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 – with Team Battles recently released and Let’s Go: Pikachu and Eevee for Nintendo Switch likely to tie in to the mobile AR game in numerous ways.
So without further ado, here’s our guide to all the new updates, rumors and tweaks promised by Niantic so far.
[Update: Pokémon Go now lets you fight other players, so you can battle your friends.]
Latest Pokemon Go updates
Pokémon Go finally has a player-versus-player (PvP) mode called Trainer Battles.
Trainer Battles allow you to participate in real-time Pokémon battles with other players and Pokémon Go team leaders.
To compete in Trainer Battles you need to create a custom Battle Party, made up of three Pokémon. This will then be your party to challenge other players and team leaders.
You can invite nearby players to participate in friendly Trainer battles through the battle code invitation system, which sees you scanning another player’s unique battle code – or vice versa. There’s also an option to partake in remote battles, but you can only invite someone to a remote battle if your in-game friendship has reached the ultra friends level or higher.
Trainer Battles also introduces a new charge attack for your Pokemon and a protect shield to defend against powerful attacks. After a Trainer Battle finishes, both players will receive a prize, as well as a chance of getting rare evolution items.
To keep players from becoming frustrated, a maximum cap has also been placed on participating Pokémon’s strength – so you can’t necessarily use your strongest.
Back in September a 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 in the future.
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?
The next Pokémon community day is on February 16, and promises to let players learn a new event-exclusive move – as long as you can evolve your Swinhub Pokémon.
Gamespot says that, “if you manage to evolve it into its final form, Mamoswine, up to an hour after the event ends, the Pokemon will know the Rock-type attack Ancient Power.”
The last community day was on January 12, and it gave players the chance to catch a Shiny Pokémon for the first time.
Pokémon Go update: what’s next?
Trainer Battles has just released, but we don’t know what is on the horizon next for Pokemon Go.
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