Niantic announced a huge new update for its flagship mobile game, Pokémon Go, today on its blog. A host of new changes stirred up speculation about how much the new updates will help improve the gameplay after almost a year after the game’s initial release day on iOS and Android.
The update adds three major new additions, reworked gyms, a new competitive multiplayer and a host of new items to test out.
Additionally, Niantic said they’ll be shutting down all gyms until the update is complete. The co-op mode, named the Raid Battle feature, will also be rolled out over the coming few weeks.
Pokémon Go: Co-Op Mode
The new raid mode looks amazing. Tech Crunch had a sneak peek of the new feature and made a detailed narrative of their experience with the exciting new game type.
Raid battles will give trainers the chance to meet with up to 20 friends to take on powerful Pokémon for huge payouts and lots of XP. The battles come as timed events that take over local gyms. You can also customize your own raids.
Before the Raid Battle begins, a large egg will appear above the gym and the Pokémon in the gym return to their trainers. Performing a raid requires a raid pass, and players can hold one raid pass each that they can get either at a gym or by buying them from the mobile store.
Winning a raid battle within five minutes also rewards you with an extra Pokémon!
Pokémon Go: New Gyms
The new gyms amend an issue that’s plagued the game since the game’s release: a lot of gyms would always have top-tier players just camping outside of them, waiting to pick off newer folks for items and easy XP.
For one, every gym can be treated like a Pokéstop, each with a photo disc to spin and drop items for you. You can also store double the Pokémon in these places once you beat a gym, increasing the max capacity from three to six, and view them all at once without an awkward interface.
Most importantly, only one of each Pokémon is allowed per person at a time, Pokémon players use will be featured in the way they were ordered, Pokémon now have a morale meter called “motivation” that goes up or down depending on its wins and losses. When the meter his zero, the Pokémon leaves the gym, and each gym now has a badge system you can level up over time.
These exciting new updates repair a broken and annoying system people hardly found intuitive to use.
Pokémon Go: New Items
Beating raid bosses rewards you with new prizes exclusive to the new game mode, including Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and two types of Technical Machines–Fast and Charged. According to Niantic’s post:
“A Rare Candy is a mysterious candy that, when used on a Pokémon, turns into that Pokémon’s Candy. Golden Razz Berries will greatly increase your chances of catching a Pokémon you encounter in the wild and can also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to fully recover its motivation meter. Technical Machines are items you can use to permanently teach a Pokémon a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.”
The new update will continue to roll out internationally over the next few weeks. Now’s a better time than ever to dust off this AR gem and start exploring your local area for the new gym features!