Pokemon GO touch grass.
When the pandemic shut the world down starting in 2020, Pokemon GO just kept on going by allowing trainers to play everything from the daily grind to major events from the safety of their own homes. However, as the world continues to return to a sense of normalcy, Niantic is slowly building up in-person events and features yet again with a whole slate planned for 2023.
Back in October, Elite Raids featuring Hoopa’s Unbound form were added to Pokemon GO, signifying that Niantic wants to yet again focus on in-person content. For those unfamiliar, the Elite Raid is a type of battle that can only be done during a specific date and time by players who are physically at the raid location. A new Elite Raid is coming up this weekend, Mar. 11 featuring the Dragon-type Regidrago.
On top of that, there will be updates that make it easier to raid locally at Gyms as well as add friends who you’ve raided with in the past. It’s not entirely clear what they mean by making it easier to participate in local raid battles. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with since it’s already pretty easy to participate in local raid battles.
Additionally, trainers who go out to play with friends and family will get to enjoy some currently unspecified enhancements. Trainers have already been enjoying attack bonuses for years by battling alongside friends. There’s no indication of what Niantic means here.
The last major game update Niantic announced is coming has to do with just playing outside in general. It was announced that an update will, “…provide benefits and encounters with more Pokémon while exploring outside.”
Of course, Niantic was purposely vague about these updates, but we’ll likely see exactly what the developer is talking about before 2024.
After the updates section, Niantic got into details about their Campfire app that can be used in tandem with Pokemon GO to help with communication between players. While it might not completely make the many Pokemon GO Facebook groups and Discord servers obsolete, it’s a step towards getting everyone on a single platform. This could certainly help with coordinating raid parts and being able to see what raids are available outside of the game’s standard range.
Finally, Niantic detailed the expansion of its community ambassador program. It’s currently only available in select areas, but it’s continuing to grow. The program has gained 200 ambassadors since it launched in Aug. 2022. The idea is that this program will help grow in-person gameplay by giving trainers a local resource to help them get more involved with other Pokemon GO players in their area.
We look forward to seeing how all of these updates pan out during 2023. Despite Niantic’s plans for this year, it’ll ultimately come down to the fan reaction to these changes. Either way, it’ll be an entertaining year to sit back and watch the comments on the Pokemon GO Twitter account.