Abstract This paper proposes a new multi-objective optimization design method based on PCRC (Poor-Competition-Rich-Cooperation) evolutionary game model where the design goals are seen as game players. All game players automatically adjust behavior mode according to evolution rules of PCRC game model. By calculating the impact factors of design variables to objective functions and fuzzy clustering, the design variables are divided into strategy space of game players. Besides, this paper presents the solution of PCRC evolutionary game method including behavior mode of game players and solution steps. Finally, the effectiveness of this method is verified by solving multi-objective optimization problems of helical gear transmission.