The rumors about major updates coming to the popular AR mobile game Pokémon Go have been hitting the internet for the past several months. Today, the game’s developer Niantic Labs confirmed that it will be making some major upgrades to its Gyms with an upcoming update. It will also be adding co-op Raid Battles, where players will work together to defeat boss creatures at Gym locations.
The Gyms in the game won’t be based on Prestige or training creatures after the big update rolls out. Once that happens, Gyms in Pokémon Go will have six permanent slots, designed to be used by its controlling team and its Pokémon creatures. Opposing teams who want to take control of a Gym will battle the Pokémon that the controlling team has placed in those slots in the order they were assigned.
Another change is that when a player assigns a Pokémon to a Gym, they will see a new motivation meter. When battles between opposing teams happen, those Pokémon that are placed to defend the Gym will lose motivation over time and their CP will temporarily decrease, which is supposed to make them easier to defeat. However, players can keep their Pokémon’s motivation meter up by feeding them some Berries.
In addition, players can earn new Gym Badges when they interact with these virtual locations, and they can be leveled up by offering Berries to the assigned Pokémon in the Gym along with spinning the Gym’s Photo Disc. Higher Badge levels will result in more rewards and bonuses being earned.
The biggest new feature with the upcoming update are the Raid Battles, which also happen in Gym locations. If any Pokémon are assigned to a Gym, they will be kicked out and sent back to their human Trainers before a Raid Battle starts. A new creature egg will appear on top of a Gym, which will then be revealed as a big Raid Boss that can be battled and defeated by up to 20 Trainers. Players will need a Raid Pass to participate in such a battle, and they will be given one of them for free per day, although more can be purchased via the in-game store. Players that defeat a Raid Boss within five minutes will get a chance to catch a powerful Pokémon.
Defeating Raid Bosses in the game will also offer exclusive rewards to collect. They will include Rare Candies that, when used on a Pokémon, turns into that Pokémon’s Candy. Another reward is the Golden Razz Berries, which will increase the chances of catching a Pokémon in the wild. It can also be fed to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to fully recover its motivation meter. Finally, the Technical Machines rewards allow players to teach a Pokémon a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.
The update will be preceded in Pokémon Go by disabling all Gyms around the world. After that, the new Gyms revamp will go live. The Raid Battles will be rolled out first as a beta, with more and more players allowed to access them over the next several weeks. If you’re interested in playing Pokémon Go you can head to the Google Play link below to grab the latest version.
New Summer Solstice event
June 8: From June 13 until June 20, the in-game Solstice Event will see players encounter more fire- and ice-type Pokémon, receive huge XP bonuses for accurate Poke Ball tossing, and get discounted Lucky Eggs at the in-game shop. Meanwhile, the company will hold its “first-ever” real-world Pokémon GO event: Pokémon Go Fest Chicago. This will take place in Grant Park on July 22 and promises “a ton of exciting festivities.”
Tickets for Pokémon Go Fest will go live at PokemonGoLive.com/Fest on Monday, June 19 at 10:00 AM PDT. Further, Niantic said it would hold events in European shopping centers between June and September, but hasn’t gotten into specifics yet.
March 7: Niantic CEO John Hanke was recently asked about the possibility of bringing fan-favorites like Mewtwo, Mew and the three legendary birds in an interview with Wired’s German division. “I can say with certainty that we will see more of that this year,” Hanke said. You heard that right – Pokémon Go could get Mewtwo, Mew, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres by the end of 2017!
Three major updates are headed our way
March 2: John Hanke, the Niantic Labs CEO, has stated that three major updates are headed to Pokémon Go in 2017. While details on the updates are scarce, Hanke says an update will arrive every quarter.
80 new Pokémon added
February 17: Pokémon Go version 0.57.2 is now rolling out. The update introduces a night mode map, new berries, new encounter mechanics and — what we’ve all been waiting for — 80 new Pokémon!
Togepi and Pichu come to Pokémon Go
December 12: While it’s not a huge update, Niantic Labs has added Togepi, Pichu and a handful of other creatures to the game. In addition, the developer kicked off an in-game holiday event that would see Pikachu wearing a festive hat through the end of December.