It might have been a while since you last played, but Niantic is giving Pokémon Go players a good reason to return to the game while they’re out trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Starting October 26 and running for a whole week through to November 1, Pokémon Go will be having its very first in-game event.
For this limited period, players will find themselves encountering what Niantic has called the game’s “spookiest Pokémon” including ghost types like Gastly and Gengar as well as some psychic types like Drowzee, and flying types Zubat and Golbat. We’re not entirely sure encountering even more Zubats is a treat, but Halloween does admittedly have tricks too.
We want candy
As you’d expect from anything trying to attach itself to Halloween, candy will play a part, with players receiving double the amount of candy for catching new Pokémon and sending them to the professor.
Candy earned via the buddy system feature will see an even larger increase of 300%, meaning you'll get four times the amount of candy from walking your buddy Pokémon.
Back in September Niantic’s CEO John Hanke teased that we were only seeing the “tip of the iceberg” of Pokémon Go, and that many more interesting features were still to come.
Indeed, one of the features he teased was actually events. At the time he hadn’t been entirely clear on what these events were or what they would involve other than the possible introduction of new Pokémon outside of the original 150.
Now that the first event is rolling around and we have more of a sense of what they'll involve, it’s easy to see how they could be effective in restoring the game’s popularity even for short bursts of time.
Offering valuable bonuses for a limited time, particularly when they tie so neatly into community celebrations, is a good way to incentivise play.
When we looked into the reasons people had stopped playing Pokémon Go, many said that one of their biggest problems was the feeling that the game was making them grind for little to no reward. This event at least provides some decent rewards.
It’s also leading us to speculate what kinds of bonuses could be offered in future events. Perhaps for Christmas we’ll see the introduction of ice Pokémon for a short time and Easter is the perfect time to give players some egg-based bonuses.
Considering it’s not actually been that long since Hanke hinted at this feature before we’re seeing it implemented, we’re left wondering whether or not we’ll start to see the player versus player battles outside of gyms he mentioned roll out.
Hopefully this event will leave the augmented reality world of Pokémon Go looking a little less like a haunted house.