Although Pokémon Go Fest 2021 isn't until the middle of July, Trainers are already getting excited for what promises to be the biggest event in Pokémon Go's five years. Not only will Pokémon Go Fest 2021 seek to top Pokémon Go Fest 2020, but it will also be commemorating the fifth anniversary of Pokémon Go and the 25th anniversary of Pokémon. It goes without saying, this event will be massive, but what can players expect? Here is everything released for the event so far! Check back often and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be sure to be fully equipped when the big event arrives!
What is Pokémon Go Fest?
The biggest event of the year for Pokémon Go, the Pokémon Go Fest is an annual celebration of all things Pokémon Go. First started in 2017 in Chicago, the Pokémon Go Fest was a real world gathering of players who worked together to complete challenges, catch Pokémon old and new, and celebrate their love for the game. Since then, every year Niantic has hosted this event. In 2019, Pokémon Go Fest expanded to include events in Dortmud and Yokohama, as well as Chicago.
Although attendees had access to unique Pokémon and rewards, these events have also included rewards for players who were not able to attend and have involved unlocking new Pokémon and features for the game going forward. For example, at the first Pokémon Go Fest, Lugia was revealed and introduced as the first Legendary Pokémon in the game.
Last year, Pokémon Go Fest moved to an global, virtual format and while 2021 will operate the same, there will also be real world celebrations in select cities. There will be no cap on tickets and all players will be able to enjoy both days for massive challenges and tons of Pokémon.
How will Pokémon Go Fest 2021 work?
In order to host a virtual event around the globe, many aspects of the Pokémon Go Fest 2020 were different from previous Pokémon Go Fests and 2021 promises much of the same. The biggest change was that there is no cap on tickets. No need to wait in a virtual queue, or hope that you are chosen from a random drawing. Because there isn't a physical space dedicated for the event, there is not need to limit how many tickets are sold. In an effort to preserve the spirit of Pokémon Go Fest while also taking advantage of a much larger playing field, Niantic has given us some idea of what we can expect:
Tickets for Pokémon Go Fest 2021 will be $5 USD or your local equivalent. These tickets are good for both days and can be purchased beginning today, May 27, 2021.
With the musical theme, this year's Pokémon Go Fest will be a music festival in which you are challenged to put together a winning musical act, led by one of two cosplay Pikachu: Rock Star Pikachu or Pop Star Pikachu. Rock Star Pikachu will know the move Meteor Mash and also comes with a rockin' avatar style pose. Pop Star Pikachu will know the move Draining Kiss and also comes with an iconic avatar style pose.
A certain Mythical Pokémon will also be joining your musical act: Meloetta! For those unfamiliar with Meloetta, it's a singing and dancing Pokémon with two formes: the Normal and Psychic Aria forme and the Normal and Fighting Pirouette forme.
In the core games, Meloetta could switch between formes by using the move, Relic Song in battle, but so far, Niantic has had different formes released as unique Pokémon. It will be interesting to see how Niantic incorporates Meloetta's formes and if we'll be able to switch between the two or have an opportunity to catch both!
Also new this year, Pokémon Go Fest 2021 is sponsored by Google Play. This means players on Android devices will get a few additional bonuses, including:
- Until May 30, Google Play members earn four times the Google Play points for in app purchases, including tickets to Pokémon Go Fest 2021
- Players using an Android device during the event will receive a bonus Sponsored Gift
Although the days will both have their own theme, the themes this year are different, as are the activities held during those days.
Day One: Catch!
The first day of Pokémon Go Fest 2021 is themed around Catch! Players will be able to catch Pokémon themed around music, as well as Pokémon themed around Rotating Habitats. New Shiny Pokémon will be introduced and many Pokémon will see increased Shiny rates. There will be also be a Special Research with the opportunity at a new Mythical Pokémon!
All players will be able to enjoy the following:
- Music themed Pokémon like Whismur*, Chimecho*, Kricketot(, Audino, and a special costumed Pikachu will be appearing in the wild throughout the day.
- Shiny Variants of Whismur*, Chimecho*, Audino*, and Tympole* will be making their Pokémon GO debut during the event.
- Rotating Habitats themed around Jungle, Desert Mountain, Ocean Beach, and Cave will draw in new Pokémon each hour.
- Raids on Saturday will feature Pokémon such as Hitmontop, Cranidos, Deino*, costumed Galarian Ponyta*, and costumed Galarian Zigzagoon*.
Players with tickets will enjoy the following:
- Complete Special Research by building a musical number with a cosplay Pikachu as your star all to earn an encounter with a Mythical Pokémon: Meloetta!
- The Global Challenge Arena will feature new challenges every hour for players around the world to earn amazing bonuses.
- Four Collection Challenges themed around each of the Rotating Habitats will also be available.
- A number of exclusive Pokémon will be lured by Incense and have increased Shiny rates.
Day Two: Raid!
The theme of Sunday is Raid! Players will be able to challenge many, many Raids with the possibility of earning up to ten standard Raid Passes and up to nine Remote Raid passes and the promise of many Raid favorites returning.
Even Trainers without tickets will be able to enjoy the following Legendary Raids in rotating habitats:
- Wind Hour (10 AM and 2 PM) - Mewtwo*, Ho-Oh*, Latias*, Latios*, Regigigas*, Altered Forme Giratina*, Cresselia*, Virizion*, and Therian Forme Tornadus
- Lava Hour (11 AM and 3 PM) - Moltres*, Entei*, Regirock*, Groudon*, Heatran*, Reshiram, Terrakion* Therian Forme Landorus, and Yveltal
- Frost Hour (12 PM and 4 PM) - Articuno*, Suicune*, Lugia*, Regice*, Kyogre*, Palkia, Kyurem, Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf
- Thunder Hour (1 PM and 5 PM) - Zapdos*, Raikou*, Registeel*, Rayquaza*, Dialga, Cobalion*, Therian Forme Thundurus, Zekrom, and Xerneas
Pokémon with the potential to be Shiny are indicated with an asterisk. Additionally, the Lake Trio will only appear in their respective regions.
Trainers with tickets can also enjoy the following:
- Spin PokéStops for up to ten free Raid Passes.
- Complete Timed Research for up to eight Remote Raid Passes.
- Collect one free Remote Raid Pass in the PokéShop.
- Earn an additional 10,000 XP for completing Raids.
- All Pokémon lured by Incense Saturday will also be lured by Incense Sunday; however, the boosted Shiny rates are only available on Saturday, so try to catch 'em all before Sunday rolls around!
Special Research: day one
This year features two Special Research lines. For day one, players will complete The Melody Pokémon. Professor Willow and the Team Leaders challenge players to build their musical number. Start by picking either Rock Star Pikachu or Pop Star Pikachu, but choose carefully. Whichever you pick will determine your in game music composed by none other than the legendary Junichi Masuda. Then, fill out the rest of your group with Pokémon like Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Zigzagoon, Gardevoir, and Flygon - all of whom will be constumed for the event. Players who complete the Special Research will earn:
- An encounter with Meloetta
- A t-shirt avatar item
- An exclusive avatar pose
- Earn a Heart with your Buddy Pokémon for an Incense
- Use an Incense for 50 PokéBalls
- Catch ten Pokémon for 500 XP
Completion Rewards: 500 Stardust, Super Incubator, 50 PokéBalls
Select Pikachu Rock Star or Pikachu Pop Star
- Hatch an Egg for 25 Great Balls
- Catch 20 Pokémon for 500 Stardust
- Take a Snapshot for 500 XP
Completion Rewards: Cosplay Pikachu Encounter, 10 Razz Berries, 10 Pinap Berries
Select Galarian Zigzagoon or Galarian Ponyta
- Use 15 Berries to help catch Pokémon for 25 Poké Ball
- Make three Curve Ball Throws for 500 XP
- Make three Nice Throws in a row for 500 Stardust
Completion Rewards: Galarian Zigzagoon or Galarian Ponyta encounter, Incense, 10 Razz Berries
Select Flygon or Gardevoir
- Take a Snapshot for an Incense
- Walk one KM for 500 XP
- Use an Incense for 20 Ultra Ball
Completion Rewards:Flygon or Gardevoir encounter, three Rare Candy, 500 Stardust
- Power up Pokémon three times for a Star Piece
- Evolve three Pokémon for three Revives
- Defeat two Team GO Rocket members for three Hyper Potions
Completion Rewards: 20 Trapinch or Ralts Candy, three Max Potions, three Max Revives
- Send three Gifts to Friends for 30 Great Balls
- Catch 15 different species of Pokémon for 1,000 XP
- Earn a heart with your Buddy Pokémon for 1,000 Stardust
Completion Rewards: Incense, five Golden Razz Berries, five Silver Pinap Berries
- Use ten Berries to help catch Pokémon for 1,000 XP
- Catch ten Pokémon for 3,000 Stardust
- Earn 5,000 Stardust for 3,000 XP
Completion Rewards: Meloetta encounter, Lucky Egg, Star Piece
- Take a snapshot of Melotta for Lure Module
- Transfer 30 Pokémon for 20 Meloetta Candy
- Make a new Friend for three Rare Candy
Completion Rewards: Rock Star or Pop Star Pose, Meloetta Shirt, ten Meloetta Stickers
Special Research: day two
On day two of the event, there is a second Special Research line: Strange Rings. During this Special Research, Professor Willow has witnessed strange golden rings appearing in the sky and Legendary Pokémon coming out the the rings! Players who've seen Hoopa and the Clash of Ages might have already been anticipating this plot twist, but it would seem as though Mythical Pokémon Hoopa has brought all of the Legendary Pokémon out to play for the second half of Pokémon Go Fest 2021.
Although Strange Rings is considerably shorter than the Special Research from day one and Hoopa's cameo doesn't come with an opportunity to catch the little Djinn, you just can't complain about the rewards, which include several thousand XP and Stardust!
- Transfer 20 Pokémon for five Max Potions
- Take two Snapshots for three Razz Berries
- Battle in three Raids for five Max Revives
Completion Rewards: Lucky Egg, 2,000 Stardust, 5,000 XP
- Win five Raids for five Max Revives
- Make five Great Throws for three Silver Pinap Berries
- Catch 20 different species of Pokémon for five Max Potions
Completion Rewards: three Silver Pinap Berries, 3,000 Stardust, 10,000 XP
The second day of Pokémon Go Fest 2021 also features Timed Research that awards players with up to eight Remote Raid Passes. All eight pages of the Timed Research are the same: Complete a Raid for a Remote Raid Pass, three Max Potions, three Max Revives, and 100 Stardust!
Global Challenge Arena and Rotating Habitats
Pokémon Go Fest 2021 features the Global Challenge Arena once again, with challenges every single hour lined up with the Rotating Habitats. There are four Rotating Habitats in total, giving players two hour long segments in each over the course of the day.
All players will be able to encounter specific Pokémon during the Rotating Habitats, but players with tickers can use Incense to encounter additional Pokémon, including Unown G and Unown F, both of which have the potential to be Shiny.
- Alolan Exeggutor*
- Unown G*
- Unown F*
Desert Mountain Incense
- Unown G*
- Unown F*
Ocean Beach Incense
- Unown G*
- Unown F*
- Galarian Stunfisk
- Unown G*
- Unown F*
During each Rotating Habitat, players will have the chance to complete a Collection Challenge. Each Challenge will reward players with an Incense, 20 Ultra Balls, and 1,000 Stardust.
- Jungle Collection Challenge: Snivy*, Ekans*, Slakoth*, Chimchar*, Lotad, Croagunk, Scyther, Tangela, Aipom, and Chespin.
- Desert Mountain Collection Challenge: Growlithe, Geodude, Skorupi, Aron, Cacnea, Hippopotas, Fennekin, Trapinch, Skarmory, and Shieldon.
- Ocean Beach Collection Challenge: Magikarp, Wailmer, Tympole, Chinchou, Feebas, Carvanha, Tynamo, Marill, Alomomola, and Swablu.
- Cave Collection Challenge: Sableye, Zubat, Roggenrola, Gligar, Joltik, Ralts, Woobat, Beldum, Galarian Stunfisk, and Vanillite.
Event exclusive Field Research tasks
For players who can get to PokéStops and Gyms, there are several event exclusive Field Research tasks to collect and complete:
- Catch five Pokémon for ten PokéBalls.
- Catch ten different species of Pokémon for 1,000 Stardust.
- Hatch an Egg for 1,000 Stardust.
- Spin five PokéStops or Gyms for a Pikachu encounter.
- Walk one KM for 1,000 Stardust.
Ultra Unlock Bonuses
If players are collectively able to complete challenges in the Global Challenge Arena, there will be up to three additional events in July and August.
Ultra Unlock Part One: Time
Trainers must complete a total of eight global challenges to gain access to Ultra Unlock Part One: Time. Pokémon from various eras will appear more often starting Friday, July 23 until Tuesday, August 3.
Ultra Unlock Part Two: Space
Trainers must complete a total of 16 global challenges to gain access to Ultra Unlock Part Two: Space. Space itself will be distorted as Pokémon from various places appear from Friday, August 6 through Tuesday, August 17.
Ultra Unlock Part Three: ???
Trainers must complete a total of 24 global challenges to gain access to Ultra Unlock Part Three. The final Ultra Unlock event theme has not been announced, but players who are familiar with the Time and Space themes of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl, as well as the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl have some guesses, including a certain Mythical Pokémon who will also be featured in an upcoming game. Part 3: ??? will run from Friday, August 20 through Tuesday, August 31.
During both days, all players will be able to enjoy the following:
- Post your phots with #PokemonGOFest2021 and you might just find yourself in the Today View!
- Lure Modules activated during event hours will last for three hours.
- Special music created by Pokémon music producer Junichi Masuda will be playing in the app throughout the event.
- Eggs placed in an Incubator during event hours will have half Hatch Distance.
- Pokémon hatching from 7KM eggs: Lapras*, Cleffa*, Igglybuff*, Whismur*, Kricketot*, Chingling*, Audino*, Tympole*, and Deino*.
- Event exclusive Field Research tasks.
- Special on-map visual effects.
- Up to six Special Trades per day.
- Evolve Kirlia to get a Gardevoir that knows Synchronoise.
- Evolve Vibrava to get a Flygon that knows Earth Power.
Ticket holders can expect both days of the event to feature the following:
- Open Gifts or spin PokéStops to get special event stickers.
- Take snapshots on both event days for a surprise!
- Unown F and Unown G will be attracted to Incense with boosted Shiny rates.
- Costumed versions of either Gardevoir or Flygon will be featured in Special Research and lured by Incense.
There is a real life Pokémon Go Fest 2021 shirt available to players in the US and Canada through the Pokémon Center. Additionally, players can purchase event exclusive merchandise from the Niantic Sho). Players will also be able to downloand a Print-at-Home kit More details coming soon!
Real world celebrations
Although Pokémon Go Fest 2021 will be a virtual event, Niantic will be holding real world celebrations in select cities. These celebrations will be socially distanced and players must register on Niantic's website beforehand. Virtual or face-to-face, players in-game experiences will be the same, but players who participate in the real world celebrations will have fun photo opportunities.
The following cities will have celebrations on day one of Pokémon Go Fest 2021:
- San Francisco, CA
- Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Chicago, IL
- Indianapolis, IN
- New York City, NY
- Nashville, TN
- Austin, TX
- Seattle, WA
- Washington, D.C.
- Linz, AT
- Dresden, DE
- Essen, DE
- Hamburg, DE
- Sevilla, ES
- Paris, FR
- Warsaw, PL
- Bristol, UK
- Edinburgh, UK
- Liverpool, UK
- London, UK
- Auckland, NZ cancelled due to severe weather.
Questions about Pokémon Go Fest 2021?
Do you have any questions about Pokémon Go Fest 2021? Are you hyped up to see how Niantic incorporates Meloetta and her multiple formes? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check back soon! The moment new information is released, you'll find it right here!
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Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.