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In a move that nobody could have predicted, Game Freak decided to give Primeape an all-new evolution in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, adding a third stage to a Pokémon that’s been two-stage for over 25 years. Evolving Primeape isn’t particularly difficult, but it is tedious and knowing how to evolve it in the first place is half the challenge. Thankfully, we’ve figured it all out so you don’t have to.

Getting a Primeape

There are two main ways to get hold of a Primeape: you can either catch a Mankey and evolve it, or you can try to catch a wild Primeape that’s ready to go.

Wild Mankey are fairly common along the west coast of Paldea, as well as to the southeast of Mesagoza, the region’s primary hub city. Primeape on the other hand is found just northwest of the Great Crater, and also in a small patch to the far northeast of the region called Tagtree Thicket. Raising a Primeape from a Mankey is probably the easiest method, as you’ll likely to be able to encounter them very early in the game, but players who want to switch to a Primeape later in their journey will probably want to scoop one up pre-evolved in the higher-levelled areas to the north.


Mankey also has a much higher catch rate than Primeape, but players who opt to pick up a Primeape later will have access to better Poke Balls anyway, so catching either shouldn’t come as much of a challenge. If you’re going the Mankey route, it’ll evolve into Primeape at level 28, which isn’t too far from what comes next.


Primeape evolution method

Primeape has one of the more-involved evolution methods in the game, requiring players to not only level up the Pokémon and teach it a move, but also use that move multiple times. Primeape learns its new signature move at level 35, so that’s the level to aim for if you’re looking to evolve one.

Players can earn experience to level up their Pokémon in a number of ways, including battling and catching Pokémon, but the quickest way to gain experience is either through raids, or through Let’s Go mode. Raids reward experience candy which can be used to quickly level up a Pokémon, while Let’s Go mode can offer roughly the same amount of experience as a normal battle, but you can run through 5-10 Pokémon in the same time you’d spend on a single battle.

Pokémon in Let’s Go mode get damage boosts depending on their types, not their moves, and thankfully Primeape is a Fighting-type Pokémon, making it strong against Rock, Steel, Dark, and Normal-type Pokémon, the latter of which is one of the most common types in the game. If you can manage to find a Pokémon Outbreak featuring one of these types, using Let’s Go mode to defeat them quickly should be the fastest way to earn experience.

Learning and using Rage Fist


When Primeape reaches level 35, it will try to learn Rage Fist. Don’t worry if you’ve dismissed the learning prompt, you can always open up the Pokémon’s status page and relearn it from the moves menu.

Once you have Rage Fist, you’ll need to use the move a total of 20 times. The game keeps track of this internally, but it’s easy to keep track of it yourself — Rage Fist has 10 PP, so exhaust your PP on the move twice and you’ll be there. The easiest way to get through this tedious process is to travel to an area with low-level Pokémon and spam the move on those. Just keep in mind that it won’t work on Normal-type Pokémon.


Once your Primeape has used Rage Fist 20 times, it will evolve into the incredibly spooky-looking (and sounding) Annihilape, an incredibly powerful Ghost/Fighting-type Pokémon.