Pokemon Go: the world's first augmented reality app to become a household name. Niantic's mobile AR game is still going strong two years after it first released, with a constant drip of events and updates keeping budding trainers glued to their phones and pounding the streets.
And 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.
So what's the latest news for Pokemon Go? As you'd expect, brand new features are being added all the time – while the upcoming Let's Go: Pikachu and Eevee games for Nintendo Switch are likely to tie in to the mobile AR game in numerous ways.
Without further ado, here's our guide to all the new updates, rumors and tweaks promised by Niantic so far.
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Latest Pokemon Go updates
The latest furore around Pokemon Go happened around a suspiciously unfamiliar 'hex nut' shaped Pokemon that appeared at a community Pokemon Go event in Japan, named simply '???'. Nintendo's official Pokemon Twitter account followed up with a short video announcing the new Pokemon as 'Meltan' – ending with a reference to the Let's Go games and possibly hinting at a crossover event when the Switch entries launch this coming November.
But one of the most awaited updates finally came to Pokemon Go earlier this summer – one that now lets players trade within the Pokemon Go app.
Attention! Friends, gifting, and trading are now live for those level 30 to 40 Trainers! Stay tuned as we will be gradually rolling out these features to other levels soon. pic.twitter.com/iHGsqrUMYM21 June 2018
Along with the introduction of a Friends system, you'll now be able benefit from having real-world pals, offering each other gifts, or making swaps on unwanted items.
Just making use of the trading system alone bags you free Candy for attracting the pocketable beasties, as well, of course giving you the opportunity to trade for rare and sought-after Pokemon.
However, it seems it's a feature for more hardcore players to begin with – you'll only be able to trade if you're between levels 30 and 40, so you're going to have to put some hours in first before becoming a wheeling-and-dealing Pokemon trader.
Recently, Pokemon Go also began to enter the latest generation with the addition of some Alolan Pokemon. It won't be brand new Alolan Pokemon you'll see, but instead Niantic has announced that players will see the Alolan forms of some Kanto Pokemon – recently the likes of Diglett and Geodude.
When's the next Pokemon Go event?
It's been a bumper summer for Niantic, with a city-wide Safari Zone hitting Dortmund, Germany that then moved on to Chicago's Lincoln Park.
Of course it's not always possible to get to these locations, so Niantic has promised that players across the world will still have the chance to take part in its live events via a range of challenges and activities.
In October players who collect enough stamps through water-based challenges will get the chance to capture the legendary Pokemon Suicune – while Deoxys will replace Mewto in the Ex-Raids mode when it returns later this year.
Pokémon Go update: what's next?
With trading comes the addition of a friend lists to Pokemon Go, too.
Adding another trainer to your friend list will be as simple as swapping a trainer code with someone, sending them a friend request and waiting for them to accept or reject it.
With trading launched, you’ll have to be friends with another trainer to trade Pokemon with them. You’ll also both need to be above level 10 and within 100 meters of one another – oh, and you’ll also need to be prepared to pay some Stardust.
You'll find that when you add someone as a friend, you'll have a friendship 'level' which will range from 'good' through 'great' and 'ultra' to 'best'. Friendship levels can be increased by doing things like battling at gyms or in raids together, but building up levels will take weeks or even months of playing together.
The higher your friendship level with another player, the lower the amount of Stardust you’ll need to spend to trade with them.
Higher levels of friendship will also be required to trade shiny or legendary Pokemon and when you do trade these they'll be called ‘Special Trades'. You’ll only be able to perform these once a day.
A final new feature for friends to enjoy will be sending gifts. Gift bundles will sometimes appear when you spin a PokeStop, and you’ll be able to send them on. They’ll usually include the standard in-game items like berries and PokeBalls, but they’ll also sometimes have a new 7km egg, which will be the exclusive home to some forms of Alolan Pokemon.
- Want more Pokémon Go? Check out our Pokémon Go tips and tricks guide.
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