Niantic announced a daily box available in the Pokémon Go PokéShop. This box is completely free and will contain a handful of random items, potentially including Poké Balls, Berries, and Potions. The announcement did not specify exactly when during the day a new box would be available, if it would be 24 hours from claiming the previous box or if it would reset at the beginning of the day, but it did specify that a notification dot would show up on PokéShop icon in the menu when a box was available.
In addition to the daily free items, a new Team GO Rocket hat is available for your avatar for 150 PokéCoins, to commemorate the release of the Team GO Rocket hot air balloons. Although it has not been confirmed in official channels, we have received reports that this feature is now available for most, if not all players, giving players the opportunity to once again challenge Team GO Rocket, even if they are currently unable to travel to PokéStops due to the global pandemic.
I have to admit, I didn’t think much of all the various Team Rocket balloon teases that Pokémon GO has been tweeting out over the past couple of days. I thought it was just a story thing, not such a direct line to a game feature. As it turns out, the teases for Team Rocket in balloons were hinting at just that: Team Rocket has begun to arrive in menacing balloons in-game, leading to fights for anyone that encounters them.
At the time of this writing, only trainers level 35 and up can see them, but as usual we expect that number to go down pretty quickly. I haven’t encountered one of them yet, but I’ll update once one of them crosses my path.
For those that have seen them, it seems that they’re leading to fights with Team Rocket: some seem to be grunts, but some are leaders: Cliff, Sierra, Arlo, and even Giovanni. These fights can be tough, as usual, but can reward powerful shadow Pokémon. Apparently Sierra has a shadow Beldum, exciting for people that have been hunting that one.
Apparently, these Rocket balloons are not limited to the in-game world, either. A full-on physical balloon has been spotted over Munich. Over here in the US, it’s a sad reminder that countries able to get COVID-19 under control are able to do all sorts of things, like reopen schools and pull silly Pokémon stunts.
Still, this is a clever new feature for the COVID-19 era, to the degree that I wonder whether or not this was totally conceived of and developed sometime after mid-March. Because while it manages to capture some of the drama of that initial Team Rocket invasion last year, it does so in a way that cooperates perfectly with stationary play.
After a week of updates to the Willow Report teasing Team GO Rocket's return, an email went out today addressed to "Team GO Rocket Grunts" and labeled as confidential Team GO Rocket materials:
"Big congrats to the Team GO Rocket balloon team for all their hard work this past year. From their initial test flight to the recent scouting missions across the globe, the balloon team has blown our minds and shown us that what drives Team GO Rocket's success is smarts and spunk! We can't wait to see the work they've been doing in the shadows come to light!"
In addition, each of the three Executives of Team GO Rocket, Arlo, Sierra, and Cliff had words of "encouragement" for the Grunts, and a Senior Grunt had advice for the rest of the team. Although the email did not specify what tomorrow's plans entail, it did go into detail about the contruction of the Team GO Rocket hot air balloons, as well as make mention of the manual that had leaked to Professor Willow. It also commented on missing Team GO Rocket items left behind after battles with Pokémon Trainers, and included a code to redeem for three potions and three revives.
Are you excited for the chance to face Team GO Rocket in the skies tomorrow? Have you been finding new items after your battles with Team GO Rocket lately? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
If you’re doing the elite challenge in Pokémon GO right now, you’re up against a whopping, brutal research task, likely the hardest one we’ve seen so far. You’ve got to get 50 excellent throws, something that might have taken me a full year in my earliest days of playing the game. But these are not the earliest days, and we’ve got some tips to help us along. Here are some better ways of getting excellent throws in Pokémon GO.
Play an absolute ton of Pokémon GO, all the time, catching thousands of Pokémon for years, until the act of throwing the ball is so deeply ingrained on you that it is as natural as walking: This is probably the best way to go about it. Not a very useful piece of information, however!
Prioritize your Pokémon: While it’s of course possible to get an excellent throw an any Pokémon, some of them are just not worth the effort. Pokémon that are far away, or have small circles, are going to be much harder. You want to find something with as big a circle as possible, as close to the camera as possible.
Some good Pokémon include: Ponyta, Slowpoke, Numel, Wailmer/Spheal, Machamp, and Snorlax. But keep seeing what’s out there and what works for you.
The best Pokémon here are typically going to be legendaries: Groudon was particulary easy, as far as I remember. Your best shot here are legendaries awarded through the Go League, Research Rewards, or any instance where you can use unlimited balls. You can do it on Raids too, but be prepared to run out of balls.
Use Nanab Berries: Best used in tandem with the previous tip. But when you get a decent target, you want to make things as easy as possible on yourself. Don’t use a razz berry to increase catch chances, use a Nanab berry to slow things down and make the encounter more predictable.
Use normal Pokéballs to farm: This is particularly helpful with the current skill challenge, because 50 excellent throws is an absolute ton of excellent throws. Ironically, not catching Pokémon is just as useful if not more so in this instance.
Once you find yourself with a good target: big, close to the player and not moving around too much, the last thing you want to do is waste it by sticking it in a Pokéball and ending the encounter. You want to use a red Pokéball so that you might get another shot at things: this is especially useful with legendaries.
Use Curveballs: This is a tricky one, because its sort of impossible to test in any controlled way: I mostly use curveballs, and so naturally all my excellent throws are curveballs. But they just seem to be a bit better: my theory is that the ball is travelling at a shallower angle of attack when it crosses the target plane, and so it has more opportunity to strike in the right place. But I don’t know nearly enough about the underlying math to make an actual statement there, and I’ll just say that they seem easier.
Pokémon GO Fest 2020 is almost here. To prepare, there will be three weeks of Timed Research Challenges. Trainers will get awesome individual rewards, as well as have the chance to unlock Pokémon for Pokémon GO Fest 2020. The first week has officially begun and we have everything you need to know to complete this week's Timed Research!
What is a Timed Research Challenge?
Introduced in the Throwback Challenge Event, a Timed Research Challenge is Special Research that must be completed in a set period of time. If it isn't completed before the time expires, it will disappear forever. There are bonuses during the Timed Research which will make it easier to complete and the bonuses are pretty awesome. For this Timed Research Challenge, there are both individual rewards and group rewards in the form of Pokémon unlocked for Pokémon GO Fest 2020.
Week One: Skill
The first week's challenges are themed around skill. It began on July 3, 2020 at 8 AM local time and will conclude on July 8, 2020 at 10 PM local time. While all of these can be completed solo and even without leaving home, they are both resource and time intensive, and of course, require skill!
Completion Rewards: 100 XP, one Golden Razz Berry, 10 Great Balls
Completion Rewards: 300 XP, a Ducklett encounter, one Silver Pinap Berry
Completion Rewards: one Rare Candy, Flying Pikachu encounter, one Star Piece
In addition to the set of Timed Research, there is also an Elite Challenge. This will be even more resource and time intensive:
Completion Rewards: 500 XP, 500 Stardust, five Razz Berries
In addition to the individual rewards, there are team based rewards as well.
On top of the Timed Research, Team Challenges, and Elite Challenge, there will be plenty of bonuses during the week:
Pokémon Go has basic missions that players can complete in exchange for Pokémon encounters, items, and Stardust. They’re called Field Research Tasks.
Spinning Pokéstops will give players a Field Research Task to complete. Each stop will give a task once a day and players can hold up to three tasks at once. Upon completing a task, players will get a stamp marked with the date. After getting seven stamps from seven different days, players will encounter a special Pokémon, as well as get Stardust, items, and some XP as rewards. Players can turn in multiple tasks a day, but will only receive one stamp for the first task they complete that day. Note that after completing a task, you can wait to turn it in, if you want to save the stamp for another day.
On July 1, the reward for completing a week’s worth of stamps was changed to Larvitar, complete with bonus Stardust. Larvitar is a rare spawn, and despite the fact that it’s been around in game for a while, its fully evolved form is extremely strong and still holds up in the current meta.
Completing the individual tasks also rewards sweet stuff. Rare spawns like Aerodactyl can be rewards for tasks, as well as important loot like Rare Candy or Golden Razzberries.
Although the bulk of Pokémon Go's focus in the coming month will be on the Anniversary Challenge and Pokémon GO Fest 2020, today Niantic announced the schedule of events for July 2020. July 2020's Research Reward Encounter will be the Rock Skin Pokémon, Larvitar. Larvitar is the Gen II Rock and Ground type Pokémon that evolves into pseudo-Legendary Tyranitar, which remains one of the best Dark type Pokémon in the game, second only to the Mythical Pokémon, Darkrai.
As Zekrom finishes up it's time as the Legendary Raid boss, on July 1, 2020, there will be one week before Kyurem takes its place. Kyurem will take over Five Star Raids beginning July 7 at 1 PM PST, and will be featured in a Raid Hour on each Wednesday it is available. Keep an eye out for our Kyurem Raid guide coming later this week.
Every Tuesday will also feature a Spotlight hour with a special Pokémon and bonus at 6 PM local time. The Pokémon and bonuses featured will be:
While that was all that was announced today, don't forget that the Anniversary Challenge Event will feature three weeks of Timed Research which will unlock bonus Pokémon for Pokémon GO Fest 2020! Keep an eye out for our guides breaking down each week of Timed Research coming soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex so you can catch 'em all!
Despite being originally planned to be released in June, the release of Raid Invites for Pokémon Go has been pushed back due to technical issues.
The new feature is supposed to allow players who are in-game friends to invite each other to Raid Battles, regardless of where either player is located. It is unclear if this means regions can be ignored and players from the United States could invite or join friends from other areas of the world, but more details about limitations should be shared closer to the actual release.
The player inviting their friends to the raid must be competing in it in-person, not remotely. From there, that player can invite up to five friends to play, as long they have a Remote Raid Pass to take part in it. Once the feature is live, a new plus button icon will appear in public and private raid lobbies.
Initially, Niantic listed that only players who were present in-person at a raid site would be able to invite friends, but now the developers have clarified, saying Remote Raids would be able to send invites. This feature will be available right from launch, but will be removed in the future once it is safe for more in-person interaction for Pokémon Go players again.
No new release window was given, but development has likely been further stalled by the other content Niantic has been and will continue to push out around Pokémon Go Fest 2020.
Go Battle League Season 2 has returned to Pokemon GO. It is obvious that the Trainers are thrilled to go back to the battle scene and perfect their skills for better results. The Leaderboard will not make its return to the game, but that will not stop the fun. To step that up, it looks like Niantic wants to implement a new kind of PvP challenge, according to the latest datamine.
In the datamine, there are references to a certain Premier Cup. We do not know yet what is this about, but there are some major hints dropped in the code. The codes show that it will be linked PvP tournaments that limit roster eligibility based on the timing of when Pokemon were caught by the trainer.
This is quite interesting to see it. Try to imagine it, Niantic hosting some kind of an event where there will be some unique spawns and bonuses, followed by a PvP tournament which will have a limit of how many Pokemon are caught during that event.
High attendance is guaranteed and it is a nice thing to keep players busy in this situation.
In addition, the world’s best dataminers discovered a text hinting at a Go Fest Special Research and Go Fest Elite Battle/Friendship/Skill Challenge.
Please keep in mind that this is not Niantic-official news, it is a piece of information coming from datamine, which may change any time.
It’s going to be a busy July for “Pokemon Go.” If Go Fest 2020 isn’t enough, Niantic is packing several weeks worth of events leading up to the celebration. These skill events will make the July 25 and 26 festival even better by unlocking more Pokemon for the two-day global gathering. Keep in mind everyone can participate in these weekly challenges, and to be honest, they should. It will help attendees have any even better Pokemon Go Fest so they can make trades those hard-to-find Pokemon with their community.
Here’s the breakdown:
Week 1: 8 a.m. July 3 to 10 p.m. July 8
This is a jam-packed week because it also falls on fourth anniversary of “Pokemon Go.” The game was released on July 6, 2016, and chaos followed. Beautiful. Crowded. Chaos in the Before Times. That was the summer when everyone played.
The fourth anniversary perks will include flying-type pocket monsters and hat-wearing Pokemon appear in the wild, eggs and in raids. It is also features the introduction shiny Pidove. This is an interesting family because the final evolutions of male and female versions, Unfezant, have completely different looks. Although shiny Pidove looks similar to regular version, the final forms’ colors are more vibrant compared to the normal ones.
Ducklett will aso make its “Pokemon Go” debut. This Water Bird Pokemon has a water and flying typing and it evolves into Swanna. It doesn’t appear to shake up the meta in player-versus-player competition. It will appear in the wild and in 5 km eggs.
For those looking for Pikachu variants, Niantic is releasing another one. Flying Pikachu will be available in the wild and in raids. It can be shiny. No one knows what it looks like exactly but perhaps a Pokemon card holds a clue. Don’t forget to take a snapshot because Niantic says players will find a surprise. (It’s probably another Pikachu.)
Lastly, those who have joined “Pokemon Go” recently should pay attention to the Jump-Start Special Research. It’s special line of quests that will be available for a short time. It’s a great way to catch up with other trainers because it’s fairly easy and offers a ton of stardust and experience points. It will help players on the road to hitting level 40.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the Go Fest Challenge, which is based on skill. There’s a timed quest line, in which players will earn encounters with Ducklett and Flying Pikachu in case you can’t go out and catch them. They’ll offer rewards like a Star Piece. All players should complete this timed challenge because it unlocks the following Pokemon for Pokemon Go Fest 2020.
1 million completions by Team Instinct Trainers: Chimecho (This is OK. It was at last year’s Go Fest.)
1 million completions by Team Mystic Trainers: Alomomola (This Pokemon is decent and was introduced earlier this year so it’s fairly new and uncommon.)
1 million completions by Team Valor Trainers: Chansey (This is where it’s at. Valor players if you do not complete this challenge it will look bad. Not only will it show that a team with an enormous following can’t complete a basic challenge, it will be a huge loss for Go Fest participants. A shiny Chansey will be one of the more sought-after Pokemon at the event.)
Lastly, this will unlock an Elite Skills Challenge at Go Fest. It sounds like a hard mode for those who want a challenge at the event. It’s for bragging rights and nothing else.
Week 2: 8 a.m. July 10 to 10 p.m. July 15
The Weekly Challenge will be focused on Battle and finishing the quest line will give player encounters for Hitmonlee and Absol. A Super Rocket Radar is also available as a reward. Again, each team will have to complete this quest to unlock these Pokemon at Go Fest:
1 million completions by Team Instinct Trainers: Ferroseed (That’s a pretty decent Pokmeon with a grass and steel typing.)
1 million completions Team Mystic Trainers: Alolan Grimer (This is also decent. The good thing is that Alolan Grimer has a place in the Ultra League meta and it comes in a shiny version. It’s a great addition for collectors.)
1 million completions by Team Valor Trainers: Alolan Marowak (Again, the pressure is on Valor trainers. Alolan Marowak has a place in the Great League meta and its shiny form looks great as well. Being able to catch one at Pokemon Go Fest 2020 will be a huge bonus. Here’s hoping that it’s in the wild.)
Like the previous week, finishing the quest line will unlock an Elite Battle Challenge for Go Fest. It’s for bragging rights.
Week 3: 8 a.m. July 17 to 10 p.m. July 22
The Weekly Challenge will focus on Friendship and the timed quest line will earn players encounters with Alolan Raichu (It can be shiny.) and Petilil, the bulb Pokemon that will make its debut that week. It will be in the wild and hatch from 5 km eggs. It evolves into Lilligant but may need an item to do so. A Lucky Egg will also be a reward. As with the previous weeks, trainers from each team must complete the task to unlock these Pokemon at Go Fest:
1 million completions by Team Instinct Trainers: Togetic (This is a meta relevant Pokemon for Ultra and Master League. It’s unsure if this will be shiny. The only shiny version available is Togepi, which hatches out of eggs. This is still a worthwhile Pokemon for players.)
1 million completions by Team Mystic Trainers: Dratini (This Pokmeon can be shiny and it is huge in the Master League and in raids. It’s definitely a must-have for Go Fest.)
1 million completions by Team Valor Trainers: Litwick (This Pokemon is important in raids and gym battles though it has been outclassed by the likes of Reshiram. It’s still a good and valuable Pokemon to have.)
In addition to the challenge this third week, Niantic will have summer-themed Pokemon and it will introduce shiny Bellsprout. Thankfully, the shiny version of this Pokemon is different the regular version, so you won’t accidentally delete it. Shiny Bellsprout has more gold on it and the rest of the family has a green-gold tint.