Pokémon Go: the world’s first augmented reality app to become a household name. Niantic’s mobile AR game that merges the world of Pokémon with our own is still going strong four years after it first launched, with a constant drip of events and updates keeping budding trainers glued to their phones and pounding the streets.

While it hasn’t managed to top the peak of its popularity in 2016, it’s still going strong and finding plenty of new ways to improve its player experience. Including making it easier for its players to catch ’em all from inside their own homes during coronavirus quarantines.

So what’s the latest news for Pokémon Go? As you’d expect, brand new features are being added all the time and themed events are still going strong.

But without further ado, here’s our guide to all the latest Pokémon Go news and updates.

(Image credit: Niantic)

  • What’s new? Mega Evolution is coming to Pokémon Go!

Mega Evolution is coming

Niantic has confirmed (via Polygon) that as of August 27, Mega Evolution will be in Pokémon Go alongside some special themed research.

In Pokémon Go, Mega Evolution is a temporary effect which requires a new resource called Mega Energy. When a Pokémon has enough Mega Energy it’ll be possible to Mega Evolve it and once a Pokémon has been Mega Evolved once, it won’t require as much energy to get it to that state again in the future. Mega Energy can be gathered by taking part in Mega Raids and the amount of Mega Energy you get from a Raid is determined by how fast you beat the starring Mega-Evolved Pokémon. 

At the moment, there are only four Pokémon which can be Mega Evolved: Beedrill, Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur. It’s also only possible to have one Mega-Evolved Pokémon at a time, so if you have a Mega-Evolved Venusaur but decide to Mega Evolve your Blastoise, Venusaur will return to its normal form. 

You’ll be able to use your Mega-Evolved ‘mon in Gyms, Raids and in battles against friends but you won’t be able to leave them as Gym defenders and nor will it be possible to compete in the Battle League with them. Not only are these Pokémon more powerful than the average, when you’re using them to battle in Raids, they’ll give a nice little attack boost to all the Pokémon you’re fighting alongside. 

Dropping support for 32-bit Android devices…eventually

Niantic has announced plans to end support for 32-bit Android devices. The hope is that doing so will allow the development team to streamline processes and focus on supporting newer operating systems and technologies. Some of the phones that will be affected by this decision include Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 3, J3, Sony Xperia Z2, Z3, Motorola Moto G’s 1st generation and many Android phones that were released before 2015. 

When the update takes place, those on these devices won’t be able to access their Pokémon Go accounts using them and will have to upgrade their device before they can play again. Niantic hasn’t confirmed when this update will happen—originally planned for August 2020 it has since been delayed and deemed “TBD” so that Niantic can “investigate player concerns” over the decision. 

Coronavirus play-at-home changes

Given Pokémon Go is a game which attempts to draw its players outside, Niantic is having to react to the Coronavirus pandemic and make some temporary changes which will make it easier for players to continue to catch ’em all without stepping over the door. 

In a statement to Polygon, the developer has said that it’s  “prioritizing updates to Pokémon Go features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.” 

The latest changes, announced June 18, are going to be going into testing and are expected to roll out over the coming months. 

The first is daily guaranteed Pokémon encountersDaily guaranteed Pokémon encounters. Trainers chosen to test this feature will receive a special kind of Incense from Professor Willow which will attract a Pokémon once per day to you and only you. 

A further help will be daily free boxes in the in-game shop. Trainers chosen to test this will receive a free box of items in the shop every day containing different items each time.  

Niantic also made it possible to battle Team Rocket at home in July. The bad guys are invading the in-game map in hot air balloons and only have to be tapped to be battled, which makes things easier for players who are quarantined and can’t get out and about to Pokéstops. 

Team Leaders and Giovanni will be in these balloons too, as long as you have your Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar equipped to see them. 

Check out our guide on how to play Pokémon Go at home to see all the changes Niantic has made and how they’ll help you stay safe and catch ’em all. 

(Image credit: Niantic)

Pokémon Go Battle League—Season 3

Its second season now finished up, the third season of Pokémon Go’s competitive Battle League began on July 27. Trainers who took part in the second season and achieved a rank of 7 or higher will have received an Elite Fast TM. 

Trainer Battles within the GO Battle League will rotate between three leagues and players will be able to rank against fellow Trainers, earning rewards for ranking.

The GO Battle League is beginning with the Great League until July 27, which will be followed by the Ultra League from August 10, then the Master League from August 24, after which all three Leagues will be available from September 7 to September 14. Season 4 is expected to begin on September 14, when each of these Leagues has been cycled through. 

The Premier Cup with no CP limit will run with the Ultra League and the Master League this time around. 

Players can earn Stardust depending on rank and number of battles won as well as items like Rare Candies and TMS as well as the chance to get exclusive Pokémon encounters. 

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Niantic is continuing to waive the walk and pay entry requirements for Battle League for season 3.

Players who are not in-game close friends will no longer need to be close to one another to Battle and will be able to send Battle requests to Good Friends and above. Trainers can now also initiate battles through QR codes which can be used regardless of friendship levels and distance. The battles, wins, and ratings needed to reach each rank will also stay as it was in season 2.

There are some changes being made to Battle League for season 3, though. These changes include more cups—a Flying cup exclusive to (shocker) Flying-type Pokémon will be coming at a later date—and the removal of the Battle Until You Win feature.

Reward encounters are also a little different for season 3. At rank 1, players will encounter Pidgeot; at rank 4 Galarian Zigzagoon; at rank 7 Galarian Farfetch’d; at rank 8 Rufflet; at rank 9 Scraggy; and from rank 10 it’ll be Pikachu Libre. Players who reach rank 10 will also earn a new avatar pose and item. 

For the premium rewards track players will earn Rare Candies after their fourth win but the number of Rare Candies rewarded is now six rather than 8. 

Those who finish Season 3 at rank 7 or higher will receive an Elite Charged TM but all of the other end-of-season rewards will stay the same as in Season 2.

Live Leaderboards

As of April 10, you can see who’s doing well in the Pokémon Battle League thanks to the launch of the GO Battle League leaderboard on PokemonGOLive.com. The leaderboard has come as the GO Battle League changes from Ultra League to Master League.

The leaderboards show the top five hundred Trainers in the world as well as their Trainer nicknames, teams, ranks, ratings, and total matches.

Rankings are based on the previous day’s in-game ratings for Trainers rank 7 and up but it’ll update between 8pm UTC and 10pm UTC every day unless maintenance issues cause a delay. 

What’s the next Pokémon Go Event?

(Image credit: Niantic)

Mega Evolution Events

With Mega Evolution coming to Pokémon Go, Niantic has announced that there will be some events themed around this new feature coming in September. What exactly these events will involve and exact dates have not been revealed but we can expect more information closer to the time and will update here as it becomes available. 

(Image credit: Niantic)

  • What date is the next Community Day? September 20
  • Who’s the starring Pokémon? Porygon

After some player voting, Niantic has announced that the next Pokémon Go Community Day will take place on September 20 and the starring Pokémon will be normal-type Porygon. 

More information on what special moves and bonuses for the Community Day will be announced closer to the time. 

What is the best Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

Sure, you can catch ‘em all but what if you only want to catch the very best? Well, when it comes to Pokémon in Pokémon Go getting the best really depends on what you want to do with your Pokémon, whether that’s PvP battling, raiding or defending a Gym.

One of the simplest (and therefore not foolproof) ways to look for a strong Pokémon is by determining its max CP.  The Combat Power figure is determined through a combination of a Pokémon’s Attack, Defense, and Stamina numbers but it isn’t everything and a Pokémon’s moves, stat distribution and type ought to be considered too . However, if you’re just looking to know which Pokémon has the highest potential max CP then according to Gameinfo that’s Slaking. 

If you’re looking for a Pokémon that can be a bit of a punchbag and therefore a solid defender, then it’s hard to go wrong with Blissey — it has the highest HP and Stamina stats at the moment. 

For attacking, it’s worth considering Mewtwo—not only is its max CP second to Slaking, it has good stats across the board and a particularly high attack stat. 

These are far from definitive picks (it can get pretty complicated when you get down into the numbers in Pokémon Go) but should at least give you a place to start. 

(Image credit: Niantic)

Now that Mega Evolutions have arrived in Pokémon Go, Niantic has ticked another big feature off its list. At the moment, we’re not sure what’s next for the game aside from, naturally, new Pokémon being added. We’ll update here when the roadmap becomes more clear.

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(Image credits: Niantic/Pokémon Company)


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