Why You Should Return to Pokémon GO

A little over a year ago, Pokémon GO took the world by storm. It shattered records and released to a plethora of hype. Unfortunately, many players lost interest after the summer ended. Back then, we wrote about what to play when you weren’t getting your Pokémon fix from Pokémon GO anymore.

If you stopped playing then, do the new updates warrant a return? Let’s find out:

New Pokémon

80+ Pokémon from the Johto region (Generation II Pokémon) have recently entered the game. This gives you the chance to find, capture and battle with different Pokémon.

Daily Rewards

Also present in the game now are daily XP and stardust rewards for both catching your first Pokémon of the day and for visiting your first pokestop. These rewards also become greater at the end of a 7 day streak.

Improved Gyms and Raid Battles

There are a few different changes here so we’ll tackle them one at a time. Let’s start with raids.

Raid Battles are limited time battles which occur at gyms. You have to be a level 5 or higher to take part, and you need a raid pass which you can get free from gyms. The battles themselves have a difficulty rating between 1 and 4, and are multiplayer centric events.

Up to 20 people can participate in a raid battle simultaneously, which is pretty exciting – if you have buddies to play with! Upon winning a raid battle, you’ll get premier balls, XP, and special items like the golden razz berry, rare candy, and fast and charged TM.

Afterwards, you can use the premier balls to capture a weaker version of the boss you just defeated. You can only use premier balls to capture however!

Next we’ll talk about the simplest change to gyms. Gyms are now pokestops as well. It’s a nice, but minor change that’ll likely be appreciated by returning players.

Next, the way defending Pokémon work is slightly different. Now, your Pokémon will stay in a gym until it loses motivation. Motivation is lost gradually as other players challenge the gym and an be restored with berries. Common berries restore motivation a little bit and golden razz berries restore it completely. 

Once a player’s Pokémon loses all of its motivation, it will be returned to their lineup. This makes it important to visit gyms you’re defending and keep the motivation up on your Pokémon there.

Other than that, some of the animations surrounding gym battles were updated to make them a bit flashier.

Buddy System

One of the new features recently introduced into Pokémon Go is the buddy system. This system makes it easier for you to obtain candies for Pokémon, and as a result makes evolution easier.

Here’s how it works. You chose a Pokémon as your buddy, and will begin to earn candy for that Pokémon after walking a certain distance. Distance to candy varies from 1 km to 5 km.

Trading on the way

Trading is a feature that many consider to be core to Pokémon’s gameplay. As a result, many were understandably upset when it wasn’t present in game.

The developers have always said they want to include trading, but only recently have we gotten a look at what it may be like.

Trading will not be carried out using the internet, and instead be done locally (possibly by bluetooth? It’s not revealed yet how this will work). This would prevent trading from getting around the local area spawn issue.

Hopefully we get more details about this feature soon – including when we can expect it in game!

Legendaries coming soon

Legendaries have always been a planned addition to the game, but new clues show they may be coming soon.

One such clue was an ad that was briefly shown on the iOS app store before being pulled. The ad’s text reads:

 Pokemon GO Legendary Leak

“Special Pikachu with Hat and first Legendary Pokémon”

Since we’ve already gotten the special Pikachu wearing Ash’s hat in game. We can assume legendary Pokémon were planned to be released either at the same time or slightly after the hat. This would indicate a short wait for legendary Pokémon if you’re joining the game now.

Btw, if you’re wondering more about that Pikachu with Ash’s hat, you can catch them from now until July 24th.