Evolution stage than either of the constituent Digimon.||Two Digimon combine together to evolve into a new, stronger Digimon of the same Evolution Stage as at least one of the constituent Digimon.||
One lead Digimon temporarily combines with one or more other Digimon ("DigiXros Units") to create a composite Digimon, where the other Digimon form equipment, new attributes and/or new body parts for the lead Digimon.
| × × |
|Two Adult Digimon, XV-mon and Stingmon, Jogress Evolve to become Paildramon, a Perfect Digimon.||Two Ultimate Digimon, War Greymon and Metal Garurumon, fuse to become Omegamon, a stronger Ultimate Digimon.||Three Digimon—Shoutmon, Ballistamon and Dorulumon—DigiXros to become Shoutmon X3. Ballistamon and Dorulumon form a large, powerful new body for Shoutmon.|
|Two Appmon combine together to evolve into a new Appmon of a higher Grade.|
| + |
|Two Standard Grade Appmon, Gatchmon and Navimon, AppGattai to become DoGatchmon, a Super Grade Appmon.|
Over the years, there has been conflicting information on what the difference between Jogress Evolution and fusion is, if any:
- A Monmon Memo!! column from 2018 distinguishes between Jogress Evolution and fusion based on whether or not the combined Digimon is of a higher Evolution Stage than the two constituent Digimon: if it is higher, it is Jogress Evolution. If the Stage does not change, it is fusion. (This definition is the basis for this Wikimon article.)
- A Digimon Profile issue from 2021 also distinguishes based on Evolution Stage effect, but it uses "Jogress" (without the "evolution" qualifier) as a generic term for all cases of Digimon fusing together. Under its definition, what Monmon Memo!! calls "fusion" (i.e. no change to Evolution Stage) is "Jogress," whereas cases where the Evolution Stage does increase are more specifically called "Jogress Evolution."
- It is not unheard of for this distinction to be ignored entirely and for the terms to be used interchangeably by different Digimon productions, especially in video games. For example, Omegamon is frequently referred to as the result of a Jogress Evolution. (However, in many of the video game instances, Omegamon is categorized as a "Super Ultimate" Digimon, which in those games is considered to be a higher level than Ultimate, so in those cases it meets the above definitions of Jogress Evolution.)
- There is often no distinction at all in English-localized media, especially media from the 1990s and 2000s, in which both cases are usually just called "DNA Digivolution;" this has become increasingly less frequent from the 2010s onward. Exceptions include Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (where some instances of the term "fusion" as they relate to Omegamon and Omegamon Zwart are, variously, left as just "fusion" in the Field Guide, and localized as "DigiFuse" in a cutscene where Shiramine Nokia's Omegamon is formed); and the English edition of Digimon Profile (where "fusion" is the generic term and "DNA Digivolution" is the term for cases where Evolution Stage increases).
The word "Jogress" (sometimes spelled in English as "Jogres") is a portmanteau of the English words "joint" 「ジョイント」 and "progress" 「プログレス」," as in the two Digimon who undergo this evolution can be described as getting stronger (progressing) together (jointly). Normally, when two Digimon Jogress, their Digicores are totally fused together into a single Digicore, causing the two to be reborn as a single, new Digimon. However, if the Digicores fail to completely fuse, such as with Chaosmon, the Jogress is considered to be incomplete, and the resulting Digimon is extremely unstable and has a very brief lifespan.
Both Jogress Evolutions and fusions generally only involve two Digimon, but there are some Digimon who are formed by the combination of more than two other Digimon, such as Ultimate Chaosmon and Omegamon: Merciful Mode. Jogressing and fusing are often portrayed as giving the consciousnesses of the constituent Digimon equal control of the new form, unlike DigiXrossing, where there is one clear leader who is controlling the new form.
The act of a Tamer undoing a Jogress and splitting the combined Digimon back into its constituent Digimon is called Partition (パーティション Pātishon). Similarly, the act of splitting up a DigiXrossed Digimon back into its constituents is called Xros Open (クロス・オーペン Kurosuōpen).
Unlike Digimon combining, AppGattai is virtually the only way to become a stronger Appmon. An Appmon Chip can be used instead of an active Appmon. It is possible for an AppGattai to fail and result in a weak Appmon (Sukashimon for AppGattai between Standard Grade Appmon, and Damedamon between Super Grade Appmon).
Mode Change (モードチェンジ Mōdochenji) is an evolution-like ability that is available to certain Digimon species which have multiple forms, or "Modes." When a Digimon undergoes a Mode Change, they transform into another mode of that species. This usually does not change their Evolution Stage, but there are some Modes that do (e.g. Lucemon).
Mode Changes generally do one of three things:
|A direct power-up that gives the Digimon brand-new abilities or equipment, or greater power.||A change between equipment that they already have. The Digimon can make this change at will.||A change of stance or body plan. The Digimon can make this change at will.|
|When Metal Greymon Mode Changes into Metal Greymon: Alterous Mode, it acquires the weapon Alterous and several new attack techniques.||Using its Extend Transmitter, Justimon can Mode Change between three arms with different powers: the Accel Arm, the Blitz Arm, and the Critical Arm.||The bipedal Duftmon can Mode Change into the quadrupedal Duftmon: Leopard Mode.|
Armor Evolution (アーマー進化 Āmā shinka; Dub: Armor Digivolution) is an ancient pseudo-evolutionary process in which a Digimon borrows the power of a Digimental, undergoing the fusion process of "Digimental Up" with that Digimental, to become an Armor Digimon. The technology of Digimentals was developed in ancient times, so that compatible Ancient Species Digimon could use Armor Evolution as a way to compensate for their limited evolution options and limited likelihood of ever evolving. This technology is now lost, and the ability to Armor Evolve is now mostly limited to compatible descendents of the Ancient Species Digimon using the few surviving Digimentals.
Armor Evolution is less of a strain on a Digimon than regular evolution, and borrowing the Digimental's power enables the Digimon to draw upon formidable power with greater ease; for this reason, Armor Evolution was viewed as dangerous in the ancient Digital World. Most Digimentals are known to be associated with an elemental attribute, this being the power that Digimon borrow from when using them, so Armor Digimon resulting from a given Digimental wield the corresponding element.
It is possible to evolve into Armor Digimon without using Digimentals.
|V-mon can evolve into many different Armor Digimon depending on which Digimental it uses.|
| + |
|If it uses the Digimental of Courage, it becomes Fladramon, a Fire-elemental Armor Digimon.||If it uses the Digimental of Miracles, it becomes Magnamon, a Metal-elemental Armor Digimon.||If it uses the Digimental of Hope, it becomes Sagittarimon, a Holy-elemental Armor Digimon.|
X-Antibody and Evolution
- Main article: X-Antibody
One side effect of the X-Antibody is its ability to induce special evolutions in Digimon. When the amount of X-Antibodies present in a Digimon's body reach high enough levels, they extract latent data from the Digimon's Digicore and use that to evolve the Digimon into a new form that expresses that latent data.
When the X-Antibody accesses and modifies a Digimon's Digicore, the Digimon evolves into a special X-Antibody variant of itself that expresses latent data that the X-Antibody has extracted from its Digicore.
|The X-Antibody causes Monzaemon to X-Evolve into Monzaemon (X-Antibody).||DORUmon can undergo Death-X-Evolution to become Death-X-DORUgamon.|
Other Types of Evolution
(Dub: Blast Digivolution)
(Dub: Dark Digivolution)
|The Digimon temporarily evolves into a powerful form that it is at the time otherwise unable to access—depending on the media, either a stronger/higher-leveled Digimon species, or an enhanced version of the same species.||
Due to a powerful negative or sinister influence, usually emotional in nature, a Digimon evolves into a Digimon that is destructive and uncontrollable.
|When a Digimon dies, it transforms into another Digimon (usually an Undead or Ghost Type).|
|In the Pendulum X 3.0, a Tiger Vespamon can Blast Evolve into Magnamon (X-Antibody) when the device's XAI is orange.||Feelings of anger and hatred cause Lopmon to undergo a Dark Evolution to Wendimon.||When a Togemon dies due to unforeseen circumstances, it will supposedly undergo Death Evolution into Ponchomon.|
(Dub: Slide Evolution)
|A Digimon who possesses unusual powers evolves into an uncontrollable and extremely destructive Digimon due to some provocation.||A Digimon evolves to another Digimon species of the same level. Unlike, Mode Change, which rewrites the data within a Digimon's DigiCore, Slide Evolution rewrites the DigiCore itself and turns the Digimon into a completely different Digimon.|
|In Digimon Adventure tri., fear for her own safety and/or the safety of Mochizuki Meiko triggers Meicoomon into mutating into Meicrackmon: Vicious Mode.||If a Metal Greymon (Vaccine) were to evolve to Were Garurumon, it would be Slide Evolution as Were Garurumon is a completely different Digimon. If it instead evolved to Metal Greymon: Alterous Mode, it would be Mode Change — as both Digimon are Metal Greymon.|
Digimon Adventure original continuity
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Adventure original continuity
In Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Adventure tri., and Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, the ability to evolve is mostly tied to both the strength of the bond between the Chosen Child and their Digimon, and to the maturity and psychological growth of the Chosen Children themselves.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Tamers
In Digimon Tamers, the source of all evolution is the Digi-Entelechy, or "light of evolution." The existence of the Digi-Entelechy is what enables Digimon to evolve.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Frontier
Digimon Frontier focuses on the use of the twenty Legendary Spirits to transform into Hybrid Digimon in a process called Spirit Evolution. Both human Chosen Children and ordinary Digimon are capable of Spirit Evolution.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Savers
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Xros Wars
The primary focus of Digimon Xros Wars is on its main gimmick of DigiXrossing, where humans use Xros Loaders to temporarily combine their Digimon allies. Meanwhile, evolution is described as a permanent growth into new forms that Digimon undergo as they age, which takes a very long time, but all of this time can be skipped over temporarily via Super Evolution.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Universe Appli Monsters
Digimon Universe Appli Monsters has its own version of Evolution Stages for Appmon, called Grades, but unlike other Digimon series, there is not quite any directly "evolving" a single Appmon into a single new form. Instead, all progression to higher Grades, at least initially, revolves around two compatible Appmon (or their Appmon Chips) undergoing AppGattai to combine together.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Adventure:
Evolution in Digimon Adventure: works similarly to how it does in the original Digimon Adventure. Unlike the original Adventure, Adventure: also explores the idea of multiple routes of evolution for partner Digimon.
- Main article: Evolution/Anime#Digimon Ghost Game
How evolution works in Digimon Ghost Game has not been explained yet, but appears to be related to a Vitals gauge readout on the human partner's Digivice-V- or Digivice-VV-. Ghost Game also explores the idea of multiple routes of evolutions for partner Digimon.
Evolution is one-way and cannot be undone. It isn't explained what causes evolution, however, as Digimon Project 2021 advertises the Vital Bracelet, and the Tamers in it utilize Vital Bracelets as their Digivices, it's likely they work under the same rules. Only Partner Digimon are shown evolving in the shorts.
Unlike the anime, no stock footage is used, and every evolution seems to happen in real-time, with the evolving Digimon still being capable of interacting with their environment and enemies while evolving. In every case, an evolution starts with a blue holographic ring with "EVOLUTION!" written in it coming from the Tamer's Vital Bracelet, which surrounds them. Afterwards, several different and inconsistent effects are seen, such as glowing eyes, a silhouette of the evolution appearing over the Digimon evolving then taking full form, bolts of electricity coming from the evolving Digimon, the Digimon becoming holographic, it being taken over by energy before changing into an incomplete evolved form with the missing parts of the evolution forming afterwards, or the same blue ring appearing on the evolving Digimon. Regardless, once the Digimon finishes evolving, it always shows the Digimon's name, attribute, level and type behind it, using dub terminology, except in the first episode. As the shorts are not voiced, no Digimon calls their evolutions.
|Types of Evolution in Digimon Project 2021|
|A Baby II Digimon evolves into a Child Digimon, or a Child Digimon evolves into an Adult Digimon.||
Pulsemon → Bulkmon
|Digimon Project 2021: "NEW DIGITAL MONSTER BEGINS"|
|An Adult Digimon evolves into a Perfect Digimon.||
Greymon → Rize Greymon
|Digimon Project 2021: "BE STRONG WITH YOU"|
Evolution is referred to by the dub term "Digivolution". It hasn't been explained yet what triggers an evolution, as every evolution so far happened mostly off-screen, with only the results shown.
As C'mon Digimon is heavily based on the original V-Pet, evolution works in the same way as in it, although it is only mentioned in passing as no normal evolutions are seen during the course of the one-shot. Abe Makoto is shown to be training his Greymon, Hard Armor III, to evolve into the hidden character, Metal Greymon, though his Digimon is killed and his dock is destroyed by Jousaki Shinichirou and his Deathmon before that can happen. Kamon Kentarou's Bun is unable to evolve into the Adult level in spite of training and the passing of time, which Shinichirou realizes is because it's a "damemon," a Digimon born every thousand or so that can't evolve no matter what.
Shinichirou's Deathmon is able to take the form of the Digimon whose data was loaded onto it, taking the form of Death Airdramon, Death Devimon, Death Tyranomon, Death Metal Greymon (its strongest form, born from the data of Makoto's Greymon) and finally Death Meramon during its fight against Bun.
In Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01, evolution follows similar rules to the virtual pets. Evolution is typically one-way and for the most part permanent, although it can be undone if the Digimon is heavily wounded; some Digimon can suppress the power of their evolved form and exist in a lower-level form. There is no way for Tamers to trigger their partner to evolve by conventional means at will.
Jogress Evolution can also be performed at will by Tamers who have Digivices 01, namely Saiba Neo and Fujimoto Hideto; Jogressing the Tamer's already-Jogressed Digimon with a third, separate Digimon is called Triple Jogress 「トリプルジョグレス」. They are also able to perform Partitions at will to undo Jogresses, so Jogressing is not one-way or permanent. If a Digimon has taken damage, Jogressing has the side effect of fully restoring the Digimon's HP upon completion, but conversely, Partitioning drains its HP. Neo and Hideto both exploit the former side effect in a tactic that they call "Infinite Jogress" 「無限ジョグレス」: repeatedly Partitioning and re-Jogressing to keep the Jogressed Digimon's HP up and outlast their opponents. A vulnerability of Jogressing is that the Jogressed Digimon will always form right in the middle between the two constituent Digimon, so its location can be predicted and, with precision timing, attacked while still vunerable; Yagami Taichi uses this vulnerability, combined with the HP-draining effect of Partitioning, to break Neo's Infinite Jogress tactic.
- Zeromaru, the partner of Yagami Taichi, was born as a Botamon and later evolved into Koromon, Agumon, and V-dramon. As the series progresses, Zeromaru evolves twice more into Aero V-dramon and Ulforce V-dramon, and stays evolved. He also uses the Digimental to Mode Change into Ulforce V-dramon Future Mode.
- Three Agumon from Holy Angel Castle evolve off-screen into Centalmon, Meramon, and Greymon.
- Gon the Gomamon evolves into Ikkakumon after succeeding Whamon as protector of the Net Ocean.
- Lord Holy Angemon is able to assume the evolved form of Seraphimon at will. He usually seals away his ability to evolve to the Ultimate level, as the power that the form radiates is disruptive to others around him. However, after being defeated by Arkadimon Adult, his reduced Winning Percentage means that he is unable to become Seraphimon again, and he instead evolves into Dominimon.
- As the series progresses, Leo the Leomon evolves into Panjyamon and Regulumon.
- Before the hatching of Arkadimon, Neo frequently uses random Digimon that he Jogresses together, and heavily exploits his Infinite Jogress tactic. Digimon that he has Jogressed include:
- Hideto regularly Jogresses his two partners Warg and Melga to form Omegamon. Like Neo, he also exploits the Infinite Jogress tactic.
- Throughout the series, Arkadimon evolves into each of its forms, from Baby II all the way to Ultimate, by consuming the data of other Digimon. After Arkadimon is defeated in its Ultimate form by Zeromaru, Saiba Neo uses the Digimental to evolve it further into Arkadimon Super Ultimate.
- Demon evolves into Demon Super Ultimate by consuming Arkadimon Super Ultimate's data from within.
During the crossover chapters with Digimon Adventure 02 (Double Tamer) and Digimon Frontier (Frontier Generation), V-mon and Kanbara Takuya can evolve at will with the same rules and methods (Armor Evolution and Spirit Evolution, respectively) of their own series. The former also shows the ability to remove his armour as Fladramon, devolving to V-mon while leaving the armour behind.
Despite happening in the same continuity as V-Tamer 01, evolution in New Courage is now fully controllable and Zeromaru can go between his Adult and Perfect forms at will, utilizing the former as his base form and the latter to fight. As he explains, whether due to the polyhedron's influence or being rusty after not fighting for so long, he's incapable of becoming Ulforce V-dramon in spite of that being his base form at the end of V-Tamer. Agumon, coming from Digimon Adventure:, works in the same way as he does there, with his Yagami Taichi being able to evolve him into Greymon at will.
During the last fight against the polyhedron, the power of Courage of both V-Tamer and Adventure:'s Yagami Taichi synchronized, creating a massive Crest of Courage in the sky, which Warp Evolved Zeromaru and Agumon into Ulforce V-dramon Future Mode and an incomplete War Greymon, respectively. The forms were lost after the battle, and at the very least, the latter was incapable of evolving into that form normally afterwards.
During his fight against Kuga Yuuya and Black, Taiga Warp Evolves his Agumon into War Greymon. While no other evolutions are shown in the manga, Rindou Akiho was fully aware of Agumon's ability to evolve at will before she saw it, as previous to the fight with Black, her Digitorin fought with Agumon and she pointed out that it'd be sad if their fight ended before Agumon could evolve, also implying her own partner is capable of evolving at will as well. As such, evolution seems to work similarly to the anime, where the Tamer can induce it at will and it isn't permanent, with War Greymon going back to Agumon after the fight.
During the fight against the Demons Hackers in their secret base, Aiba Takumi evolves his three Digimon: Terriermon, Hagurumon and Palmon, into their Adult forms: Galgomon, Guardromon and Togemon, all at once. Takumi is shown to be able to execute the evolution at will, but no other details are given of how evolution works in the manga.
In Digimon Dreamers, evolution follows similar rules to the virtual pets. Evolution is one-way and permanent. There is no way for Tamers to trigger their partner to evolve at will, although their bond with their Partner Digimon helps to give their Digimon the necessary energy.
Pulsemon's main goal is to evolve, which motivates him both both train hard and to partner up with Kodou Ritsu. However, his hometown, Asunaro Village, was inflicted with a curse of unknown origin that supposedly stops the Digimon born there from evolving. A side effect of the curse is that those afflicted experience a phenomenon called Localized Evolution 「部分進化」: a form of evolution that appears to only affects random body parts at a time. Bokomon notes that Localized Evolution is actually a symptom that a Digimon—in his case, Pulsemon—has indeed gained sufficient energy to evolve through his bond with Ritsu, and that the energy is trying to break through the Asunaro Village curse to fully evolve the Digimon.
Pulsemon experiences Localized Evolution for the first time in his fight with Orgemon, only his head evolves into that of Bulkmon at first while the rest of his body remains that of Pulsemon, and then random parts of his body continue to spontaneously evolve into those of Bulkmon while previously-evolved ones devolve back into Pulsemon's. Ritsu and Pulsemon manage to briefly evolve Pulsemon into a complete Bulkmon to finish Orgemon off, although it does not last and he reverts to Pulsemon immediately. Going forward, Pulsemon continues to only be capable of Localized Evolution, although he manages to make resourceful use of it in battle.
Dr. Vademon takes an interest in Localized Evolution for the benefit of his research into Super Chimairamon, under the belief that it is a natural ability that can be controlled at will, so Espimon attempts to capture Pulsemon to sell that information to the doctor. However, once he sees it in action and gets an explanation from Pulsemon and Ritsu, he dismisses it as useless for Dr. Vademon's purposes due to its origin from the curse. He advises Ritsu and Pulsemon to travel to Witchelny to learn more about the curse.
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digital Monster Ver. S
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digital Monster Ver. WonderSwan
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World: Digital Card Battle
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World 2
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Adventure 02: Tag Tamers
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Adventure 02: D1 Tamers
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World: Digital Card Arena
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Tamers: Battle Evolution
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World 3
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon RPG
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Battle Spirit: Digimon Frontier
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Battle Chronicle
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Racing
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World X
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Story
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Savers: Another Mission
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Masters
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Story: Lost Evolution
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon World Re:Digitize & Decode
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Adventure
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon All-Star Rumble
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Universe Appli Monsters
- Main article: Evolution/Video Games#Digimon Survive
The concept of Digimon evolution was introduced in the original Digital Monster virtual pet series. All Digimon undergo evolution through up to five Evolution Stages, ending in Perfect. What a Digimon evolves into, and whether it is able to evolve, depends on several different criteria based on Evolution Stage:
- Baby I to Baby II: Automatically occurs after approximately 60 minutes of real time have passed since the Baby I Digimon hatched.
- Baby II to Child: Each Baby II Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Child Digimon depending on how many care mistakes have been made in raising it. Evolving into Child generally occurs within 20 and 44 hours after the Baby II Digimon has evolved from Baby I.
- Child to Adult: Each Child Digimon can evolve into one of four Adult Digimon, depending on four factors: number of care mistakes made, how many times it have been given training, how often it has been overfed, and how many times its sleep has been interrupted. If the Child Digimon has sustained 20+ care mistakes or injuries, it will not evolve into Adult. Evolving into Adult generally occurs within 20 and 44 hours after the Child Digimon has evolved from Baby II. All models of the Digital Monster feature one "dud" Adult Digimon that is evolved into when the Digimon does not meet the criteria of the other Adult evolution options (respectively: Numemon, Vegimon, Scumon, Nanimon, and Raremon).
- Adult to Perfect: All Adult Digimon are bound by the same requirements to evolve to Perfect: having fought a minimum of 15 battles, with a minimum win ratio of 80%. Each Adult can only evolve into one particular Perfect. Evolving into Perfect is not guaranteed; if it does occur, it generally occurs within 44 and 124 hours after the Adult Digimon has evolved from Child.
Unlike later virtual pets and other Digimon products, the Digimon that can be evolved into are generally rather random and have no real link to each other (similarities in species or element, etc.)
The Digimon Pendulum virtual pet series introduces three important new evolution concepts, all of which became standard for both subsequent virtual pets and the franchise as a whole: the Ultimate Evolution Stage, Jogress Evolution, and Fields. Each version of the Digimon Pendulum is themed around one Field, so almost all featured Digimon within each have some elemental or species trait in common. Evolution requirements are otherwise similar to those of the Digital Monster series.
- Baby I to Baby II: Automatically occurs after approximately 60 minutes of real time have passed since the Baby I Digimon hatched.
- Baby II to Child: Each Baby II Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Child Digimon depending on how many care mistakes have been made in raising it. Evolving into Child generally occurs within 6 and 12 hours after the Baby II Digimon has evolved from Baby I.
- Child to Adult: Each Child Digimon can evolve into one of several Adult Digimon, depending on two factors: number of care mistakes made, and how many times it have been given training. If the Child Digimon has sustained 20+ care mistakes, illnesses or injuries, it will not evolve into Adult. Evolving into Adult generally occurs within 20 and 32 hours after the Child Digimon has evolved from Baby II.
- Adult to Perfect: Adult Digimon become able to evolve into one particular Perfect Digimon if they meet a minimum set of criteria: minimum win ratio of 40%, particpating in a minimum number of battles, being given training a minimum number of times, and making as few care mistakes as possible. Higher win ratios improve the odds of being able to evolve to Perfect. Evolving to Perfect is not guaranteed; if it does occur, it generally occurs within 60 and 76 hours after the Adult Digimon has evolved from Child.
Alternatively, Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Perfect Digimon.
- Perfect to Ultimate: Certain Perfect Digimon become able to evolve into Ultimate Digimon if they meet a minimum set of criteria: minimum win ratio of 60%, and no care mistakes have been made. Evolving to Ultimate is not guaranteed; if it does occur, it generally occurs within 68 and 86 hours after the Perfect Digimon has evolved from Adult.
Alternatively, Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Ultimate Digimon.
In the Digimon Pendulum, Jogress Evolution works based on the participating Digimon's attributes. Jogressing together two Digimon of a particular combination of attributes will result in each participating Digimon evolving into an appropriate Digimon from their respective virtual pet's roster. The actual identity of the particpating Digimon generally does not matter, with one exception: Jogressing War Greymon and Metal Garurumon in the Digimon Pendulum ZERO will form Omegamon.
The Digimon Pendulum Progress introduces time of day as a determiner of what a Digimon will evolve into: training the Digimon in morning, mid-day or evening results in different evolutions. Evolution lines are much freer, and excluding cases where Jogress Evolution is required, any Digimon on the device can evolve into any other Digimon of the next Evolution Stage as long as it meets the evolution criteria.
- Baby I to Baby II: Automatically occurs after approximately 60 minutes of real time have passed since the Baby I Digimon hatched.
- Baby II to Child: Each Baby II Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Child Digimon depending on what time of day it is trained in.
- Child to Adult: Each Child Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Adult Digimon, depending on two factors: what time of day it is trained in, and how many care mistakes have been made in raising it.
- Adult to Perfect: Each Adult Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Perfect Digimon (excluding Jogress exclusives), depending on three factors: what time of day it is trained in, how many care mistakes have been made in raising it, and how many battles it has participated in.
Alternatively, Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Perfect Digimon.
- Perfect to Ultimate: Each Perfect Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Ultimate Digimon (excluding Jogress exclusives) if it meets their respective combinations of these minimum requirements: what time of day it is trained in, how many care mistakes have been made in raising it, how many times its sleep has been disturbed, how many battles it has won, and its battle win ratio.
Alternatively, Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Perfect Digimon.
The rules of Jogress Evolution are somewhat different from the Digimon Pendulum. This time, players are required to Jogress together specific species of Digimon to get a particular Digimon, rather than accepting any Digimon of a given attribute. Many of the Digimon required come not only from other models of Pendulum Progress, but even from the D-Scanner. Also, some Digimon who are obtainable through Jogressing can also be evolved into by non-Jogress ways.
The Digimon Accel series features the DNA mechanic: collectible points that represent eight Digimon species archetypes that the player feeds to their Digimon to direct its evolution. From the Child stage onwards, the majority of evolution options require specific combinations of DNA types and quantities of points to be fed to evolve into that form. (The only exceptions are one "dud" evolution option per Evolution Stage per version, which are evolved into when the requirements for other Digimon are not met.) Feeding DNA costs 5 DP per DNA point consumed.
Aside from the evolution from Baby I to Baby II, the passing of real time is no longer a factor in a Digimon's ability to evolve.
- Baby II to Child: Each Baby II Digimon can evolve into any of the device's Child Digimon depending on the DNA that has been fed to it.
- Child to Adult: Each Child Digimon can evolve into one of several Adult Digimon, depending on the DNA that has been fed to it. The amounts of DNA required to evolve into each Adult differ between Children.
- Adult to Perfect: Each Adult Digimon can evolve into one of several Perfect Digimon, depending on the DNA that has been fed to it. The amounts of DNA required to evolve into each Perfect differs between Adults. An estimated minimum win ratio of 50% is required to evolve to Perfect.
Alternatively, certain Adult Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Perfect Digimon.
- Perfect to Ultimate: Each Perfect Digimon can evolve into one of several Ultimate Digimon, depending on the DNA that has been fed to it. The amounts of DNA required to evolve into each Ultimate differs between Perfects. Depending on the Ultimate Digimon, a minimum win ratio of between 60% and 80% is required to evolve to Ultimate.
There are also several special ways of evolving to Ultimate:
- Certain Perfect Digimon may undergo Jogress Evolution to evolve into certain Ultimate Digimon.
- In the Justice Genome, Evil Genome, and Nature Genome versions, playing multiplayer battles with Digimon Pendulum X devices adds points to the Accel's X-Antibody gauge. When this gauge reaches 20 points, any Digimon from the Child to Ultimate levels evolves into a Royal Knight X-Antibody Digimon. Each of these three versions has a different Digimon. This feature is absent from the Ultimate Genome version, which instead uses connectivity with the Digimon Mini to unlock the DORUmon family.
- In the Ultimate Genome version, there are four collectible items which, when used, trigger evolution into exclusive Ultimate Digimon.
The Digimon Accel also features the Blast Mode mechanic. When the player's Digimon is Perfect or Ultimate, if the player scores within a specific range on the RPM gauge before a battle, their Digimon will undergo Blast Evolution into a "Blast Mode" version of themself, signified by a changed appearance in their sprites. This consumes 30 DP each time. Being in Blast Mode doubles the Digimon's attack power and replaces their Hyper Hit attack with a One-Hit KO attack.
- Main article: Digital Monster Card Game#Evolution Phase
In the Digital Monster Card Game, every Digimon card of Level IV (Adult) or higher lists a specific set of Evolution Requirements that includes the Digimon (usually 2-3) that it can be evolved from, and the required costs ("Evolution Requirements") to evolve each Digimon into the new card. Once every turn, players have an opportunity to evolve their current Digimon. This is done in their turn's Preparation Phase by playing the Digimon card to be evolved into their Evolution Box, face-down, and then playing all of the stated costs for that card in the Evolution Requirements Box.
The types of Evolution Requirements that are asked for depend on the card's level.
- Level IV: For each Digimon to evolve from, the card will typically list a combination of ● ("Regular Growth," played oriented horizontally) and × ("Irregular Growth," played oriented vertically). This means that, for the total number of symbols listed, you draw that many cards from your Net Ocean and, without looking at their faces, play them face-down in the Evolution Requirements box in the right combination.
- Perfect and Ultimate: These cards typically have one of two Evolution Requirements:
- A "Winning Percentage!" Option Card. There are three "Winning Percentage!" types - 40%, 60%, and 80% - and, as stated in these cards' Effects, the type listed by the card is the minimum winning percentage that can be used. That is, you can use a "Winning Percentage: 80%" card to evolve into a Digimon whose Evolution Requirement asks for "Winning Percentage: 40%!" or "Winning Percentage: 60%!" The effects also require the user to send one card from their hand to the Dark Area (discard it) after evolution is completed.
- Jogress Evolution. The card will list several pairs of Digimon who can be Jogressed into the card, and in each case, either one of those Digimon must currently in the Digimon box, while the other is played in the Evolution Requirements Box.
On occasion, Evolution Requirements will mandate that a given Digimon card can only be evolved from a Digimon card that belongs to a specific Field, Attribute, or Level. For example, Starter Ver. 6 mostly features Digimon cards that belong to the Virus Busters Field, and many of these require that they be evolved specifically from Digimon cards that also belong to the Virus Busters field, instead of any other field.
There are Option cards that can circumvent standard Evolution Requirements, such as "Aim for the Strongest Evolution!" (St-56), which can be used instead of all other Evolution Requirements to evolve a Digimon. However, some Digimon cards have a special ability that prevents ignoring Evolution Requirements like this.
Some cards have Appearance Requirements or Fusion Requirements, instead of Evolution Requirements. Fusion Requirements work similarly to some Evolution Requirements and ask for specific Option Cards, such as cards that feature Digimentals or Legendary Spirits, to fuse with the player's current Digimon. Appearance Requirements have unique effects that sometimes do not require a specific current Digimon at all.
In the Digimon Card Game, evolution is determined by card color. Any Digimon of a given color can evolve into any other Digimon of a higher Evolution Stage that shares its color. Certain cards, such as BT3-027 Paildramon, also allow for evolution from another color in addition to the card's own color, increasing the amount of Digimon that can evolve into them. Furthermore, some Digimon can evolve from Digimon of the same level (for example, BT5-029 Were Garurumon: Sagittarius Mode can evolve from a Level 5 Digimon like itself). Some cards also have specific evolution clauses, allowing them to evolve from the Digimon they specify (be it specific species or those that follow a certain criteria) even if they don't fit the colour requirements for the card.
While Digimon can be played from the hand regardless of their level, evolving them properly gives some benefits over just playing a card from the hand:
- Evolving a Digimon has significantly lower Memory cost than directly playing it. The cost is even lower if evolving from a Digimon of the same level, whenever possible.
- Upon evolving a Digimon, the player that evolved must draw a card, increasing their options. This can be done as many times in a turn as the player's Memory, deck and hand allow.
- Many Digimon cards also have an Evolution Base Effect, which is a special effect that the card passes on to any Digimon cards that subsequently evolve from it, so as a Digimon evolves, they can acquire more Evolution Base Effects.
Digimon cards can normally only evolve from other Digimon cards. However, cards that depict characters from Digimon Frontier allow Tamer cards to evolve into Digimon as well. Some Hybrid Digimon (such as BT4-011 Agnimon) have effects that treat Tamer cards as Level 3 Digimon cards. Some Tamer cards that feature the Chosen Children of Frontier even have their own effects that allow them to evolve into specific Hybrid Digimon, such as BT7-085 Kanbara Takuya, whose effect lets it evolve into Kaiser Greymon by treating itself as a Level 5 Digimon card in the process.
ST-9 and ST-10 introduce Jogress Evolution to the game. Digimon who possess the Jogress Evolution keyword (such as ST10-06 Mastemon) can be evolved in one of two ways, either through the normal evolution method, or by stacking cards that fit specific requirements (in ST10-06 Mastemon's case, a Yellow Level 5 Digimon and a Purple Level 5 Digimon), and then stacking the Jogress Evolved card itself on top of them, for no Memory cost. Digimon may have extra effects that trigger if Jogress Evolved, making it more valuable as an evolution method despite the cost of using two Digimon cards instead of one.
BT-10 introduces DigiXros to the game. Digimon who possess the DigiXros keyword can have their Memory cost lowered by adding the Digimon they specify into their Evolution Base from the player's hand or field, by an amount specified in the clause itself. The DigiXros keyword isn't locked to Digimon born from DigiXros in other media, and the Digimon they require may not be consistent with the DigiXros Units of other media, either. Much like in the Digimon Xros Wars anime and manga, however, this is not considered an evolution.
BT-13 introduces Burst Evolution to the game. Only Burst Mode Digimon, all of which were Partner Digimon in Digimon Savers, have the keyword, and it allows them to evolve from their non-Burst Mode forms at no cost by returning their specific Tamer from Savers to the hand. However, the Burst Mode must be trashed at the end of the turn, returning to its previous stage.
ST-15 and ST-16 introduce Blast Evolution to the game. So far, Blast Evolution has only been given to ACE Digimon. Blast Evolution allows the Digimon to evolve without paying a cost. Every Blast Evolution keyword comes paired with the Counter keyword, thus Blast Evolution can only be triggered during the opponent's turn.