Pokemon Go update: all the news and rumors for what's coming next

Update: Pokemon Go live events are now underway in Japan and reports have come from those attending the event in Yokohama that Mewtwo has been unveiled as the next Legendary Pokemon.

We've now seen several Legendary Pokemon appear in Pokemon Go, with Lugia and Zapdos still available, and Moltres and Articuno having come and gone. 

Though Mewtwo is currently only available in Japan, Niantic has said players all over the world will soon have the chance to catch it in the coming weeks. There is something of a catch, though. Mewtwo won't be quite as accessible as previous Legendary Pokemon were. 

Mewtwo is the Pokemon that will introduce a new feature called Exclusive Raid Battles. According to Niantic these battles will work like the communal Legendary Raids introduced earlier this summer but players will have to be invited to take part rather than simply able to join in. 

To get one of these invitations, Trainers will have to have successfully completed a community Raid recently at the specific Gym where the Exclusive Raid Battle will be taking place.

The invitations will include advance warning of when the event will take place, giving players more time to coordinate with others before the battle.

Mewtwo is the first Pokémon that will feature in Exclusive Raid Battles, but Niantic has said "other powerful Pokémon may also start to hatch from the Raid Eggs found at Exclusive Raid Battles over the next several weeks." 

Read on to find out more about the big new feature update that came to the game earlier this month. 

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Pokémon Go has been out for a long time now, and while the app has progressed a lot in this time - just remember how unstable the servers when it launched - there's still lots more work to be done.

Some of these features are ones that developer Niantic spoke about prior to the release of the game, while others have been promised since the game's release.

Without further ado, here's our guide to every new update rumors as well as the tweaks promised by Niantic so far. 

Latest Pokemon Go update

This summer Pokemon Go received its biggest update since it was first released and you can find out more about it and other incremental changes below.  

Gym changes

Gyms are being overhauled, new items are being added and a brand new cooperative group gameplay feature called Raid Battles is being introduced in the coming weeks.

Gyms have been changed up to encourage players to engage with them more often, adding a spinnable Photo Discs like the ones currently at Pokéstops which will distribute unique items and Gym Badges.

Gym Badges will serve as mementos but you’ll also be able to level them up through further interactions with Gyms which will earn you unique opportunities to receive bonus items.

Gyms will also now have six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team’s Pokémon and teams looking to take over the Gym for themselves will battle these six Pokémon in the order they’ve been assigned to the Gym. Each slot must now be filled by a different Pokémon (no double Digletts, please). 

A big problem with Gyms in Pokémon Go is that players would often dump powerful Pokémon there and never return to check on them. A new motivation system is changing that. Now, when a Pokémon is defending a Gym they’ll lose motivation over time and their Combat Power will temporarily decrease, making them even more easy to defeat. Trainers from the Gym’s ruling team will need to take time feed the Pokémon defending their Gym berries in order to maintain their motivation. 

There have been further small changes made to the way gyms work in the game since this initial update.

The biggest change is that players will now be able to heal the Pokemon they've left in gyms without actually having to physically return to the gym by using berries. The health regained from a distant berry will be less than that from actually returning to the gym but it's a convenient addition. 

Other small but convenient changes include the ability to see which gym you've placed your Pokemon in via its stat screen and your journal will now tell you how many Pokecoins a Pokemon has garnered when you withdraw it from a gym.

Raid Battles

The biggest new feature is Raid Battles which aims to bring a more cooperative and social dynamic to gameplay. When it’s introduced in a few weeks, players will be able to team up with others near them and work together to defeat powerful Pokémon known as Raid Bosses. 

Raid Battles are timed in-game events that’ll be located at Gyms. When they’re happening, the Gym will be unavailable and a large egg will appear on top of it with a timer. When the timer reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed. Players from all teams will be able to join together to defeat the Raid Boss, earn new items or even catch the Raid Boss.

To get involved, you’ll need a Raid Pass and you can get one of these for free each day by visiting a Gym, though they can also be purchased.

Players will also be able to form private raid groups with their friends using a customized code system. 

After defeating a Raid Boss you’ll get rewards, some of which are exclusive, including Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries and two Technical Machines (Fast and Charged).

The changes to Gyms will start being rolled out worldwide today (with Gyms being temporarily disabled to do so) and players will see Raid Battles introduced to the game in the coming weeks. 

Pokémon Go update rumors: what we may see next

The expansion into generation 2 Johto region Pokémon was the first of three major updates planned for this year according to Niantic CEO John Hanke. 

During a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Hanke said there would be three "major" updates to the game later in 2017, though he didn't reveal exactly what they'll be.

Here's what we've previously heard about updates to Pokémon Go that Hanke may be referring to.

Pokemon Go

Trading

Trading was a key component in the original games, but it's remained absent from Pokémon Go despite repeated assurances that the feature is on its way.

In the beta, trading was a local-only affair, meaning that you couldn't trade with players over the internet, and Niantic has now confirmed that will be the case for when it starts in the core game.

Pokemon Go

Tatsuo Nomura, senior product manager at Niantic told Polygon trading "won't be "through the internet" when it launches.

We can't wait for trading to make its way into the game. It always feels like a bit of a waste transferring rare Pokémon just because they're a duplicate, and it'll be great being able to put them to use.

Player-vs-player battling

Another feature that's been rumored for some time is battling between players.

As it currently stands the only battling functionality in the game is between players and opposing gyms, but since before the game's release Niantic has been promising that PvP battling is coming and CEO John Hanke has confirmed it's in the works.

Commercial partnerships

When Pokémon Go was at the height of its popularity, commercial locations which happened to also be  PokéStops or gyms sometimes found an increase in the number of customers they were attracting. At the very least they had something that would draw them in. 

It was no surprise, then, when rumors emerged that Niantic was considering teaming up with McDonalds that would see the fast food companies many chains become PokeLocations in which customers would be able to access exclusive in-app content. 

This rumor hasn't actually come to anything, but recently leaked internal memos are pointing to another partnership, this time between Niantic and Starbucks. 

The memos, which were intended for Starbucks employees only, suggest that the partnership will see the majority of US Starbucks branches become either  PokéStops  or Gyms and that when players are in a Starbucks location they'll have the chance to unlock a limited edition  Pokémon Go-themed Frappucino. Though even customers who haven't unlocked the beverage in the game will still be able to buy it.

The leaked memo states that the promotion is due to begin on December 8 and Starbucks' expectation is that it'll encourage more customers to visit and "increase number of transactions."

The most interesting part of the memo, though, is that it states this partnership will see the introduction of a brand new  Pokémon into the game. There's no information on what this  Pokémon will be or whether it will only spawn in Starbucks locations so speculation is rife. 

It does feel slightly off that a game that claimed its intention was to encourage people to explore cultural locations where they live is now trying to draw them into corporate locations instead. However, it's early to judge and only time will tell how these commercial partnerships will play out and whether or not they'll be good for the player. 

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