Pokémon Go: the world's first augmented reality app to become a household name. Niantic's mobile AR game that merges the world of Pokémon with our own is still going strong four years after it first launched, with a constant drip of events and updates keeping budding trainers glued to their phones and pounding the streets.
While it hasn't managed to top the peak of its popularity in 2016, it's still going strong and finding plenty of new ways to improve its player experience. Including making it easier for its players to catch 'em all from inside their own homes during coronavirus quarantines.
So what's the latest news for Pokémon Go? As you'd expect, brand new features are being added all the time and themed events are still going strong.
But without further ado, here's our guide to all the latest Pokémon Go news and updates.
- Pokémon Go tips and tricks: how to get better at the game
- How to fix the biggest problems with Pokémon Go
- Pokémon Gone: how Pokémon Go can bring back lapsed trainers
- How to catch a Ditto in Pokémon Go
- How to play Pokémon Go from home
Pokémon Go news and Pokémon Go updates
- What's new? Mega Evolution has arrived in Pokémon Go and Pokémon Home integration is coming later this year
Mega Evolution is here
Mega Evolution has arrived in Pokémon Go.
In Pokémon Go, Mega Evolution is a temporary effect which requires a resource called Mega Energy. When a Pokémon has enough Mega Energy it’ll be possible to Mega Evolve it and once a Pokémon has been Mega Evolved once, it won’t require as much energy to get it to that state again in the future. Mega Energy can be gathered by taking part in Mega Raids and the amount of Mega Energy you get from a Raid is determined by how fast you beat the starring Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
At the moment, there are only four Pokémon which can be Mega Evolved: Beedrill, Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur. From October 23, Mega Gengar will be replacing Mega Venusaur in Mega Raids. It’s also only possible to have one Mega-Evolved Pokémon at a time, so if you have a Mega-Evolved Venusaur but decide to Mega Evolve your Blastoise, Venusaur will return to its normal form.
You can use your Mega-Evolved ‘mon in Gyms, Raids and in battles against friends but you can’t leave them as Gym defenders and nor is it possible to compete in the Battle League with them. Not only are these Pokémon more powerful than the average, when you’re using them to battle in Raids, they give a nice little attack boost to all the Pokémon you’re fighting alongside.
Niantic has been listening to feedback on Mega Evolution and since its launch, the Mega Energy requirement to Mega Evolve a Pokémon that has already Mega Evolved before has decreased, while the amount of Mega Energy that Trainers receive from winning Mega Raids has increased. The cap for Mega Energy has also increased from 999 to 2,000. This is for each individual type of Mega Energy, rather than the total amount of Mega Energy you have across Pokémon species.
Niantic has said it’s looking to adjust the feature more in the future and it’s working on more things. From early November it’ll be possible to get Mega Energy by walking with your Buddy Pokémon if you have previously Mega Evolved a Pokémon in your Buddy Pokémon’s Evolutionary line. It’ll also be possible to earn bonus Candies when catching a Pokémon that shares a type with your active Mega-Evolved Pokémon. Finally, you’ll be able to see players on your friend list who have an active Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
After the introduction of Strange Eggs into Pokémon Go, Niantic has announced that with the change of seasons, different Pokémon are now hatching from eggs.
In Strange Eggs you’ll find Larvitar, Absol, Sandile, Scraggy, Trubbish, Pawniard, Vullaby, and Deino.
In 2km Eggs, Zubat, Poliwag, Cubone, Magikarp, Mareep, Wooper, Snubbull, Volbeat, Illumise, Wailmer, Swablu, Buizel, Buneary, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, and Minccino can be found.
5km eggs will hatch Machop, Farfetch’d, Seel, Voltorb, Lickitung, Kangaskhan, Tauros, Eevee, Pineco, Heracross, Corsola, Ralts, Aron, Torkoal, Feebas, Tropius, Clamperl, Relicanth, Mime Jr., Chatot, Hippopotas, Carnivine, Pansage, Pansear, Panpour, Pachirisu, Blitzle, Roggenrola, Maractus, Gothita, Solosis, and Bouffalant.
Finally, 10km eggs contain Shinx, Gible, Riolu, Audino, Timburr, Darumaka, Sigilyph, Emolga, Ferroseed, Klink, Elgyem, Litwick, Axew, Golett, and Rufflet.
Pokémon Home integration is coming
Niantic has confirmed that Pokémon Go integration with Pokémon Home will be coming later this year. An exact date hasn’t been given but when the integration goes live there will be some limited-time events.
Dropping support for 32-bit Android devices...eventually
Niantic has announced plans to end support for 32-bit Android devices. The hope is that doing so will allow the development team to streamline processes and focus on supporting newer operating systems and technologies. Some of the phones that will be affected by this decision include Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 3, J3, Sony Xperia Z2, Z3, Motorola Moto G's 1st generation and many Android phones that were released before 2015.
When the update takes place, those on these devices won't be able to access their Pokémon Go accounts using them and will have to upgrade their device before they can play again. Niantic hasn't confirmed when this update will happen—originally planned for August 2020 it has since been delayed and deemed "TBD" so that Niantic can "investigate player concerns" over the decision.
Coronavirus play-at-home changes
Given Pokémon Go is a game which attempts to draw its players outside, Niantic is having to react to the Coronavirus pandemic and make some temporary changes which will make it easier for players to continue to catch 'em all without stepping over the door.
In a statement to Polygon, the developer has said that it's “prioritizing updates to Pokémon Go features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.”
The latest changes, announced June 18, are going to be going into testing and are expected to roll out over the coming months.
The first is daily guaranteed Pokémon encountersDaily guaranteed Pokémon encounters. Trainers chosen to test this feature will receive a special kind of Incense from Professor Willow which will attract a Pokémon once per day to you and only you.
A further help will be daily free boxes in the in-game shop. Trainers chosen to test this will receive a free box of items in the shop every day containing different items each time.
Niantic also made it possible to battle Team Rocket at home in July. The bad guys are invading the in-game map in hot air balloons and only have to be tapped to be battled, which makes things easier for players who are quarantined and can't get out and about to Pokéstops.
Team Leaders and Giovanni will be in these balloons too, as long as you have your Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar equipped to see them.
Check out our guide on how to play Pokémon Go at home to see all the changes Niantic has made and how they'll help you stay safe and catch 'em all.
Pokémon Go Battle League—Season 4
Its third season now finished up, the fourth season of Pokémon Go’s competitive Battle League began on September 14. Trainers who took part in the second season and achieved a rank of 7 or higher will have received an Elite Charged TM.
Trainer Battles within the GO Battle League will rotate between three leagues and players will be able to rank against fellow Trainers, earning rewards for ranking.
The GO Battle League is beginning with the Great League until September 28, which will be followed by the Ultra League from October 12, then the Master League from October 26, after which all three Leagues will be available from November 3 to November 9. Season 5 is expected to begin on November 9, when each of these Leagues has been cycled through.
The all new special Halloween Cup will run from October 26 to November 3. In this cup only Poison, Ghost, Bug, Dark, and Fairy-type Pokémon will be allowed and there’ll be a 1,500 CP limit.
Rank progression is changing in Season 4. It’ll be possible to reach rank 2 by completing a certain number of battles, while to reach ranks 3 through 9 you’ll have to win a certain number. You’ll still have to reach a rating of 3000 to reach rank 10, though.
Like season 3 players can earn Stardust depending on rank and number of battles won as well as items like Rare Candies and TMS as well as the chance to get exclusive Pokémon encounters.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Niantic is continuing to waive the walk and pay entry requirements for Battle League for season 4.
Players who are not in-game close friends will no longer need to be close to one another to Battle and will be able to send Battle requests to Good Friends and above. Trainers can now also initiate battles through QR codes which can be used regardless of friendship levels and distance.
Players who reach rank 10 will also earn a new avatar pose. Those who finish Season 4 at rank 7 or higher will receive an Elite Fast TM.
As of April 10, you can see who's doing well in the Pokémon Battle League thanks to the launch of the GO Battle League leaderboard on PokemonGOLive.com. The leaderboard has come as the GO Battle League changes from Ultra League to Master League.
The leaderboards show the top five hundred Trainers in the world as well as their Trainer nicknames, teams, ranks, ratings, and total matches.
Rankings are based on the previous day’s in-game ratings for Trainers rank 7 and up but it'll update between 8pm UTC and 10pm UTC every day unless maintenance issues cause a delay.
What's the next Pokémon Go Event?
Halloween is coming up so naturally Niantic has an appropriately spooky event planned for Pokémon Go. The event will begin on October 23 and during it Galarian Yamask will make its debut as part of a Halloween-themed Special Research while completing certain Field Research tasks could result in an encounter with Spiritomb.
Across the event, Ghost-type Pokémon will be appearing more in the wild and hatching more from Eggs. Pokémon like Gengar and Sableye will also be wearing costumes, with costumed Gengar appearing in raids while Sableye will emerge in the wild or from Eggs.
There will be some Halloween-themed Field Research tasks and new Halloween-themed items added to the Style Shop.
Bonuses during the event will include double Transfer Candy and double Catch Candy.
In addition to this, there'll be an Alolan Marowak Raid Day on October 31 from 11am to 5pm local time during which Alolan Marowak will be appearing more often in raids.
Ghost-type Catch Mastery
Niantic is introducing a new kind of event to Pokémon Go: Catch Mastery.
On October 25, from 8am to 10pm local time, Ghost-type Pokémon will be appearing more often in the wild. The event will also feature exclusive Timed Research and completing event-exclusive Field Research tasks will help players encounter Ghost-type Pokémon and earn Gengar Mega Energy. Over the course of the event, players will earn extra XP if they catch Pokémon with Nice, Great, Excellent and Curveball Poké Ball throws.
When's the next Pokémon Go Community Day?
- What date is the next Community Day? October 17
- Who's the starring Pokémon? Charmander
Niantic has confirmed that the starring Pokémon in October's Community Day is Charmander. The Community Day will take place on October 17 and will run from 11am to 5pm local time.
Over the course of the event Charmander will appear more frequently in the wild, with a chance to encounter a Shiny Charmander. Players who evolve a Charmeleon during the event will get a Charizard that knows the special move Dragon Breath. There’ll also be event-exclusive Timed Research and Field Research tasks through which players can earn Charizard Mega Energy!
Bonuses for the event include triple Stardust from catching Pokémon while incense activated will last for three hours.
What is the best Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
Sure, you can catch ‘em all but what if you only want to catch the very best? Well, when it comes to Pokémon in Pokémon Go getting the best really depends on what you want to do with your Pokémon, whether that’s PvP battling, raiding or defending a Gym.
One of the simplest (and therefore not foolproof) ways to look for a strong Pokémon is by determining its max CP. The Combat Power figure is determined through a combination of a Pokémon's Attack, Defense, and Stamina numbers but it isn’t everything and a Pokémon’s moves, stat distribution and type ought to be considered too . However, if you’re just looking to know which Pokémon has the highest potential max CP then according to Gameinfo that’s Slaking.
If you’re looking for a Pokémon that can be a bit of a punchbag and therefore a solid defender, then it’s hard to go wrong with Blissey — it has the highest HP and Stamina stats at the moment.
For attacking, it’s worth considering Mewtwo—not only is its max CP second to Slaking, it has good stats across the board and a particularly high attack stat.
These are far from definitive picks (it can get pretty complicated when you get down into the numbers in Pokémon Go) but should at least give you a place to start.
Pokémon Go update: what's next?
Now that Mega Evolutions have arrived in Pokémon Go, Niantic has ticked another big feature off its list. At the moment, we're not sure what's next for the game aside from, naturally, new Pokémon being added. We'll update here when the roadmap becomes more clear.
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Pokémon Go Plus deals
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(Image credits: Niantic/Pokémon Company)