Each Digimon game has a slightly different way for the titular creatures to evolve, so even veterans of the universe will have to adapt to Digimon Survive’s new system. This game’s emphasis on player choice not only affects the story, but also the evolution of Digimon. To fully explain the evolution system, one must also explain the Karma and Affinity systems.
Karma and affinity
Karma and Affinity are how the game tracks player choices. Karma tracks how the player likes to handle situations. There are three branches of karma: anger, harmony and morality. When scenarios arise that impact your Karma, the choice will have three options which are color coded; Wrathful is yellow. Morality is red. Harmony is green. Choosing one of them over the other will increase that branch’s score by one and have small effects on the game’s story. Affinity tracks who the player hangs out with and how much that person enjoyed that moment. It is not enough to simply spend a certain number of actions with a specific person; they can easily get frustrated with you instead. However, if Kaito, for example, found spending time with you comforting, your affinity score with him would increase.
Evolution of the main Digimon cast
Survive separates Digimon into two types: Digimon that appear in the main story and Free Digimon, which are Digimon that join your party from Random Battles or Side Events. These distinct types of Digimon evolve in different ways. Digimon story progressions are affected by Karma and Affinity as well as the player’s progress through the story.
Agumon is the player’s partner. Its evolutionary line is affected by story progression and Karma. Agumon has three evolutionary lines that he can evolve downward. My Harmony score has always been the highest of my Karma branches, so my Agumon evolved into Champion Tyrannomon form and then Ultimate Triceramon form. Players with higher Morale and Anger scores will see their Agumon evolve into different forms than mine.
Other Digimon Partner
Digimon main cast evolutions are affected by affinity instead of karma. Agumon will have access to one level of evolution, and then that level of evolution will become available to the rest of the cast shortly thereafter. Affinity scores only come into play at the ultimate level of evolution. The Digimon Core Cast requires an Affinity Score of 30 before they can access their Ultimate Evolution. Once this score is reached, an area called Deep Woods will open up on the map. Going into the deep woods during an explore phase will show a cutscene of a pair of partners being attacked. The Digimon will evolve to a new level and a battle will begin with this new form. Later evolved forms have much more specific factors to access, such as a much higher Affinity Score requirement, choices made in the story, and possible New Game+ races.
Unlike Partner Digimon, Free Digimon are much easier to level up. They only need one item, Illumination Stones. These stones are given to the player during story progression, found while exploring, received by talking to enemies during battle, or as rewards for evolving the main Digimon cast. There are levels of Enlightenment Stones that correspond to the level of evolutionary line they unlock. As long as you have the correct level for the Digimon you want to evolve, you can go ahead and evolve them. To evolve a free Digimon, go to the Stats page from the pause menu. Choose the Digimon you want to evolve and go to its Evolution tab. From this tab, you can see what morphs are available along with their stats and resistances. Choose the evolution you want and the game will ask you if you want to spend an enlightenment stone to evolve them. Click yes and they will evolve. And that’s how the main cast partner Digimon is evolved as well as the free Digimon found in Digimon Survive. For more Digimon Survive guides, keep an eye on the game’s tips page.