Pokemon Go is forcing players to download its newest update, which is heightening anticipation that new Pokemon are about to be added to the game.
Earlier this week, Pokemon Go put out its new update that contained all sorts of code related to the "Gen 3" Pokemon first seen in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. The update also contained a new loading screen, which spoiled that these new Pokemon would be introduced as part of the game's upcoming Halloween event.
Today, Pokemon Go officially "forced" the update, which means that players have to install the newest version of the game in order to play. Developers usually force an update just before launching any new features. Along with the forced update, developers also updated the GAME_MASTER file, which contains stats, code, and other information that Pokemon Go uses to function.
The updated GAME_MASTER contains a few surprises, including references to new features we weren't expecting. Keep scrolling down to see what surprises could be in store for Pokemon Go players in the coming days:
Probably the biggest surprise are several notifications related to "Battle Teams," which appear to be teams of Pokemon that players can pre-set.
Many Pokemon Go players have begged for the ability to pre-set teams for Raids and Gym Battles for months in order to save time and override the game's flawed autopicking function. It looks like Pokemon Go is finally following through on this request, which will make at least high level players pretty happy.
The notifications found in the GAME_MASTER file indicate that a Pokemon on a Battle Team will be removed if they're added to a gym. This means that players will likely want to keep their Battle Team Pokemon for offense only in order to optimize this potential new feature.
EX Raid Cancellations
Pokemon Go is also taking more steps to rectify potential EX Raid cancellations. EX Raids are currently the only way to fight and capture Mewtwo, but players can only participate in EX Raids if they receive an invitation. When Pokemon Go recently cancelled an EX Raid without notice, it spurred a lot of discussion and controversy among the fanbase.
In order to help soothe potential hurt feelings, it appears that Pokemon Go will be giving out free items to anyone who receives an invite to a cancelled EX Raid. Players will also receive a notification if their EX Raid gets cancelled. Hopefully, these features don't get used very often!
Gen 3 Teases
There were two lines of code related to Gen 3 Pokemon. The first is a new badge for players that catch "Gen 3" Pokemon from the Hoenn region. That's not exactly a surprise, considering Pokemon Go has tons of different badges for different accomplishments.
However, the really intriguing piece of code is a notification that mentions how much distance you still need to walk with a Pokemon in order to evolve it. This could just be another "Quality of Life" improvement for players, or it could be a hint that a "Friendship" mechanic will be a much bigger deal for Gen 3.
For those who aren't aware, certain players can only evolve when they form a strong bond with their trainer. Pokemon Go paid homage to this system by requiring players to walk their Eevee 10 KM in order to evolve it into an Espeon or an Umbreon. There aren't any Gen 3 Pokemon that requires a high Friendship stat to evolve, but there is one (Feebas) that requires a high "Beauty" rating. Could Pokemon Go be substituting Friendship for a Beauty stat?
The new Pokemon could appear at any time, so we'll keep you updated on any new news!