10 New Features That’ll Give You A Reason To Keep Playing Pokemon GO

By: Jessica Reyes |

When Pokemon GO first came out in the summer of 2016, it created such a craze that you’d think some people believed Pokemon had come to life. Like an amped-up version of Geocaching, Pokemon GO was a “hunt” that challenged both adults and kids to “catch ’em all” and become Pokemon masters. Since then, the frenzy surrounding Pokemon GO has subsided, but many people still play the game–in fact, it’s better than ever. Since it’s launch a few years ago, Niantic added a slew of new features that make the game even more enjoyable. Here is a list of what you can expect to find in the newest version of Pokemon GO.

1. New Generations

Pokemon GO started with the first generation of Pokemon (also known as the Kanto region) from the first season of the anime and original comics. Since then, Niantic added the entire second generation of Pokemon and even most of the third generation. That means people could now catch over 300 different Pokemon–even more that you need to get outside and catch! The third generation has about 20 more Pokemon to add and hasn’t given us all of the legendaries yet.

2. Legendaries

Did I mention that now you can have legendary Pokemon? Back in Summer 2016, Pokemon trainers used to speculate whether or not only one person would be allowed to have legendaries such as Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, but it turns out that anybody could catch them with enough vigilance and persistence. They aren’t easy to find, but you can now own any of the first generation legendaries as well as the second generation legendaries. The third generation has only released their most famous trio: Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza.

3. Stat Appraisal

You now have the option of asking your team leader (depending on whether you joined Team Valor, Mystic, or Instinct) how your Pokemon’s stats (attack, defense, etc.) are. They will highlight any stat that is unusually high or low, which now makes IV training easier than ever. Competitive players can now more conveniently run around catching as many of the same Pokemon they can in order to get their desired stat distribution.

4. Raid Battles

Raid Battle special events are one of the most distinct upgrades since Summer 2016 and one of the biggest encouragements for players to work together with other trainers in the area. At random, a gym may occasionally become a Raid Boss spawning point. Players will be notified via their Pokemon radar or see a Rhydon icon on their map, which means that a raid is happening. Raid Bosses are usually powerful Pokemon that players are encouraged to take on as a group.

If the Raid Boss is defeated within the given time limit, players will be rewarded with the opportunity to catch the Raid Boss. You are also given special items such as Rare Candies, Premier Balls, Golden Razz Berries, and more!

5. Gyms

To make gyms harder to hold and easier to take over, gym Pokemon now have a motivation tracker in the form of a “heart level” that weakens when guarding Pokemon are defeated. If enough time passes, motivation will lower too. This motivation level works in tandem with the Pokemon’s CP–as the motivation lowers, so will CP, and gym Pokemon will be easier to defeat. To raise motivation level, players of the same team as the gym can feed berries to the guarding Pokemon.

6. Weather

Like weather affects your outdoor walks, it now also affects your Pokemon! Depending on the weather, certain types of Pokemon (water, grass, etc.) will have a higher spawn rate and higher IV/CP level in the wild. Additionally, the weather will increase the power behind moves of a certain type.

7. Radar

Before, Pokemon GO used to have a “Sightings” radar that would tell players about the available Pokemon in their area. Then, Niantic eventually changed Sightings to a “Nearby” radar, which allowed players to see Pokemon nearby certain PokeStops. However, this ended up being a huge disadvantage for people who lived in more rural areas, so Niantic decided that both Sightings and Nearby could be helpful for trainers in their own way. Depending on whether you live near enough PokeStops or not, either Sightings or Nearby will take priority over your Pokemon radar.

8. Buddy

You can pick any of your Pokemon to walk beside you as your buddy. Your Pokemon buddy will appear by your avatar in-game and be seen walking around with you wherever you go. It’s not just cute–it’s also for candies! So if you happen to catch a rare Pokemon, you can make them your buddy and you will be awarded a candy for every few miles you walk with them by your side.

9. Special Events

Niantic has been responsively interacting with its community by adding events to the game. These events could be special edition Pikachus (Santa Hat Pikachu!) up for capture, increased spawn times for Pokemon that may usually not be in your area, and others that encourage trainers to get outside and explore their neighborhood while catching Pokemon. They’re always thinking up new ways to entertain, so it’s a good idea to check-in every once in a while to know what events may be happening. That or everyone will be screaming about it online.

10. New Accessories & Items

Pokemon GO has several new clothing pieces that have been added to your avatar’s closet, so you can both swap between free accessories and also buy new accessories with your gym tokens to customize your avatar. There are also new items like Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and Premier Balls that have been added to the game.

And the most important part? Pokemon GO doesn’t crash like it did within the first few weeks of its initial release. So now you can actually enjoy the app for extended periods of time without losing catches to sudden glitches! Even though Pokemon GO doesn’t carry the same hype that it did during the Summer of 2016, it’s still a fun, interactive mobile game that allows trainers to gain experience and enjoy the benefits of being active.