Pikachu

How can your pets loving you ever be a bad thing? Well, in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, it can very easily ruin your strategies.

In the Pokémon games, there is a statistic that's often called "friendship" or "affection", which can affect a few different mechanics in the game. It tells the player how close that Pokémon is to them, and it can be raised through things like levelling up that Pokémon, catching it in a Luxury Ball, or letting it hold a Soothe Bell. Certain Pokémon, like Sylveon, will only evolve once the Pokémon has high enough friendship/affection.

You can check your friendship levels in the Pokétch
You can check your friendship levels in the Pokétch (Image: IGN)

If you've ever had your Pokémon say something like "[NAME] toughed it out so you wouldn't feel sad!" or they'll miraculously cure themselves of a status affliction or land a critical hit to make you happy, that's proof that your Pokémon has high affection. It's an important mechanic that can sometimes turn the tide of a battle.

But it's also potentially really annoying, and it seems like Pokémon BDSP has turned it up to max. There are plenty of Abilities that Pokémon can have that really depend on them not shaking off the damage to please you.

Guts, for example, increases a Pokémon's attack by 50% when it has a status effect, like Burned or Paralysed; Marvel Scale does the same thing, but for defense. Destiny Bond, a move which ensures that the opposing Pokémon will faint if your Pokémon is K.O.ed, won't work if your Pokémon keeps toughing it out. It's like a toddler that draws a crayon portrait of you on the wall as a gesture of love. The sentiment is appreciated, but not welcomed.

Over on Reddit, people have been complaining about how BDSP's affection rates (and the inability to turn off the mechanic) have been completely messing up their strategies.

"I have a poison heal Gliscor with toxic orb... it cures itself at the end of the turn and instantly gets poisoned again, so you don't get to heal... I had it happen 6 times against Cynthia in the last rematch, lost my Gliscor thanks to that."
- blackmrbean

Others are just irritated at seeing the same dialogue in battle over and over again, whether it's a cute little Combee or an objectively terrifying Machamp:

"Please please please give us an option to toggle it off. Not just because it dilutes battling, but because it tries to assume all Pokémon are the same with identical personalities. They all share the same lines in battle (and all acted relatively the same in Amie/camp.) I do not want my Drapion or my Magnezone telling me it wants to be petted in battle, sorry."
- SageAir13

But on the other side of things, more casual and less strategically-minded players are enjoying the boost that affection gives them in battle. After all, it makes the game a little easier, and Diamond and Pearl are known for some really tricky trainer fights.

Also... it's just quite nice to have your little fight-pets love you so unconditionally, no?

But now, we turn to you to ask: Has the affection rate in Pokémon BDSP been bothering you? Do you find yourself force-feeding your poor Pokémon bitter herbs to make them love you less? Has your tried-and-true battle strategy been affected by affection?

How do you feel about BDSP's affection system?

And, of course, tell us in the comments if you've experienced any other annoying issues in BDSP!