Niantic announced that they will be temporarily disabling all Gyms in order to enable an update that will add Raid Battles to Pokémon GO. The Raid Battle feature will be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks. It will start as a beta that will only be visible to a subset of players. Later, Niantic will enable more players to participate in Raid Battles at Gyms around the world.
All around the world, you’ll soon be able to participate in the new Raid Battle feature at Gyms. A Raid Battle is a cooperative gameplay experience that encourages you to work with other Trainers to defeat an extremely powerful Pokémon known as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle begins, a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed.
Players will need a Raid Pass before they can battle the Raid Boss. Players can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym. You can only hold one Raid Pass at a time. It will be possible to buy Premium Raid Passes form the in-game shop.
A Raid Battle can include yourself and up to 20 other Trainers who work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have a chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon of your own.
There will be Gym Badges that players can earn by interacting with the many Gyms around the world. The Gym Badges reflect your contribution to a Gym’s success. Players can level up their Badges by giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym. The Berries help increase a Pokémon’s motivation (and help it stay in the Gym for a longer period of time.)
Players can also level their Gym Badges by spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc. This means that players can get items from Gyms the same way they currently get items from PokéStops.
Pokémon GO has announced several fun events that players can participate in. One is a limited-time event focused on specific types of Pokémon. The rest are events that will take place at specific locations around the world.
The Solstice Event will begin on June 13, 2017. It is an in-game event that features both Fire-type Pokémon and Ice-type Pokémon. Players who participate will get “huge XP bonuses” for throwing Poké Balls accurately. Lucky Eggs will be discounted in the in-game shop.
Pokémon GO is also hosting some real-world events. A Pokémon GO Fest will take place in Chicago, Illinois, on July 22, 2017. It is the real-world event for players in North America. Those who want to know when tickets for this event will go on sale can enter their email onto the Pokémon GO Fest website. More information about the fest will be released on that website on June 19, 2017.
Players in Europe can look forward to Pokémon GO celebrations hosted across the continent in June through September of 2017. The events are a partnership between Pokémon GO and Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers. Pokémon GO intends to release more information about these events “soon.”
In Japan, the Pokémon Company is organizing a “Pikachu Outbreak”. It will take place in Yokohama, Japan, in August of 2017, where they are “exploring a unique Pokémon GO experience.”
Niantic announced a new, very short, event that started this afternoon. The event doesn’t appear to have an official name, but the announcement uses the phrase “Worldwide bloom”. This is the first Pokémon GO event that does not immediately appear to be connected to a real world holiday.
The Worldwide bloom event includes “an influx of Grass-type Pokémon”. There are no specifically named examples, but the image that goes with this announcement shows a Bulbasaur. Players will just have to go outside and see what Pokémon appear. The event ends on May 8, 2017.
In the past, the events in Pokémon GO came with a lot of extras. In addition to there being an increased chance for players to encounter certain types of Pokémon, there were chances of having something good hatch from eggs. Some events gave players extra Candy, and others made the Lures on PokéStops last longer than they usually do.
This event, which is shorter than most Pokémon GO events, doesn’t offer any of that. It does appear to offer the opportunity to catch lots of Bulbasaurs, one of the most adorable Pokémon in the game. That’s good enough for me to go outside and play Pokémon GO. Maybe Niantic is going to start giving players random weekends dedicated to specific types of Pokémon.
Niantic announced that the Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza has started. It began today, April 13, at 1:00 PM PDT. The event will last through April 20, 2017. The announcement doesn’t specifically mention Easter, but the egg reference makes me think that this is Pokémon GO’s Easter holiday event.
During the Eggstravaganza, a greater variety of Pokémon can be found in 2km Eggs. Those are the Eggs that require the fewest kilometers of walking in order to make them hatch. It seems to me that the 5km Eggs, and the 10km Egg tend to hatch more interesting Pokémon than the 2Km Eggs do, so more variety on the 2km eggs will be fun.
I just put a 10km egg into my only Incubator yesterday, so it is going to take some work for me to get that one to hatch so I can put a 2k Egg into the Incubator. If only I had waited! The Eggstravaganza doesn’t change the variety of Pokémon that hatch from the 5km or 10km eggs.
Players will earn more Candy during the Eggstravaganza, and will level up even faster with double XP. Niantic suggests that players use a Lucky Egg (which gives players double XP for 30 minutes) during the Eggstravaganza – to maximize their XP. If you don’t happen to have a Lucky Egg, Niantic says you can purchase one in the in-game shop for 50% off during the Eggstravaganza.
Players are asked to share the Pokémon that they hatch on social media, using #PokemonGO. Niantic also would like players to share their stories.
Niantic announced that the Global Water Festival is happening now in Pokémon GO. It began on March 22, 2017, and will end on March 29, 2017. In celebration of the Global Water Festival, Niantic is allowing players to get a free Magikarp Hat for their avatar.
During the Global Water Festival players will be more likely to encounter Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their Evolutions all around the world. Players that explore areas where Water-type Pokémon more commonly appear will have a greater chance to encounter several of the Water-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region. Niantic coyly suggests that players might possibly run into Lapras.
Some players might not be too exited about encountering lots of Magikarps. They don’t do much of anything at all except flop around, and it takes a lot of candy to evolve them. To make the game more exciting, Niantic has added Shiny Magikarp into the wild. They are extremely rare. If you happen to catch one, Niantic would like you to share a screenshot of it on social media and use #PokemonGo.
Those of you who have been getting bored with Pokémon GO might want to give it another try. Niantic, creator of Pokémon GO, announced that they are adding new features and over 80 more Pokémon to the game.
Starting later this week, players will have the opportunity to catch more than 80 Pokémon that are brand new to Pokémon GO. These new Pokémon are ones that were originally discovered in the Johto region in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games. In addition, Niantic will start rolling out Pokémon with gender-specific variations.
There will also be more opportunities to evolve your Pokémon in Pokémon GO. Some Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region will soon evolve into Pokémon that inhabit the Johto region. PokéStops will now offer new Evolution items that players will need to use in order to evolve some Pokémon.
Players may notice changes to the behavior of the Pokémon they see in the wild. Some may react in new ways as you try to catch them. Another new change allows players to easily select Berries and Poké Balls right from the encounter screen.
PokéStops will start offering two new kinds of Berries. Give a Nanab Berry to a Pokémon – and it will slow the Pokémon’s movements (making it easier for you to catch it.) Give a Pinap Berry to a Pokémon. If you successfully catch that Pokémon on your next attempt – you will get double the Candy.
Niantic, creator of Pokémon GO, has started a limited-time celebration of Valentine’s Day. It started on February 8, 2017, and will continue through 11:00 A.M. PST on February 15, 2017. Now is a good time to catch some Pokémon that you probably haven’t seen very often.
The featured Pokémon for the Valentine’s Day event are pink. Niantic officially says that players will notice more Chansey, Clefable, and many other adorable pink Pokémon that you can encounter in the wild more frequently than you usually would.
Personally, I’ve also seen a lot more JigglyPuffs and Exeggcutes that I would have expected. I also caught a Slowpoke and a Lickitung. All of them are very pink.
In addition, Cleffa, Igglybuff, and Smoochum will be more likely to hatch from Eggs. Lure modules will last for six hours during the Valentine’s Day event – which is extraordinary considering that lure modules typically last for 30 minutes. Buddy Pokémon will find Candy twice as fast while the Valentine’s Day event is going on.
Niantic has been adding new things to Pokémon GO lately, in the form of partnerships between Pokémon GO and companies like Sprint and Starbucks. Niantic’s latest addition is something players will find in the Pokémon GO game itself. In short, more Pokémon are coming!
Niantic announced that as of December 12, 2016, players will have the opportunity to find Pokémon that have been newly added to Pokémon GO. Niantic explains:
Professor Willow has discovered Togepi and Pichu hatching from Eggs! Starting later today, Trainers will have the opportunity to hatch these and several other Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto Region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games. These are the first of more Pokémon coming to Pokémon GO over the next few months.
In addition, from December 12, 2016, through December 29, 2016, (10:00 am. PST) players will find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat. Niantic recommends that you use the Pokémon GO AR camera when you encounter the limited edition Pikachu, and post the screenshot on social media with #HolidayPikachu.
Shortly after Niantic announced that Sprint had become the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO, Niantic announced that Starbucks is now an official partner of Pokémon GO. The partnership between Starbucks and Pokémon GO includes Starbucks stores that are located within the United States. Starbucks stores that are located outside of the United States do not appear to be part of this partnership. From the Niantic announcement:
Starbucks has a long-standing commitment to providing spaces for social interaction and real-world community building in its extensive network of locations. We appreciate their role in creating safe, welcoming locations for people from all walks of life to come together for refreshment and social engagement. Starting 11 A.M. PST on December 8, this new partnership will transform 7,800 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States into PokéStops and Gyms, giving Trainers even more places to play and to engage with their local Pokémon GO communities.
Starbucks says that players who locate a Starbucks store within Pokémon GO will discover the Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage.
It starts with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze-dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream. The Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage will be available at participating Starbucks stores for a limited time while supplies last.
The Pokémon GO Team at Niantic has announced that they are working with Sprint. This collaboration makes Sprint the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO.
Niantic and Sprint are working together to create a special Pokémon GO experience at over 10,500 Sprint locations around the United States. It is scheduled to begin on December 12, 2016.
As part of this collaboration, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Sprint Radioshack stores will become PokéStops and Gyms, giving you even more places to stock up on Poké Balls and Razz Berries and to battle your friends. Sprint locations will also feature in-store charging stations to keep your Pokémon GO sessions going even longer.
Sprint will be offering an unlimited data plan that includes talk and text “so that customers can complete their Pokédex without worrying about running out of data or surprise overage charges”. According to Sprint, when customers switch at least one line to Sprint and sign up for Unlimited Freedom with AutoPay, they get unlimited data, talk, and text at just $20 per month/line for a family of five until January 31, 2018.