Pokemon Go has received a sudden influx of new events, updates, partnerships, and “heads-ups” from Niantic in the past few days. Most are small, a few are unclear, and others might be hard to understand without some background knowledge. Even press receive little to no warning on events and updates most of the time, meaning this recent rapid-fire deluge of news has been kind of a lot, even for our Massively on the Go column. But we’re going to try to round up the new partnerships, updates, and content that’s been released, with a few quick comments and tips where possible. So open your calendar and minds because we’re going to go over what all Niantic is doing to win, entertain, and oddly work you – and I don’t mean exercise this time.
Updates to Eggs: Following the recent autumn-themed event and the appearance of Strange Eggs, different Pokémon will be hatching from 2 km, 5 km, and 10 km Eggs. Additionally, the following Pokémon are now hatching from Strange Eggs: Larvitar, Absol, Sandile, Scraggy, Trubbish, Pawniard, Vullaby, and Deino.
AR mapping quests: You’ll notice some blue quests appearing sometimes when you spin a stop or gym asking you to do “AR Mapping.” Niantic has gamified real-world mapping via your phone’s camera for future use in its games, but let’s be honest: We know it can and will sell the data, and Niantic’s John Hanke has been called out before for failing to respect user privacy. It’s essentially work they’d paid someone to do. As noted by others in the previously linked thread, if you really want the potions/revives/other boring rewards, you don’t have to send in the data. So…. don’t.
Crown Tundra event: Oh heck yeah! I’ve already been enjoying the new Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion, but not just on my Switch. While Galarian Ponyta was exclusive to raids for about 24 hours after the expansion’s release, Farfetch’d (which was out in the wild again) can evolve in a new way: Make 10 excellent throws (not in a row) with it as your buddy. New evolution mechanic! If you missed this quick event, know that both Pokemon now appear in 7k eggs.
Changes to Mega Evolutions: Starting October 23rd, Mega Gengar will be appearing in Mega Raids while Mega Venusaur will be leaving them, though Venusaur will get a bit of a send-off from quests and appearing more often in raids. Likewise, in early November, players will be able to earn Mega Energy by walking with Buddy Pokemon whose evolution line already Megaed (i.e., Megaed Venusaur, Bulbasaur buddies walked can earn Mega Energy). You can also get additional candies when you have an active Mega-Evolved Pokémon and you catch a Pokemon that shares a type with yours, so Mega Gengar will snatch more Ghost candy from Ghost Pokemon for you. You will also earn additional Candies when catching a Raid Boss, regardless of its type. And you’ll be able to see which of your friends currently has out a Mega Evolved pokemon (which now last 8 hours), so you know whom to target when sending out remote raid invites. Sounds good on paper, but I have my doubts.
Halloween event: Oh hey, just in time for Mega Gengar. From 9 p.m. EDT on October 23rd the same time on November 3rd, you’ll get double catch and transfer candy. There’ll also be costumed Pokemon as usual including my beloved Gengar, and several other events within the event:
- Alolan Marowak Raid Day — On Saturday, October 31st, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time, Alolan Marowak will be appearing more often in raids. Dataminers have found Shadow Bone in the background (Update: Niantic confirmed it), which may entice PvP fans a little bit more.
- Catch Mastery: Ghost Day — On Sunday, October 25th, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time, Ghost-type Pokémon will be appearing more often in the wild and there will be event-exclusive Timed Research available to complete, giving you more chances to get Mega Gengar energy and Driftbloom pokemon.
- GO Battle League: Halloween Cup — From Monday, October 26th, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, to Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. EDT, the Halloween Cup will be live in the GO Battle League. In this format, only Poison-, Bug-, Ghost-, Dark-, and Fairy-type Pokémon with 1500 CP or fewer will be allowed to participate. You can also earn encounters with costumed Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle if you missed them last year (but you can’t evolve them).
Day of the Dead: So, this one is a bit confusing. The event is Sunday, November 1st, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to Monday, November 2nd, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. local time, labeled as Latin America only but posted in English to the global blog during a time when travel is restricted (and let’s be honest, more dangerous). There’ll be poffins as PvP rewards, more ghost/flower pokemon spawning, and special events that haven’t been announced as of this writing. But since we’ve had several non-English-derived events as global events, such as Lunar New Year, and because this holiday and similar ones are celebrated globally, it feels incredibly odd to restrict this. But we’ve confirmed this with Niantic’s PR and found that these are the specific locations for the event:
Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Uruguay, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Belize, Bahamas, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Curaçao, Aruba, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Netherlands, Anguilla, Montserrat, and the Falkland Islands.
November events: Aside from the knowledge that Togetic will be your weekly research reward, a good amount of this post is TBD. Spotlight hours are listed (Cubone, Meowth, Jigglypuff, and Barboach), but the raid pokemon are up in the air. But hey, at least we’ll be getting more information on where and how we obtained our pokemon, so that’s kind of neat.
Verizon partnership: Niantic and Verizon will be working together to bring exclusive in-game benefits to Verizon customers as well as other Trainers in the United States – benefits like Verizon Sponsored PokeStops, Sponsored Gyms, Sponsored Gifts, “exclusive” Verizon avatar items (which are stated to be available after the event ends this year), and a Special Weekend event on November 7th. Check the link for details, but it’s basically a catch event with some nice Pokemon.
Grubhub partnership: Niantic and Grubhub are teaming up to give players an event similar to the Verizon one. Expect it on Sunday, November 8th, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time; like Verizon’s event, it’ll include Timed Research and encounters with the following Pokémon: Chansey, Mawile, Spoink, Bronzor, Gible, Sewaddle, and more.
Animation Event: Nov 6-12, celebrating the current Pokemon anime series. Ignoring the 7km egg push for Cubone (personal favorite but still not worth incubators), it’s at least some free, cross-promotional content. Update And dataminers have found that the new Lugia release brings with it Aeroblast, which will make it at least a bit more useful in PvP.
Community Days: Nov 15 and 21. I love the theme of Magmar and Electabuzz sharing the month, and they’re also getting moves from the other type’s pool, which is hilarious. Also another opportunity to get Elite TMs is appreciated and buy cheap CD event quests. The bonus is hatch distance though, so maybe watch your spending.
While there really hasn’t been a shortage of events for Pokemon Go even during COVID, this lineup feels even more crowded than usual. There’s also a lot to unpack here in my opinion, so for people curious about how all these events have actually really made an impact in such a short time, we’ll have another Massively on the Go column next week diving deeper into some of these issues.