Take a pik(achu)
Pokémon Go: the world’s first augmented reality app to become a household name. Niantic’s mobile AR game is still going strong two years after it first released, with a constant drip of events and updates keeping budding trainers glued to their phones and pounding the streets.
And 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.
So what’s the latest news for Pokémon Go? As you’d expect, brand new features are being added all the time and community events are still going strong. Plus we have another summer of Pokémon Go Fest events to look forward to.
But without further ado, here’s our guide to all the latest Pokémon Go news and updates.
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Pokémon Go news and Pokémon Go updates
What's new? Team Rocket and Shadow Pokémon land in Pokémon Go
Team Rocket has finally landed in Pokémon Go and grunts are appearing at Pokéstops to battle players. You’ll know a grunt awaits because the Pokéstop will be darker and have an ‘R’ appear over it.
If you win the battle then the Team Rocket member will leave behind their Shadow Pokémon which you can attempt to catch with Premier Balls.
You can choose to catch and keep Shadow Pokémon as they are, or you can purify them—for that you’ll need the required candy and stardust.
When’s the next Pokémon Go event?
Pokémon Go Fest
Pokémon Go Fest gatherings have been taking place around the world this summer and we’re now approaching the final one. While these gatherings take place in specific cities, even if you can’t make it it’s worth keeping an eye out for the ways you can participate from a distance.
August 5 - 12: Yokohama
Alongside Pokémon Go Fest Professor Willow has set some challenges on a global scale this summer for each of the team leaders – Spark, Blanche and Candela – and their followers so that everyone can take part no matter where they are. When a team successfully completes their task, they’ll get special rewards.
Spark and Candela’s challenge periods in tandem with Chicago and Dortmund events have already taken place.
The final challenge is for Blanche, revolving around Stardust. This challenge ties in with the Fest in Yokohama and runs from August 5 to August 12. This time around players must complete 25 million research tasks globally (there’s a little more time, after all). On successful completion, Team Instinct will 3000 Stardust per Raid, Team Valor will get triple Hatch Stardust and Team Mystic will unlock 1-hour Star Pieces. Any unlocked bonus will then run from August 13 until August 20. Unlock all of the bonuses? Then you can look forward to Suicune Raids on August 13.
When’s the next Pokémon Go Community Day?
What date is the next Community Day? August 3 Who's the starring Pokémon? Ralts
Now that Mudkip has had its day, the next Pokémon Go Community Day has been confirmed to be taking place on August 3, between 4pm and 7pm local time rather than the usual 3pm to 6pm due to the summer heat. The featured Pokémon for the event will be the psychic Pokémon Ralts.
Across the day Ralts will spawn more often and there will be a possibility you could encounter it in its shiny form. The event-specific move for Ralts hasn’t been confirmed yet, though given it has two final evolution forms there’s a possibility that the move will differ depending on the final evolution. Niantic is, however, likely to reveal this closer to the time.
During the event, Lure Modules will last for three hours and Eggs will hatch at a quarter of the distance.
Pokémon Go update: what’s next?
Niantic hasn’t revealed any more plans for what’s coming next in Pokémon Go in terms of the big picture but there are always new creatures and new events happening in the game. Big reveals can happen at any time, though, and we’ll report them right here if and when any announcement happens.
As far as rumors are concerned, there have been rumblings following a recent datamine that Team Rocket and Shadow Pokémon could be making an appearance in the game sometime soon.
Posted to Twitter, the datamines suggest that Team Rocket grunts may make appearances at Pokéstops where players will have the chance to battle them. If defeated, they’ll drop the Pokémon they’re carrying which will be a Shadow Pokémon. This will then have to be purified through some unknown method.
It’s a similar set up to Pokémon Coliseum released on GameCube all the way back in 2004, where players would have to catch and purify Shadow Pokémon.
While no details have been officially confirmed just yet, the rumors that Team Rocket will be blasting their way into the mobile game have only increased since Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago and Dortmund where Team Rocket were spotted photobombing AR photos.