What new features are coming to Pokémon Go in 2017? Trading, Player vs. Player combat, more sophisticated Gym battles, the rest of Gen 2, and more!


Hot: Pokémon Go Water Event on NOW | Pokémon Go Gen 2 Guide!

New: Best Power-Ups | Where to find rares | Catch bonuses

Guides: Pokémon Go tips + tricks | Pokémon Go cheats


Pokémon Go had one of the biggest launches in the history of mobile, spiking higher than most phone releases last summer. Server problems and other growing pains plagued them early on, though, and forced them to slow down and compromise on their initial plans. But, according to a new interview, those days may be behind them and significant new features are now on the horizon.

John Hanke, CEO of Pokémon Go developer Niantic, speaking to Vice;

These include monster trading and player-versus-player battles. These are on the way, says Hanke, who adds that if the servers hadn't been so sketchy at launch, at least one of them would already be out there, likewise a gym battle system, supplementing what he feels is a "rudimentary" version of the game they envisioned.

"It's going to be done soon," he says. "It is what it is. I'll take the massive wave of hysteria we enjoyed, and just deal with the fact that it's caused us to take a bit longer to get the rest of the features up. We're really happy to make our users happy."

Fully bankrolled basically forever thanks to their success to date, Hanke once again wants to focus on Gen 2 and events.

With Pokémon Go established as the preeminent title people think of when you say "augmented reality"—and Hanke foresees that being the case for several years and platforms to come—and generation two Pokémon coming to the game, it's not about to fade away. And Hanke really is determined to make the social side of Niantic's creation all the more visible in the months ahead.

"My heart is really with events, and that's something I really want us to try to solve in 2017," he concludes. "It's complicated, though, to do them at the scale that Pokémon Go demands. But, to me, that would be the best demonstration of the vision of this company, which is all about playing games together, outside, with other people."

Can you sum that up for me?

Sure. Much have it has been rumored for a while, but here're the bullet points:

  • Trading
  • PvP battles
  • Better Gym battles
  • More of Gen 2
  • Events

What can you do to prepare for trading?

Since we don't know what mechanics will be involved — will you be able to trade with anyone, anywhere, or will you have to be physically standing next to someone to trade, like you to battle a Gym together — it's hard to predict what you'll need to do.

Trading does require Pokémon you want to trade and that others want to trade for, though. That probably means you should accumulate some "extra" high-value Pokémon that are attractive but you won't mind giving up.

Regionals, including Taurus, Mr. Mime, Farfetch'd, and Kangaskhan will no doubt be super popular. Abundant for those in the right regions, impossible to find for those anywhere else, a top-notch regional will certainly be a hot commodity. If the trade mechanics make it easier than simply flying over to catch them.

High CP, high stat (IV), and great movesets will likely also be in high demand. You might not want to give up a perfect Dragonite, but you might be willing to trade a close-to-perfect one, or some Dratini so someone else can evolve.

Special editions, like Santa Hat Pikachu and Raichu, could also be of interest, especially to those who missed out on the Holiday 2016 event.

What about PvP and Gym Battles?

That could also go in a few different directions. If Pokémon Go makes substantive changes to the power levels and movesets, then it's wide open for all types of subtlety, nuance, and deep gameplay.

If not, if CP and movesets stay the same, then the answer in the future will be similar to what it is now: Get as many Dragonite, Snorlax, Gyarados, Rhydon, and Vaporeon and other top-tier attackers as possible, with the best movesets possible, and power them up as much as possible.

What do you want to see from Pokémon Go in 2017?

Are trades, PvP, better Gym battles, and the rest what you want to see from Pokémon Go in 2017? And if so, how would you like to see it implemented?