Massively on the Go: Pokemon Go’s October events are early with tricks if not treats


Pokemon Go news this month feels like Christmas. We usually don’t get news until days before the new month starts, if that. But this time, our trusty leaker has been joined by a second leaker, which Niantic may be trying to head off or disprove with its early drop of October details.

While it’s nice to see some of the leaks confirmed by Niantic’s official infograph, there are still some mysteries, and they’re not all great.

Let’s analyze what we can see. If we ignore holdovers from September’s raids, Megas are basically catch-up. Sabeleye will be the Ruler of the Hill this month, as it gives bonus xp and (XL) candy to Ghosts and Dark-types, which you can see is the bulk of this month’s event ‘mon. Guzzlord is far from useful, but having its shiny release and being reasonably easy to solo with Fairy-types is a nice treat this season. Darkrai is far less soloable (as in maybe don’t expect to win) but far more useful, though keep in mind that it can’t be traded.

The real curveball here though is Shadow Moltres, which most of us expect to have three months of next season. Perhaps Niantic’s realized from last season’s Shadow Articuno and this season’s Shadow Zapdos that people just don’t care about these ‘mon. That being said, Shadow Moltres is the most useful of the three and shouldn’t be too hard for a group of three, so have your friends ready for weekend raids during October. On the flip side, the seasonal calendar, which frequently gets neglected, still says Shadow Zapdos appears on weekends. We’ve had shadow-bird discrepancies since July 2023, and without specific updates on how things’ll work, it may be safer to assume Shadow Zapdos will be out for October. That means if you don’t have one yet, you may want to get on that soon!

9/23 Update: As predicted, Niantic Help has confirmed Zapdos will not be available in Shadow Raids for October.

In terms of events, first, we’ll see the tail-end of the Out to Play Event from September 27th to October 2nd, which we covered last month. Nothing revealed so far changes that event, including any notes about the datamined PartyPlay mode. Again, the details are scant, but at the least, it would allow groups of four players to see each other on the map. We know of no mechanical bonuses associated with the mode, but I’m sure parents who play with kids would love this addition, as it’ll give them an idea of where their kiddos are while Trick-or-Treating in the neighborhood.

9/27 Update: As predicted, the event requires players to do routes. While Niantic has touted large additions and changes to routes since the last Route event debacle in July, in their own social media post, many players posted screenshots of having no nearby routes to perform the quests with, making this the repeat of the failed July event for at least many rural players.

October 5th-9th is set to be a mystery event, but I’m guessing it may be related to the new Detective Pikachu game releasing on the 6th. Basically, it’s the return of an old hat pikachu, except this time it’ll (officially) be shiny, and unlike many pikachus, this one can evolve. That could also be the mystery pokemon for the Showcase during that time. We’ll update this section as we learn more.

9/29 Update: To no one’s surprise, Niantic “revealed” the Detective Pikachu event details. For veteran players, it can largely be skipped once you’ve obtained the new Detective Hat Slowpoke. Collectors can try to get the previously mentioned Shiny Detective Pikachu. Chimecho gives extra stardust, Sudowoodo from research can be saved for October 15th’s Community Day 3x stardust bonus, and Cutiefly and Falinks can be caught maybe a little more than usual. If you’re hurting for xp, Primal Groudon is probably the best ‘mon to use during this event, unless you’re in a rainy area, in which case, go with Primal Kyogre. That’s sadly the event in a nutshell.

While the new leaker claimed it’ll be a raid weekend for Shadow Lugia, October 7th-9th are listed as a Go Battle Weekend. We assume from the PvP calendar we’ll have 4x stardust from wins, and most likely there’ll be some kind of research involving gloves or boots, but we’ll update this as we learn more.

October 12th-17th is set to be the Harvest Festival, and both leakers are saying Smoliv is coming with that, which would be why the Showcase pokemon during that time is a mystery. In Scarlet and Violet, it tends to be seen as more of a healer, so I’m not sure how useful it’ll be, but it is one of the new fan favorites. We’ll have to wait and see what Niantic does, both for the event and (if it arrives) for our olive friend.


10/4 Update: The official information is basically what we said plus little more. Basically, it’s Smoliv release, the ability to get more Flabebe (XL) candy as its regional forms aren’t rotating or changing, Combee’s there for extra stardust, and there’s hope that finally we’ll have contests that use XXS pokemon instead of all the big-sized contests, though that remains to be seen. Even the previously discussed paid Ticket of Treats isn’t giving anything unannounced from what Niantic’s revealed.

Between the leaks and the October 15th showcase during Community Day, I think it’s safe to assume that Timburr is the featured pokemon. This is the first big CD in a while; its final form will replace all your Machamps in terms of power, outside of Shadow ones, as it’ll finally be easily accessible. This also means we may be seeing gyms fall faster. And all this is before we even know what its event move will be! As a reminder though, an untreated Timburr needs a whopping 250 candy to reach its final form or just 50 if it’s been traded. Bring friends, or use Mega Lopunny or Mega Blaziken to help generate more candy. Or do both!


9/25 Update: And Timburr has been officially confirmed. It’s event move, Brutal Swing, is only useful for some gym situations and PvP. That being said, it will still replace most non-shadow Machamps, though Machamp still has a more flexible move pool, to the point where I would recommend keeping a few Machamps with Rock Slide in certain situations addressed in our updated gym guide.

October 21st is Incense Day. Traditionally it means you use incense to catch the same pokemon all day, like a premium-item-required Community Day, except without the after-hour evolution time. It was also a COVID-era event, so much like the regular CD, it’s been cut in half from six hours to just three. I am slightly worried it’ll be Shuppet, as it has a Showcase running through that time, but we’ll update this as we hear more.

10/13 Update: Incense Day official details confirm the tradition. This time it’s Skorupi, with Bug and Poison hours alternating throughout the event (11am-5pm). Pinsir and rares Scyther and Trubbish (for stardust) are highlights if you already have a shiny Skorupi, but otherwise, there isn’t anything terribly useful spawning, so it’s a low-key event. On the plus side, in the rare case that you need incense, you’ll be able to purchase a single one for the low low price of 1 coin.

Finally, we have Halloween. Traditionally, we’ve had Part 1 (October 19th-26th) and Part 2 (October 26th-31st) only since 2021. I really couldn’t tell you if there’s any pattern from that small of a data set, aside from new pokemon being introduced or changing their availability between the two parts. Do expect candy bonuses though, and new costume pokemon based on official pokemon merchandise for the season, as is tradition. And sadly perhaps paid research with juicy bonuses.

9/29 Update: In a now deleted (but saved by reddit) Tweet, Pokemon Go’s Latin America account teased month-long trick-or-treat ticket. This could be an extension of last year’s event ticket which granted bonus candy and other bonuses, or (as some may fear) it could be the start of subscriptions, though I’d lean more towards a subscription test-run than full on subscriptions, at least for the time being. Niantic already has a sub in place for Ingress, though the game is making the least profits (that we know of) as of this writing.

9/29 Update 2: As predicted earlier today, the October ticket for the month is essentially an extension of last year’s ticket. While there are supposedly some surprises, each week gives a few bonuses you have until the end of the month to complete. Ignoring the pokemon (which are usually just one or two), $5 gets you 1.5x stardust and xp for each first catch of the day in October, 3 premium passes, a mossy lure, two regular incubators, two super incubators, three silver pinaps, and two rare candies. It’s not a terrible deal, but nothing to salivate over, yet. We’ll see what the “and more” becomes. It does look similar to what some games would do for a subscription though, so it really could be a trial run for that.

10/13 Update: We now have official information on Halloween Part 1. We’re seeing the release of Greavard’s line, but it’s functionally unuseful for the most part, even in PVP, and the fact that it’ll be a Showcase ‘mon but apparently only available from Timed Research quests and 3-star raids, making it feel like a cash grab ‘mon. Phantump’s shiny will be out, and it’s a looker, so that’s nice, and Sandygast will be spawning a bit more, plus the candy bonus will be based on your throwing abilities this year.

However, the above-mentioned month-long research doesn’t include a new $5 research for a new pose and a few basic sounding pokemon. Combined with double hatch candy (Munchlax, Galarian Yamask, and the very useful Riolu will be in 7k eggs), it’s kind of feeling like Part 1 of the event is mostly a trick for players and treat for Niantic.

10/18 Update: And now we have details on Halloween Part 2. Interestingly, we have some returning costumes for Vulpix (can evolve), Piplup (can’t evolve), and Pumpkaboo (can evolve), as well as a new Gengar and Pikachu (can’t evolve) costume, and as a new twist, costumed pokemon will be able to give more candy when caught. Zorua will also have a chance to be shiny, so look out for those.

While the throwing quality will be granting more (XL) candy, on October 31, all costumed pokemon will have a chance to drop (XL) rare candy, so even adults can get some trick or treating in this year. It’s not all treats though!

We also have an announced Halloween Takeover event from October 26th-31st, supposedly ending at 8am… or 8pm, depending on which Niantic announcement you believe. You’ll be able to TM off Frustration from Shadows, Giovanni will have Shadow Regigas (probably not useful), new Shadow ‘mon (all look like they’ll have some use, but for raids, I’d consider Gastly and Cranidos as glass canons and Drillbur, Litwick, and Rhyhorn for sturdier options), plus Shadow Lugia raids on October 28th-29th. No, it’s not the cool one people were hoping for, though it will have a chance to be shiny. October started off pretty slow, but it seems like it’s ending with a bang!

As usual, let’s end with the Spotlight Hours. Watch this space, as it could drastically change as event details roll out, such as bonus candy, stardust, or other surprises, such as last year’s Zorua debacle that saw Niantic’s bugs have consequences for all Pokemon games that can connect via Pokemon HOME. The same bug also caused the company to disable all Go+ devices and their off-brand cousins from functioning for several days, so again, be on the lookout.

October 3rd is pretty skippable aside from having the first transfer event in over a month. Hope y’all can hold out for that long! Slowpoke is heavily featured in the Psychic event in September, so unless you’re really looking for a good one despite this event and its Community Day earlier this year, you can probably just transfer your old ‘mon and rest up.

Shroomish on October 10th, however, is a good one, not because of the bonus but because it grants extra stardust when caught. This is certainly one of those times you can feel safe about using a starpiece!

October 17th is nice for stardust and could be a last-chance opportunity for competitive players looking to win the October 16th-17th Pumpkaboo Showcase. Remember, that ends at 8 p.m. while Spotlight Hour ends at 7 p.m., so be ready to switch things up or drop off your new champ!

October 24th’s Phantump is mostly useful for Great and Ultra League PvPers, as that’s all the pokemon’s really useful for, unless we get the shiny for collectors. Pray the leaks are right!

Lastly, Halloween proper’s Yamask Spotlight Hour might be tough to make for some people, but should be rewarding. We’ve got its evolution as one of the best gym defenders (both versions, if Niantic ends up doing that), but double candy means any new releases you can save in your quest stack can be collected during this hour. Keep that in mind throughout the month!

As always, we’ll update this article through out the month as more and more information is dripfed to us. Stay safe out there, trainers!

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!
Pokemon Go studio Niantic is considered a controversial gaming company owing to multiple scandals and deceptions, starting with the Wi-Spy privacy scandal; over the years, it’s repeatedly failed to secure player data, endangered players during the pandemic, and refused to address documented stalking in POGO. It also rolled back popular accessibility features to incentivize data collection, faked data, and lied about event results. Following 2021’s community-driven Pokemon No boycott, Niantic vowed transparency and communication; it has not delivered.
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