How to Get Back Into Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go is slowly getting a revival as players make their way back to their accounts. Just as the hit mobile game that made everyone Pokémon trainers reaches its second birthday, and thanks to its constant push of content and events, Pokémon Go has become a game that is worth your time again.
I recently talked with the founder of the 13,000-member Pokémon Go Columbus Facebook Group Joshua Irish, who has seen the growth of the game here in Columbus with his Admin team for the group.
“People phase in and out of the game as new features or bosses are added,” Irish said. “We also had the addition of the quest system and the release of Mew, which likely drew in new and returning players.”
Speaking of the new features and bosses, let’s get caught back up to speed on what’s changed in the game. We’re now on the third generation of Pokémon (that’s Ruby and Sapphire for those wondering), which gives us a total of more than 380 total Pokémon that you can catch throughout the world. Speaking of the number of Pokémon, Legendary Pokémon, such as Zapdos, Lugia, and Kyogre, can be captured through a new raid system. These raids allow players to team up with others to take down stronger than normal Pokémon, and if they manage to defeat the boss, everyone gets a chance to catch the Pokémon using special premier balls.
Like Irish said, one of the first major features that started to bring players back was the quest system introduced in April. This field research system offers players up to three tasks obtained from Pokéstops to gain more items, stardust, or even Pokémon spawns. Players also earn a research stamp once per day for completing tasks, that will reward them with extra items and a special Pokémon spawn that changes monthly after filling in seven stamps.
However, the field research isn’t the only quest system Niantic introduced, they also introduced special research. These sets of tasks have all players doing more rigorous tasks, such as getting 400 Magikarp Candies, and catching 10 Ghost Pokémon (which took me longer than I care to admit), in order to unlock the mythical Pokémon Mew. It’s also been rumored that Pokémon Gold/Silver’s Celebi will be coming in the coming months, so players will have something to look forward to after completing the current round of tasks.
The game has also introduced the long-awaited friend system, finally allowing for players to connect with their friends and power up together. Through sending each other gifts (obtained from Pokéstops) and battling in raids and gyms together, players can gain extra bonuses when they play with the same people. There are four levels of friendship that you can unlock as you interact with players.
Along with the friend system, we finally have trading in Pokémon Go! However, the system requires the use of stardust, which was previously only used to power up your Pokémon. However, the cost of trading is astronomical if you don’t take the time to trade with people you’ve become friends with, helping to keep the games economy from being overwhelmed in trainers paying their way to win. Combine that with the inability to “re-gift” a Pokémon that’s been traded to you, and rewards for trading Pokémon that were caught further apart, and Niantic has created a system I didn’t expect, but really enjoy.
Finally, Niantic has been steadily releasing events to get the community back out catching new Pokémon. Whether it’s special Pokémon, like the current Summer Pikachu to celebrate the game’s second birthday, or themed weeks that increase the spawns of Pokémon types, like water or fighting.
However, their biggest event has been the monthly Community Day, which offers special bonuses and increased spawns for a select Pokémon for three hours. Last weekend’s Community Day offered the Gen 1 Starter Squirtle, with the ability to learn the exclusive move, Hydro Pump, if it was evolved into a Blastoise during the event.
So now that Pokémon Go has much more content, are you going to get back into it? Does the Pokémon Let’s Go Series have you excited to jump back in? Let me know in the comments below, but if my friend group is anything to go by, you probably already are.