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Niantic opens up on the challenge of adapting Pokemon GO play amidst a pandemic

The developer's biggest challenge yet

Niantic had an extremely tough challenge ahead of them when working to adapt Pokemon GO for at-home play. Niantic's primary design goals with Pokemon GO are to encourage exploration, help players exercise, and drive social interaction. All of these were hindered massively by the pandemic, and still are today.

Over the last few months, Niantic has done an absolutely amazing job with adjusting how the game is played, accounting for those who are staying home to be safe. Pokemon GO product lead Matt Slemon and senior game designer Laura Warner talked all about what the team undertook to get the game where it is now, and you can see a recap of their GDC Summer 2020 presentation right here.

Pokémon GO’s August Community Day Features Magikarp and Aqua Tail

You definitely don't want to miss out on this one!

Get ready to make a splash during the upcoming Pokémon GO Community Day. Magikarp is the star of the event, and although some might claim that the Fish Pokémon is weak and pathetic, real fans know the truth! On Saturday, August 8, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in your local time zone, Magikarp will appear more frequently in the wild, and there'll be a better chance those you encounter will be Shiny. Plus, if you evolve a Magikarp into Gyarados during the event—or up to two hours afterward—that Gyarados will know Aqua Tail, an attack it can't normally learn.

Of course, it does take quite a bit of Magikarp Candy to evolve Magikarp into Gyarados, so make sure to complete the event-exclusive Field Research tasks to earn more of the elusive treats. Likewise, you can purchase a ticket to access the Community Day–exclusive Special Research story, Making a Splash. This fun quest sees Professor Willow learning about Magikarp and its Evolution, and it rewards players with even more Magikarp Candy. Players can purchase this Special Research story for USD$1.00 (or the equivalent pricing tier in your local currency).

There will be additional bonuses available during the event as well. Incense activated during the event will last for three hours, and you'll earn three times as much Stardust for catching a Pokémon. And make sure to take a few snapshots during Community Day hours—you just might discover a surprise.

Good luck searching for Magikarp on Community Day, Trainers!

Revamped Pokemon GO PokéCoin system spreads to new regions

Testing now in more areas

Niantic has announced that Pokemon GO's new PokeCoin system is now being tested in more regions. Trainers in Germany, New Zealand and Taiwan can now join in on the fun, along with Australia, where the system was previously being tested.

The revamped PokeCoin system lowers the amount of coins each player obtains from gyms from 50 to 30, but allows for 20 coins to be obtained through various tasks, including winning raids, evolving a Pokémon, and more. There's also a new Team GO Rocket mission involved as well.

Chansey manhole covers get installed in Fukushima

No chance I'm missing this!

The Pokémon Local Acts effort includes a number of unique initiatives, such as creating special manhole covers for regions in Japan. We've already shared a few of these installments, but today we get a look at the new designs implemented in Fukushima.

These manhole covers do more than just pretty up the neighborhood. Pokemon GO players will be able to visit these locations to access a unique PokeStop. You can grab a number of standard items here, and also have a shot at catching Chansey!

Pokemon GO updated to Ver. 0.183.0 (Android) / Ver. 1.149.0 (iOS)

Pokemon GO has been updated to Ver. 0.183.0 (Android) / Ver. 1.149.0 (iOS). Check out patch notes for this update below.

- Team GO Rocket balloons: Encounter Jessie, James, and Team GO Rocket like never before!
- Invite friends to a raid: Up to five friends can join you, no matter where they are!

Pokémon GO’s First Ultra Unlock Week Features Dragon-Type Pokémon

A lot to unlock!

Pokémon GO Fest 2020 was chock-full of fun challenges and cool rewards for Pokémon GO players all over the world—including earning the Ultra Unlock bonus. During day one of GO Fest, there were 32 Global Challenge Arena challenges for the Pokémon GO Fest ticket holders to complete. For every eight challenges they completed, they unlocked an additional Ultra Unlock event week for all Trainers. GO Fest ticket holders managed to complete enough challenges to unlock all three Ultra Unlock event weeks, and the first of these events has just begun!

Ultra Unlock Week One: Dragon Week

Thanks to GO Fest ticket holders' efforts, Dragon Week has begun. This week celebrates Dragon-type Pokémon, as well as other Pokémon that share their majesty. Dragon Week will run from Friday, July 31, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT to Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT.

During this week, Alolan Exeggutor, Horsea, Dratini, Trapinch, Swablu, and Bagon are appearing more frequently in the wild. You might even find a Gible in the wild! Horsea, Dratini, Trapinch, Swablu, and Bagon are hatching from 7 km Eggs, and you might hatch a Gible or a Deino if you're lucky. You might even find a Shiny Deino! Additionally, the Legendary Pokémon Rayquaza is appearing in five-star raids.

Not only that, but from Friday, July 31, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT, special Timed Research will be available. If you complete it, you'll earn encounters with two Deino. What a Deino-mite bonus!

Upcoming Ultra Unlock Weeks

GO Fest ticket holders also completed enough global challenges to unlock the upcoming Enigma Week and Unova Week events for all Trainers!

Enigma Week will run from Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT to Friday, August 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT. During this time, you'll be able to encounter mysterious Pokémon like Deoxys and Elgyem. You'll even have the chance to catch some elusive Unown! Be on the lookout for Unown U, L, T, R, and A.

Unova Week will take place from Friday, August 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT to Friday, August 21, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT. This week will celebrate Pokémon originally discovered in the Unova region. The Mythical Pokémon Genesect will appear in five-star raids, and if you're lucky, you might even encounter a Shiny Genesect. Plus, Sewaddle, Cottonee, Emolga, and Bouffalant will be making their Pokémon GO debut during this event.

Congratulations on clearing all those challenges, Trainers, and enjoy catching plenty of Pokémon during these Ultra Unlock weeks!

August Research Breakthrough, Pokémon Spotlight Hours, and more

A look forward to August

Here’s what you can look forward to during the month of August.

August Research Breakthrough encounter

From Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7), Scraggy, the Shedding Pokémon, will be available as a Research Breakthrough encounter.

Pokémon Spotlight Hours

In the month of August, Pokémon Spotlight Hour will take place every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. local time, and each hour will spotlight a different Pokémon and special bonus!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020: Horsea will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Candy for catching Pokémon.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020: Sableye will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Candy for transferring Pokémon.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020: Venipede will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the XP for evolving Pokémon.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Geodude will be in the spotlight, and you’ll earn twice the Stardust for catching Pokémon.

The Ultra Unlock is coming!

Thank you, Pokémon GO Fest 2020 attendees, for completing this year’s challenges! Not only did you end Team GO Rocket’s take-over of the event, but you also earned this year’s Ultra Unlock bonus.

Here’s what you can expect for each Ultra Unlock week.

Dragon Week will run from Friday, July 31, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). The majestic Dragon-type Pokémon come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny Gible to the towering Alolan Exeggutor, and this week will be their time to shine! Rayquaza will be in five-star raids, and there will also be special Timed Research available only this week. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Deino!

Enigma Week will run from Friday, August 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT to Friday, August 14, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). The featured Pokémon range from the mysterious Elgyem to the powerful Deoxys! Deoxys will be in five-star raids, and if you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny one! You might also encounter a Shiny Staryu.

Unova Week will run from Friday, August 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, August 21, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). Sewaddle, Cottonee, Emolga, and Bouffalant—all originally discovered in the Unova region—will be appearing in the world of Pokémon GO for the first time! Bouffalant will be appearing in New York City and the surrounding areas. Genesect will be in five-star raids, and if you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny one! You might also encounter a Shiny Roggenrola.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020: Upcoming makeup event for players who purchased a ticket

A makeup event to apologize for technical issues

Pokemon GO Fest 2020 was a blast for many, but there were some hiccups along the way. In order to make up for that, Niantic has announced another event as an apology for the issues. Check out the full details on that event below.

Due to technical issues that occurred during some of the Pokémon GO Fest 2020 habitat blocks, we’re holding a global makeup event on August 16, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time. During this makeup event, some Pokémon featured during Pokémon GO Fest 2020 will be appearing more frequently in the wild. Note that this makeup event will be available only to players who purchased a Pokémon GO Fest 2020 ticket.

Features

Pokémon featured during the Pokémon GO Fest 2020 Fire, Water, and Friendship habitat hours will be appearing in the wild.

Incense will be more effective at attracting the featured Pokémon, and certain featured Pokémon will appear only when attracted by Incense, so be sure to use Incense to encounter all sorts of Pokémon!

There’ll be a special free box featuring two Incense and two Remote Raid Passes. Please note that players can claim this box only if they have fewer than three Remote Raid Passes in their Item Bag.

Gifts opened during the event can contain Rare Candies.

Incense activated during the event will last for one hour.

Date + Time

Sunday, August 16, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time, wherever players who purchased a Pokémon GO Fest 2020 ticket are in the world. Three different habitats will be featured during this event, each lasting for one hour.

11:00 a.m.: Fire
12:00 p.m.: Water
1:00 p.m.: Friendship

Thank you for your understanding, and we appreciate your continued passion for Pokémon GO!

Pokemon GO Singapore community raises $21,000 SGD to help support a fellow player in need of cancer treatment

There is nothing greater than watching a community get together in support of a good cause. Recently, fans of Pokemon GO in Singapore have collectively raised $21,000 SGD (about $15,104 USD) to help with costs of chemotherapy for 29-year-old Mei Qi Or, who was heartbreakingly diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer back in April.

A beautiful Pokemon GO-themed cheque was designed just for her to present the earnings. The amount raised is enough to pay for 12 of the 16 treatments, and while that's an excellent start, it's not quite enough to cover the costs. Official fundraising will continue online "in the next week or so" to make sure that the payment is fully covered.

If you're able to support, make sure to look out for the give.asia link on the official Pokemon GO Singapore Facebook page here. If you can't afford to do so, sending some positive messages her way would be wonderful too. Our hearts go out to Mei Qi Or and her family, with high hopes of a speedy recovery!

Here is a thank you message from one of the fundraiser organizers:

Dear fellow Pokemon Go trainers from Singapore and around the world in this group. We have now closed the 1st phase of the fundraising for Mei Qi Or
to help her pay for her cancer treatments.
Yesterday we had a small gathering to hand over a Pokemon inspired cheque we had made and to take some pictures together. Thank you Alex Ortega
for the awesome design and professional photographs. Don't worry, we strictly followed all rules around group sizing (3 tables) and keeping distance, wearing masks.
With a few more donations coming in late we have achieved a total of just over $21.000,- SGD which will help pay for about 12 of the 16 chemo treatments for Mei Qi. I am planning to continue the fundraising, but more formally and via a proper website on give.asia. Lookout for that in the next week or so. If you had not seen the news item that was broadcast on News 5 and CNA, please check the link below.
A massive thank you to everyone who shared, donated, messaged Mei Qi for support. It has been a fantastic community effort. 🥰🥰🥰

Pokemon GO offering three new boxes

Enjoy your presents!

Pokemon GO has been updated with three new boxes ahead of the upcoming Dragon Week event this week. The boxes are as follows.

Special Box - 480 Coins - 2 Premium Battle Pass, 2 Incense, 2 Super Incubator & 20 Poké Ball
Ultra Box - 1480 Coiuns - 16 Premium Battle Pass, 2 Super Incubator, 4 Incense, 4 Star Piece
Adventute Box - 1480 Coins - 16 Super Incubators, 4 Incense, 4 Star Piece and 2 Egg Incubators

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