Confirming previous leaks, Niantic has now officially announced Pokemon Go’s 2022 Go Fest, and yes, Niantic has once again made it a global event rather than restricting it to the pre-COVID specific location events.
The event will run June 4th and 5th, with purchased tickets ($14.99 USD) including an August 27th “special finale” event, which had previously been reported as being available as a standalone event for $11. The main highlights for the June parts of the event are the release of new shinies (Axew, Numel, Shroomish, Karrablast, and Shelmet) for everyone lucky enough to find one, rotating habitats, a new yet-to-be-announced Pokemon being introduced to raids on June 5th, nine free raid passes per day, a Special Research quest on Sunday, and Axew in one-star raids.
And that’s just the free content. Ticket holders will also get a customizable event where they can choose the difficulty (Relaxed, Standard, and Master) to affect the stickers they receive and style (Catching, Exploring, or Battling) to change the tasks they receive, leading to obtaining the mythical Land Forme Shaymin. On Sunday, ticket holders also get more Rockets, more mysterious components, and an additional quest that free players won’t have.
While the leaked rotating habitats have some choice pokemon for non-ticket holders, ticket holders in particular have access to wild Galarian Mr Mime, Galarian Weezing, Axew, Torkoal (a regional), Pancham, Tropius (a useful regional in Great League), Galarian Darumaka, and various Unowns (B, G, O, and U). While Niantic’s business models have been questionable over the last year or so, the numerous fun, useful, and regional pokemon being included, in addition to the customizable quest spread over a two-day period, is a very good reminder that Go Fest since COVID has been one of Niantic’s most enjoyable and worthwhile yearly events. Barring major drama such as war, disease, or development surprises, it’s hard not to get excited about this year’s Go Fest.
5/1 Update: Looking at the new Mega system and what to invest in, Mega Abomasnow is looking like the winner. Gathering candy from Tropius and Galarian Mr Mime, 2 regionals, plus the single Shaymin you’ll get is promising, while hitting 11 known pokemon overall, including some rare/useful Ice types. Axew is a rare dragon-type though, and combined with Torkoal (another regional, though far less useful than the previous ones), Mega Charizard X is an understandable second choice for candy lovers. If you’re more worried about overall candy and xp rather than what’s rare, Mega Gyarados is actually looking like the winner, with 10 targets being hit due to the abundance of Water types, and the unique eventual-Dragon-Poison Skrelp is among them, along with the promising starter Poplio.
5/5 Update: The new Berlin event is Niantic’s latest attempt at getting people to gather as in pre-pandemic times, but the event does hint at some things for the Go Fest “finale” in August. Shiny forms of elemental monkeys at the event most likely means we’ll see their release between then and the finale, but Shaymin’s Sky Forme means almost certainly will be in that August event, if not sooner. Niantic has a history of gating certain Pokemon to a paid event before releasing it into the wild, and the Go Fest Finale does seem like it’d make sense here.
5/10 Update: The Sapporo event has had its details released, and it looks similar to Berlin except for the fact that it’s adding a second, city-wide event that’ll release a new pokemon while still having event-specific habitats and events. Seeing as the recent Legends of Arceus game, like Gen 4 in general, essentially takes place in Hokkaido where Sapporo is located, I wonder if the new pokemon could be one of the other unreleased Gen 4 mythicals, including Arceus itself. After all, Shaymin and its Sky Forme are being released after Go Fest proper, and if the trend continues, the August event finale could be a way to wrap up Gen 4. Then again, it could also just be another Hisuian variant, like Basculegion.