Pokémon Go Fest Goes Virtual in 2020

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Each year Niantic hosts a large gathering of Pokémon Go fans for a special event that runs for several days. Last year the Pokémon Go Fest took place in three different cities around the world, including Chicago, and drew hundreds of thousands of trainers.

With the COVID pandemic canceling all events and gatherings, we’re seeing a shakeup this year. Pokémon Go Fest 2020 is set for July 25 and 26, and will take place entirely online.

While we’ll miss the traditional congregation of Pokémon GO fans, we’re thrilled to bring a special Pokémon GO Fest experience to Trainers. Not only are you in for an exciting weekend of bonuses, Pokémon encounters, and Special Research, there will also be exciting ways to connect with other Trainers and experience other fun surprises throughout the entire summer.

Despite moving to a virtual format, the event will still require paid tickets to access. However, this year one ticket will grant access to both days of the two-day event.

The original Pokémon Go Fest took place in 2017 and was a disaster, but since then the event has improved and been well-received by fans around the world.

More details on what will be featured during the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

In other Pokémon Go news, if you have a fancy phone, you can take advantage of new Reality Blending AR technology. With Reality Blending, Pokémon will properly hide behind objects such as trees and furniture. The feature is currently rolling out for random trainers with the following devices: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S10 and Google Pixel 3 and 4.

Pokémon GO Making Quarantine-Friendly Changes to Play from Home

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When many states and countries around the world are sheltering in place during the global coronavirus pandemic, playing a game the requires walking around outside is probably not a great idea. To adjust to this new normal, Pokémon GO is adding several changes that make the AR mobile game easier to play without leaving your own home.

First, everyone will receive one daily bonus Field Research task. Every day at midnight you’ll receive a bonus task without having to spin a PokéStop. The tasks will focus on activities you can do at home.

Buddy pokémon will send gifts to you from PokéStops if you’re running low. You can then send these gifts to friends online.

The Remote Raid Pass will allow you to join any raid on the Nearby screen, without having to physically be near the raid site. The number of Remote Raid Passes that can be used in a raid is currently limited.

In the future, when it’s safe to get together again, the power level of remote users will be reduced. Remote Raid Passes can be purchased for 100 PokéCoins. As an initial bonus, a special 1 PokéCoin bundle also includes Remote Raid Passes.

Finally, pokémon can be powered up faster using candy and stardust, and items will overlap to add their duration. The XP-granting Lucky Egg normally lasts for 30-minutes at a time. Soon you can activate up to 24-hours worth of Lucky Eggs. Watch that phone battery!

Niantic has not announced when these changes will go live. More new updates, such as improved battle screens, are also coming soon. Pokémon GO is free-to-download on mobile devices.

Pokémon GO Social Distancing Includes Halving Hatch Time, Doubling Gym Distance

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A game that forces you to walk around outside is probably the last thing we need to be playing during the coronavirus pandemic. To help alleviate these issues (avoid losing players), Niantic is making several changes to Pokémon GO.

“We have always believed that our games can include elements of indoor play that complement the outdoor, exercise and explore DNA of what we build,” states Niantic. “Now is the time for us to prioritize this work, with the key challenge of making playing indoors as exciting and innovative as our outdoor gameplay.”

Adventure Sync works indoors just as much as outdoors, tracking steps taken to hatch eggs as long as you have your phone while doing chores or exercising. Future changes will improve Adventure Sync with indoor movements.

Hatching eggs is now much easier, as the requirement for hatching all eggs placed in incubators has been halved. This should fit perfectly with the annual Springtime egg event, which doubles the amount of candy upon hatching, and increases the length of Lucky Eggs to one hour. Unique Field Research rewards include encounters with Alolan Exeggutor and Azumarill, and flower hat-wearing Pikachu will appear in the wild. The Spring event ends April 16.

The distance to interact with Gym battles has also been temporarily doubled, including spinning them as PokéStops from much farther away. For some reason, that double distance does not apply to regular PokéStops, however.

The GO Battle League offers PvP battling from the comfort of your own home. The walking requirements for admission have been reduced to zero, along with discounted prices on poké balls and incense.

Pokémon is free to download on mobile devices.

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Pokémon GO March Events Include Legendary Raid Weekends

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Mobile Catch ‘Em All Pokémon GO is hosting several special events throughout the month of March, including five-star Legendary Raids every weekend – including Shiny Legendaries.

  • Darkrai Special Raid Weekend takes place March 6 – 9.
  • Altered Forme Giratina Special Raid Weekend is from March 13 – March 16.
  • Cobalion Special Raid Weekend will happen from March 20 to March 23.
  • Lugia Special Raid Weekend is scheduled for March 27 to March 30.

All raids begin at 8 am Friday and end 10 pm Monday, local time.

In addition, a new story event, A Drive to Investigate, will take place March 20 to March 23, featuring the arrival of Genesect. The event will include a limited time Story Event where you’ll encounter Genesect – but tickets must be purchased to participate.

Tickets cost $7.99 and can be purchase in-game between March 20 and March 26. Tickets also include battle passes, incubators, TMs, star pieces, and more research objectives that lead to special encounters, including Durant, Scizor, and other Bug and Steel-type pokémon.

During the special event everyone can earn double Stardust rewards from catching and hatching pokémon. Karrablast and Shelmet will hatch more often from 5km eggs, and Normal, Fire, Water, Electric, and Ice-type pokémon will appear more frequently in the wild.

The following weekend, March 27 to March 30, will see the return of the Psychic Spectacular event. Psychic pokémon will appear more often in the wild, in raids, and from eggs, including Solosis during the day and Gothita during evening hours.

March will also feature hour-long mini events. The Pokémon Spotlight Hour takes place every Tuesday between 6 and 7 pm local time, and features a large boost in wild pokémon. The Mystery Bonus Hour will run Thursday from 6 to 7 pm and offer a login bonus such as Candy, Stardust, or XP.

Pokémon GO is available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Pokémon GO Battle League Preseason Begins this Week

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Pokémon GO is about to get a lot more competitive. The GO Battle League has begun rolling out to Pokémon GO players, based on trainer level.

The GO Battle League is Pokémon GO’s online competitive multiplayer mode. As per the announcement last year, the GO Battle League features three different leagues (Great, Ultra, Master), though only one will be available at a time, rotating throughout a season.

During the preseason everyone will start with the Great League, before rotating to Ultra and Master every two weeks. Ultra League will be available starting Monday, Feb. 10, and Master beginning on Feb. 24, with Great League returning March 9.

Ranks begin at 1 and go up to 10, though ranks will partially reset when Season 1 officially begins. Niantic has not yet determined how long the preseason – or any season will be, a factor that will be determined throughout the preseason.

To access the Battle League you’ll need to walk five kilometers (3.1 miles) to unlock five online matches, which can be done up to three times a day. You can also spend PokéCoins to skip the walk and jump right into battle. Your first set of matches will be free, however.

Winning matches earn large amounts of Stardust as well as items and exclusive pokémon encounters. The first exclusive GO Battle League reward pokémon will be Pikachu Libre.

Pokémon GO is also in the middle of its Lunar New Year event, causing more red pokémon like Charmander, Vulpix, and Magikarp to appear in the wild and hatching from eggs. A Limited Research event tasks you with encounter Minccino, and because of the Year of the Rat, you’ll find lots of mouse-themed pokémon in the wild, such as Sentret and Pikachu.

The Pokémon GO Lunar New Year event ends Feb. 3.

You Can Now Trade Evolve Certain Pokémon in Pokémon GO

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Pokémon GO has recently received another feature from the main Pokémon series: trade evolutions. Certain Pokémon will evolve when traded. Alongside this new update will be several new Pokémon appearing from Gen 5 (Black and White).

Trade evolutions work a bit differently in Pokémon GO. Instead of relying on trading to evolve pokémon like Haunter, trading certain pokémon lowers their evolution Candy cost all the way to zero. The following pokémon benefit from this trade evolve discount: Kadabra, Machoke, Graveler, and Haunter.

The update also works retroactively. If you already have one of these pokémon as a trade, their evolution will cost no Candy.

More Gen 5 pokémon are now appearing in the wild, including Roggenrola, Tympole, Dwebble, Trubbish, Karrablast, Joltik, Shelmet, and more. Boldore, Gurdurr, Karrablast, and Shelmet all benefit from the new trade evolutions.

New Gen 5 pokémon can also be hatched from eggs:

  • 2 km Eggs: Venipede and Dwebble
  • 5 km Eggs: Roggenrola, Tympole, Trubbish, Karrablast, Joltik, and Shelmet
  • 10 km Eggs: Timburr, Tirtouga, Archen, and Axew

The new Gen 5 wave also features region-exclusive pokémon. You’ll need to get some plane tickets (or some international friends) to catch ’em all.

  • North America, South America, and Africa: Throh (also available in 10 km Eggs)
  • Europe, Asia, and Australia: Sawk (also available in 10 km Eggs)
  • Southern United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America: Maractus
  • Egypt and Greece: Sigilyph
  • Eastern hemisphere: Red-Striped Form Basculin
  • Western hemisphere: Blue-Striped Form Basculin

Pokémon GO is free-to-play on iOS and Android mobile devices.