From October 1st to the 10th, there’ll be new spawns, Pikachu in an explorer costume, and a special quest to receive Zaruda, Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Dark/Grass type mythical ‘mon. In the wild, Larvitar and (to an extent) Drillbur are the only really useful pokemon to look out for, but some players may want to grab a good Pinsir for whenever its Mega form is released. Raids will bring (shiny) Rufflet for collectors and Chansey for gym defenders. Audino will also be one of the research rewards from pokestops. Rocket hunters may also enjoy Jessie and James’ return in the Meowth balloon, though what pokemon they will be bringing are still unknown.
It’s a strong start, but not everything this month is quite a sweet treat. While we do get Mega Absol’s debut starting at 10 a.m. on October 22nd, it’s not as good as Mega Houndoom, which we already have, plus it’s a mono Dark-type, which makes it less useful for catching anything other than people’s eye. Darkrai returns, but rather than getting its signature move, it’s getting Sludge Bomb, which according to player simulations does nothing for it even against its Fairy-types. Practically, though, it’s a downgrade unless the meta shifts away from certain Ghosts and Steels types which require its Dark Pulse/Focus Blast setup.
All that and we haven’t even mentioned Community Day yet.
Despite hopes for Litwick finally getting its time to shine, Duskull will see its Community Day on October 9th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, plus the usual two-hour post-event to evolve. It may be an event you want to go easy on, though. Despite getting Shadow Ball as its Community Day move, it won’t be doing anything special in PvE or PvP it seems, and while its first two forms get a nice red-hue, Dusknoir’s shiny is rather bland. The main draw, beyond an excuse to get yourself moving, is the triple stardust catch bonus. Players can complete the September “Earn 3 Hearts” quest for Meowth and save it for the event. While not as good as September’s Alola Meowth hour, regular Meowth still gives 500 stardust per catch.
While Niantic was dousing our hopes for a relevant or fun CD, it also doused Genesect. That is, October 6th is when Douse Drive Genesect will be released, giving the Paleozoic Pokemon a water-based Techno Blast. While this does make Genesect a bit better in Master League PvP, it’s still quite vulnerable to fire and a high investment. Unless it fills an important niche and you’re rolling in resources, the Chill version may be worth the wait. While it doesn’t win quite as many battles as Douse, Ice affects several pokemon that are meta-relevant, include a few like Groudon that have fire moves to use against it.
Speaking of Ice weaknesses, Altered Forme Giratina makes its return October 12th to October 22nd. While it’s not great for raiding, it’s quite useful for Ultra League and higher PvPers. And don’t forget, it shares candy with its Origin Forme, so you can at least farm up some supplies. Who knows, maybe Niantic will allow us to use the new Forme Change ability on it soon?
There is some catching up to do this month, though. Let’s look at our Tuesday 6 p.m. Spotlight hours:
- Tuesday, October 5th, 2021: Drifloon will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokémon.
- Tuesday, October 12th, 2021: Gastly will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Stardust for catching Pokémon.
- Tuesday, October 19th, 2021: Gothita will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for catching Pokémon.
- Tuesday, October 26th, 2021: Murkrow will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokémon.
Notice the evolution events. Phantump has been spotted by dataminers, and given the return of Yamask, you may want to use these events to evolve any new pokemon you’ve stumbled across. October 12th is nice for finding shiny Gastly, finding a strong one, or just farming candy, as October events tend to be Ghost heavy and Gengar’s Mega form returns October 1st through 22nd.
As October 15th is set to be POGO Halloween (ending on the 31st), it may be that our usual double catch candy event will be appearing then. We don’t have any details on that yet though, so stay tuned.
10/11 Update: We’ve got details now. You’ll get double candy from hatching, catching, and transferring during the event dates, plus guaranteed XL candy from your walking buddy. Pikachu, Piplup, and Drifblim all get costumes, but due to evolution limitations, only Drify is somewhat useable, mostly in Ultra League, though it can be an interesting gym defender pick with Hex and Shadow Ball. New avatar options will be out 1pm PST on October 14, and they’re looking nice. The Halloween box packages in the store also look like better deals than what we’ve seen in months, for those looking for incubator or raid pass bundles, especially as they contain incense and star pieces with ultra ball fillers.
October 15-22 will be part one of the event, and while most of the pokemon are fillers besides Gastly and (just for being a rare seasonal that can now be shiny) Yamask, there’ll be more psychics spawning. This is important because Galarian Slowpoke’s Slowking form is being released and requires 30 psychic-type pokemon to be caught while it’s your buddy. Sadly, G. Poke only seems to be available from 1 star raids during the entire October event, so you may want to hatch some 7k eggs in your reusable incubator for a bit.
7k eggs received during this time may also contain Litwick, Galarian Yamask, or Golett, but as usual, I’d advise against gambling and only hatch in the pursuit of xp/stardust gains. Don’t worry non-gamblers, as Galarian Yamask at least will also be a potential reward from research tasks. 10/15 Update: The event is live, and there’s forced PvP research. PvE fans won’t miss anything by skipping out, but collectors might feel a bit burned.
The above mentioned Phantump line, as well as Pumpkaboo family, will both be released during the second part of the event from October 22-31. The latter is interesting as Niantic has made it so that, at least with the Pumpkaboo family, larger pokemon will actually look bigger in-game, allowing the company to also do a size-collection challenge as part of the event. The other wild spawns are a bit more useful for non-collectors, as Litwick and Galarian Yamask will be in the wild as rares, and both Yamask versions will be rares in 7k eggs.
Speaking of unknown events, Niantic noted it’ll be granting a free gift to players who log on during the company’s October 6th birthday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Again, we don’t know the specifics yet and will update this when we have more info, but remember that gifts often don’t trigger if you’re already logged in, so if you don’t see anything during the event, try logging out and back in to refresh your client.
As usual, Niantic is wisely keeping its weekly one-coin package deals that provide players with an additional Remote Raid pass every Monday, and while it’s not in the blog post itself, Niantic PR has mentioned a small quality-of-life update coming. Trainers be able to zoom in and out while in the style menu, something I know I’ve longed for when trying to coordinate hats and shoes with the rest of my outfits. After all, with Halloween coming, our avatars also need a chance to dress up!
Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!