Niantic plans to improve in-person experiences with Pokémon GO


Pokemon GO touches grass.

As the 2020 pandemic brought the world to a halt, Pokemon GO just kept going, allowing Trainers to play everything from the daily grind to major events in the safety of their own homes. However, as the world continues to return to a sense of normalcy, Niantic is slowly rebuilding in-person events and features, with a whole list planned for 2023.

Elite Raids featuring Hoopa’s Unbound form were added to Pokemon GO back in October, meaning Niantic is looking to once again focus on personal content. For those unfamiliar, Elite Raid is a type of battle that can only be performed at a specific date and time by players who are physically at the Raid location. Coming up this weekend, March 11th, is a new elite raid featuring the dragon type Regidrago.

Additionally, there will be updates that will make it easier to raid arenas locally and add friends you’ve raided with in the past. It’s not entirely clear what they mean by making it easier to participate in local raids. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with, as it’s already fairly easy to join local raids.

In addition, Trainers playing with friends and family will benefit from some currently unspecified enhancements. Trainers have enjoyed attack bonuses by battling with friends for years. There’s no indication of what Niantic means here.

The last major game update Niantic announced has to do with just playing outside in general. It was announced that an update would “…provide perks and encounters with more Pokémon as you explore the environment.”

Of course, Niantic has been intentionally vague about these updates, but we’ll likely see exactly what the developer is talking about before 2024.

After the Updates section, Niantic went into details about their Campfire app, which can be used alongside Pokemon GO to facilitate communication between players. While it may not completely obliterate Pokemon GO’s many Facebook groups and Discord servers, it’s a step towards bringing everyone onto a single platform. This could certainly help with coordinating raid groups and seeing what raids are available outside of the game’s standard range.

Finally, Niantic explained the expansion of its Community Ambassador program. It’s currently only available in select territories, but it’s still growing. The program has recruited 200 ambassadors since its launch in August 2022. The idea is that this program will help improve personal gameplay by providing trainers with a local resource to help them engage more with other Pokemon GO players in their area.

We look forward to seeing how all of these updates play out in 2023. Despite Niantic’s plans for this year, it will ultimately come down to fan reaction to these changes. Either way, it’s going to be a fun year to sit back and check out the comments on the Pokemon GO Twitter account. Niantic plans to improve in-person experiences with Pokémon GO

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