Pokémon Go is hosting a Summer Solstice Event for fire- and ice-type Pokémon next week. Following that, the game will be temporarily disabling gyms for a short time to ready its next big update.

Pokémon Go launched in the summer of 2016 and has been updated regularly ever since. From Buddies to bonus streaks, we've been getting major new features roughly every three months and a lot of smaller updates and tweaks in between. So, what does 2017 hold for Pokémon Go? Gen 2 launched in the first quarter, so that leaves the new Gym system, PvP, and maybe even trading for the rest of the year.

Here are all the latest Pokémon Go updates!

July 22, 2017: New Special Boxes in the Poké Shop just in time for Go Fest!

Should you by the Pokémon Go Special Boxes: Are they worth your coins?

Pokémon Go Fest is about to kick off in Chicago and new Special, Great, and Ultra Boxes have appeared in the Pokémon Shop to go along with it. Inside are Premium Raid Passes, so you can battle in more Raids, Pinap Berries, so you can get double Candy for your catches, and Lures, so you can attract more Pokémon to PokéStops to catch. That's a lot of stuff for a few little boxes but, the big questions remain: are they worth your Poké Coins? And which box is best?

Read: Should you buy the new Poké Shop Boxes: Which ones are worth your coins!

July 22, 2017: Pokémon Go working to fix issue causing Raid Bosses to be harder to beat

Nasty bug. Hope it gets fixed fast.

July 21, 2017: Here's how you can watch Pokémon Go Fest Chicago live!

I'm on the ground in Chicago and will be covering the event as it happens, but if you want to watch the full stream, Pokémon Go Live is making it available on YouTube.

Happy catching!

Pokémon Go Fest: Everything you need to know

July 20, 2017: Pokémon Go looking to add even more gameplay and strategy to Gyms

Mixed into a broader piece looking at the "hardcore" Pokémon Go community in California, John Hanke discussed some additional features coming to Pokémon Go in the future.

Rolling Store:

There are more changes coming, too. Hanke says Niantic is working on leaderboards at various levels, from individual city leaders to system to track team control on a global level. Those leaderboards, whatever form they take, will appear on the web first before being implemented within the game itself. The developers are also working on ways for the game's disparate Pokemon-collecting and gym-controlling mechanics to affect one another, "so that as you control gyms, it has a favorable effect on the Pokemon, the health, the items that you collect, maybe even the Pokemon that spawn in that region, so that beyond the sort of pride and rivalry of controlling gyms or areas for your team, there's actually other secondary benefits that you get and that are shared by all the players of your faction."

The team aspect is actually one of my least favorite parts of the game. It creates a lot of real-world tension and disharmony where none needs to exist. The recent Gym redesign combined with the introduction of Raids did a lot to bring all players together. I very much hope they don't lose that and revert back to the petty tribalism of the past.

July 18, 2017: Pokémon Go app updated in legendary style!

Ahead of Pokémon Go Fest Chicago, the Pokémon Go app is being updated to version 0.69.0 for Android and 1.39.0 for iOS. And the update looks legendary! There's also a new feature to feed berries remotely and a few other welcome changes and fixes.

  • Added icons to the Pokémon information screen to indicate how the Pokémon was caught.
  • Added the ability for Trainers to spin the Photo Disc at a Gym after completing a Raid Battle.
  • Added the ability for Trainers to send Berries to their Pokémon defending Gyms through the Pokémon info screen when they are not nearby. Motivation regained will be less effective through this method.
  • Added the ability for Trainers to give Berries to Pokémon defending Gyms if their motivation meter is full.
  • Improved Pokémon Collection screen search functionality.
  • Fixed an issue where Trainers were unable to complete Raid Battles started before time expired on the map view.
  • Fixed an issue where Pokémon are not properly returned to their Trainer after defending a Gym.
  • Various bug fixes.

The Silph Road has done their usual deep-dive into the Android APK as well:

  1. Event Check-In Mechanics
  2. Special Event Badge!
  3. "Exclusive Raids" (Event Participants Only? Or a Broader Application...)
  4. Event PokeStops & Gyms
  5. Remote Berries!
  6. Pokemon GO Plus Tweaks
  7. Badge Rework
  8. Health Bar Fixes?
  9. Heal Animation Fixes
  10. Translation/Localization Fixes
  11. New Sponsor Type
  12. Legendaries!!

The event check in looks to be QR-code driven, which makes sense. But the biggest question remains not what but when? Will we see the first Legendary Raid at Go Fest, shortly thereafter, as its own event, or in some other way?

July 17, 2017: Pokémon Go working to fix coin reward bug

Update: The coin reward bug appears to have been fixed.

Some Pokémon Go players have been experiencing an issue where Pokémon are returning from defending a Gym but without the usual coin rewards (one coin every 10 minutes up to a maximum of 50 coins a day.)

July 10, 2017: Pokémon Go still working to resolve erroneous 'The Gym is under attack!' error

Pokémon Go had already rolled out a fix for the "The Gym is under attack!" error which was preventing some players from adding Pokémon to a newly controlled Gym. Unfortunately, the error persisted.

So, Pokémon Go support is redoubling their efforts:

One of the root causes of this issue has been resolved in Pokémon GO version 0.67.2 (1.37.2). We're actively working on a fix to completely resolve this issue.

In the meantime, the simultaneous and time reset workaround are still effective.

How to fix the 'The Gym is under attack!" error in Pokémon Go

July 10, 2017: 'Not able to get game data' from the server' error

For a brief time today, Pokémon Go was suffering from a server-side error that prevented players from logging in. The error message read "Not able to get game data' from the server" and it lasted, on and off, for an hour or two.

Niantic support responded on Reddit, saying:

We had a momentary [downtime]. This should be fixed now.

July 9, 2017: Pokémon Go working to fix excessive data usage following latest update

Some players have reported that, following the recent update that enabled the new Gym system and Battle Raids, Pokémon Go was consuming an excessive amount of cellular data on their devices.

Niantic support has responded on Reddit:

[We] are aware of this concern. In the short term, I know the team has dedicated some time in the next few weeks to make improvements to performance and resource handling. At this point, I'm not sure to what extent these improvements will result in a reduction in data usage versus a reduction in crashes. But please know that this is on our radar.

In the meantime, log into local Wi-Fi hotspots, if and when possible. Fingers crossed this gets solved fast.

June 30, 2017: Raid Battles now open to level 5 players and above.

Pokémon Go has cried havoc and let slip the trainers of... level 5 and above! That's fifteen full levels more than could previously join raids.

From Pokémon Go:

You and millions of Trainers, Level 5 and above, can now participate in Raid Battles at Gyms all around the world. Gather your friends and family, locate a Raid using the Nearby screen, and take on the extremely powerful Raid Bosses near you!

I'm already seeing groups of 15 to 30 showing up for the big Tier 4 raids in my small suburb, even in the rain. How an influx of millions more players will affect the Raids is hard to tell. It could make getting groups together much easier, or it could mean too many people of too many diverse levels and a lot of fumbling for impromptu waves.

We'll find out right about now!

June 30, 2017: Pokémon Go app updating for bug fixes... and events!

From The Silph Road:

The following event type has appeared:


...Sneaky. :)

It's our guess that this "bug fix" patch is partly to enable an Anniversary Pokemon variant (such as the rumored "rare Pikachu").

At this point I'd settle for the bug fixes, but that Pikachu variant (shiny, another hat?) will also do.

June 28, 2017: Raid Battle hours extended, now starting as early as 7 a.m. local time.

When Raid Battles launched, they were only active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time. Now, they're starting as early as 7.am.

Pokémon Go has never explained the time limits but it was generally assumed Niantic, the developer, wanted to avoid players making noise and potentially even trespassing at night when private venues might be closed and parks covered by curfew.

Limiting evening and early morning hours, however, also greatly limited the time some people could play, especially those working, studying, or who were otherwise occupied during the day.

There's been no official announcement about raid times so Pokémon Go can continue to adjust untl the right balance is found.

What's your preference?

June 27, 2017: Raid battles now open to level 20 players — go get 'em!

If you're a casual player, or have casual players among your friends and family, even more of them can now join you in your raids. Go get 'em!

June 25, 2017: Pokémon Go makes Gyms even easier to take down

Sometime over the last 24 hours, Pokémon Go made it even easier to take down Gyms. Now, instead of each battle doing roughly 17% damage to motivation and CP, each battle is doing roughly 34%.

So, where it used to take 6 battles to knock a fully motivated Pokémon out of a Gym, it now only takes 3. And, where it used to take 6 rounds to completely take down a fully motivated Gym, it now only takes 3.

That's 36 battles down to 18, and less if one or more of the Pokémon have already lost motivation.

Yeah, it's a whole different game. Again.

June 23, 2017: Pokémon Go awards coins faster, cuts max coins in half!

The maximum number of coins you can earn each day from a Gym has been cut in half, going from the previous limit of 100 all the way to the new limit of 50.

From Pokémon Go:

You redeem your PokéCoins only after your Pokémon returns from the Gym. You can redeem a maximum bonus of 50 PokéCoins per day. If you have more than one Pokémon return from Gyms in a single day, the maximum bonus for the day is still limited to 50 PokéCoins.

What's more, it seems like Pokémon are now earning coins faster, gaining one every 10 minutes instead of the previous 60 minutes. That means you get to the daily cap faster, of course.

The move has greatly aggravated hard-core players who are used to collecting 100 coins a day from the Defenders Bonus of the old Gym system.

Since 100 coins cost $1.00 in the store, it's really just a wake up call as to how little "money" you earn for the time spent taking and holding Gyms in Pokémon Go.

Now the nerf to stardust, from 500 a gym held to 20 per berry fed, that's egregious.

June 23, 2017: Raid Raid Battles are now available to level 31... 28... 25 players and counting!

Pokémon Go continues to push out Raid Battles to a greater and greater number of players. Today alone it went from 35 to 31, to 38, and finally 25.

The remaining question: How low can it go?

June 22, 2017: ATTN: Pokémon Go players level 35 and up: Raid Battles are now in limited release!

Not for every player, and not at every Gym, but if you're high enough level and can find one of the test Gyms, you can now spin, get your Free Raid Pass, and get ready to face the Boss!

If you're not level 35 yet or you can't find an active Gym yet, don't despair:

Over the next few days, we'll invite more players to participate in Raid Battles at even more Gyms around the world. Stay tuned for updates!

Let's get ready to rumble... er, raid battle!

June 22, 2017: Premium Raid passes, Max Revive, Max Potion, and increased bag storage now available from the Poké Shop.

With Raids about to go live at a small subset of Gyms, Premium Raid Passes have now been added to the Poké Shop. They'll cost you 100 coins (about $1).

Max Revives and Max Potions are also now available for the first time in the Poké Shop. Previously you had to spin Poké Stops to get them, and they were rare. Now six (6) Max Revives can be yours for 180 coins (about $180 or $0.30 each) and 10 Max Potions for 200 coins (about $2 or $0.20 each).

To go along with all the new items and new Gym spins, Pokémon Go has increased the maximum amount of bag storage you can buy from the Poké Shop. Instead of 1000, it now goes to 1500. It costs 200 coins (about $2) to increase the limit by 50 items, so it'll cost you 2000 coins (about $20) to go from the previous 1000 limit to the new 1500 limit.

Budget wisely.

June 22, 2017: Pokémon Go Gyms are back online!

They're starting to come back folks. Deploy. Deploy. Deploy!

June 20, 2017: Pokémon Go slashing and crashing Pokémon caught by cheaters

The news just keeps on coming this week, now including another update targeting cheaters.

From Reddit:

With the announcement of Raid Battles and the new battle features, we are staying true on our commitment to ensuring that Pokémon GO continues to be a fun and fair experience for all Trainers. Starting today, Pokémon caught using third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay will appear marked with a slash in the inventory and may not behave as expected. We are humbled by the excitement for all the new features we announced yesterday.This is one small part of our continued commitment to maintaining the integrity of our community and delivering an amazing Pokémon GO experience.

So, instead of banning or deleting accounts that gained Pokémon illegitimately, Pokémon Go looks to be shaming and annoying them. It's an interesting tactic and, depending on whether or not they're also excluded from Gym play, potentially a very smart one.

June 20, 2017: Pokémon Go app updating — here come the new Gyms!

Pokémon Go is updating to version 0.67.1 for Android and 1.37.1 for iOS

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.67.1 for Android and 1.37.1 for iOS devices. In addition to a new Gym battle scene featuring Tyranitar, Pikachu, Sneasel, Hoppip, Squirtle, and Cyndaquil, there are some other rather HUGE changes this time:

  • Gym features significantly updated to add the all-new motivation system.
  • Added new Gym Badge feature.
  • Added in-app and push notification system for Gyms.
  • Added Raid Battles, a new cooperative gameplay experience.
  • Added four new items available only by completing Raid Battles.
  • Added Raids tab to Nearby screen.
  • Added search functionality to Pokémon collection screen.
  • Added visual indicator to unvisited PokéStops.

June 20, 2017: Pokémon Go has altered type effectiveness and it's going to change Gyms forever

This means double-weak Pokémon like Tyranitar, Dragonite, Gyarados, and Rhydon may no longer be viable Gym defenders.

From Reddit:

The GAME_MASTER was updated and our wishes seem to have come true! STAB and type effectiveness has changed.

  • STAB reduced from 1.25 to 1.2
  • Super Effective increased from 1.25 to 1.4
  • Resistance changed from .8 to .714
  • Immunity changed from .8 to .51

Credit for discovery goes to /u/MzRed

We may not fully understand just how different the new Gym scene is until we have time to test it, but we know now it's going to be even more different than we thought.

June 19, 2017: This is the new Pokémon Go Gym system!

It's here! And it's better than anyone expected. From Pokémon Go:

The biggest update to Pokémon GO is nearly here! Very soon, Trainers around the world will be able to participate in a revamped Gym gameplay experience, including the opportunity to join together with others to battle against powerful Pokémon in the new Raid Battle feature!

New Gym Features and Updates: Starting soon, Gyms are undergoing a major facelift. You'll soon be able to spin the Photo Disc at Gyms to acquire items just as you do at PokéStops—but that's only the beginning. More updates to Gym battles are also just around the corner. Gyms are no longer based on Prestige and training. Instead, they now feature six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team's Pokémon. Each Pokémon assigned to these slots must be unique. For example, only one Blissey can be assigned to a Gym at a time. In addition, opposing teams will battle the Pokémon in the order they were assigned to the Gym.

At the heart of the update is a new motivation system that will significantly change how you interact with Gyms. When a Pokémon is assigned to a Gym, a motivation meter will be displayed. Pokémon assigned to defend a Gym lose motivation over time and as they are defeated in battle. As a Pokémon loses motivation, its CP will temporarily decrease, making it easier for opposing teams to defeat. To help keep the Pokémon motivated and in tip-top shape for their next battle, Trainers can treat their team's Pokémon to some Berries, which restore their motivation. If a Pokémon loses all motivation, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer the next time it loses a battle, so you'll want to keep your team's Pokémon motivated by giving them Berries frequently!

Gym Badges: Now you'll be able to earn Gym Badges when interacting with the many Gyms around the world. Gym Badges serve as mementos of your Pokémon GO adventures and reflect your contribution to a Gym's success.

You'll be able to level up your Badges by battling, giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym and spinning the Gym's Photo Disc. You can earn the opportunity to receive bonus items and increased rewards from Gyms by raising the level of your Gym Badge.

New Raid Battle Feature: All around the world, you'll soon be able to participate in the new Raid Battle feature at Gyms. A Raid Battle is a cooperative gameplay experience that encourages you to work with other Trainers to defeat an extremely powerful Pokémon known as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle begins, a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed.

Before you can battle the Raid Boss, you'll need a Raid Pass. You can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. You can also get Premium Raid Passes from the in-game shop. Upon using your pass to join the battle, you and up to 20 other Trainers work together to defeat the Raid Boss. If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you'll have the chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon of your own!

New Items: After defeating a Raid Boss, you'll receive a collection of rewards, including some new items obtained only by defeating a Raid Boss: Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and two types of Technical Machines—Fast and Charged. A Rare Candy is a mysterious candy that, when used on a Pokémon, turns into that Pokémon's Candy. Golden Razz Berries will greatly increase your chances of catching a Pokémon you encounter in the wild and can also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to fully recover its motivation meter. Technical Machines are items you can use to permanently teach a Pokémon a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.

To put these exciting changes in motion, we'll be temporarily disabling all Gyms. Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return. The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations. Over a few days, we'll invite more players to participate and enable raids at more Gyms around the world. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on when you'll be able to start battling in raids. We can't wait to see you outside battling at your local Gyms!

June 8, 2017: Pokémon Go teases Gym update to follow Fire- and Ice-type event

From Pokémon Go:

[Following the Summer Solstice Event] can look forward to a new update focused on collaborative group gameplay features that will get you playing Pokémon GO in fun new ways. In preparation for these exciting features, we'll be temporarily disabling Gyms for a short period of time.

May 22, 2017: Pokémon Go cracks down on cheating, begins to "shadowban" bot accounts

Bots are programs that fake their way around the Pokémon Go universe, scanning and collecting. They power mapping sites and build up accounts that get sold on the black market. Not only do they flood Pokémon Go's servers with spurious calls, they create an unlevel playing field for real humans in the game. And now, it looks like Pokémon Go is fighting back.

From The Silph Road:

Midday Saturday EST, reports started emerging that something was amiss in botting communities. Some accounts suddenly stopped finding Pokemon at certain known spawnpoints. It turned out that they were incapable of seeing anything more than very common species.

These bot accounts weren't being "banned" outright, but they were apparently 'flagged' as illicit.

Huge numbers of bot accounts were being flagged, though many were still operating normally. It was initially suspected that accounts were flagged due to using deprecated API calls to access server resources from Niantic's private API, which may have been true, but it turned out not to be the only reason illicit accounts were flagged.

As of this moment, it is still unclear what behavior is tipping off Niantic that an account is not legitimate. We're calling this flag a 'shadowban.'

The entire write-up is fascinating so, whether you're just frustrated your favorite map has gone hinky, or you want to see bots burn, give it a read.

And if you think you've been shadowbanned in error, check out The Silph Road Wiki for steps you can take to try and get the shadowban reversed.

Update: Here's the text of the letter Niantic is sending out to people who contact support about the shadowban. via The Silph Road:

We're committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon GO and our community of Trainers. People who violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service (including by using third party software and other cheats) may have their gameplay affected and may not be able to see all the Pokémon around them. While we cannot discuss the systems implemented, we can confirm that we are constantly refining new ways to ensure the integrity of the game in order to keep it fun and fair for all Trainers.

As long as you're abiding by the Pokémon GO Terms of Service and the Pokémon GO Trainer guidelines, there should not be any reason for concern.

May 21, 2017: 100 Poké Coins are currently discounted in the Poké Stop in many countries outside the U.S.

100 Poké Coins are showing for $0.99 (CND) in the Poké Shop right now. (That's typically what they cost in USD). None of the other Poké Coin lots are similarly discounted. Outside the U.S., other countries are also reporting discounted rates up to 40%. Weird, but if you need extra Poké Coin right now, check your local Shop and see if you can save some real coin.

Update: Niantic has addressed on the change on Reddit:

Without going into too many details, there are a variety of pricing tiers available to developers like us in the App Store. We recently adopted a new price tier for our 100 PokéCoin bundle in an attempt to make the bundle more reasonable for Trainers in several countries around the world. Unfortunately, this pricing option is only available for this purchase level, so you'll notice that, in some circumstances, the 100 PokéCoin bundle is less expensive than larger PokéCoin bundles. We've also noticed that some players are looking to circumvent their normal currency to purchase PokéCoins at discounted prices. We're closely monitoring these cases and highly discourage this behavior.

May 13, 2017: Incubators and Incense moved to the top of the Poké Shop

Coinciding with the release of Pokémon Go version 0.63.1 for Android and 1.33.1 for iOS devices, the Poké Shop has had its virtual shelves re-ordered.

Now, the single three-use Incubator and the single and 8-pack of Lures are on the top shelf, sitting above the packs of 20, 100, and 200 Poké Balls that previously held the spot.

The Poké Shop layout is controlled server-side, so Pokémon Go can rearrange it at any time. It's how they do sales, for example, during special events.

This change is relatively minor, but will likely prove a time-saver for those who buy Incubators the most.

May 12, 2017: Pokémon Go changed the drop rates for PokéStop items on May 9. Here's your new normal.

When you spin a PokéStop in Pokémon Go you get three or more items, including balls, potions, revives, eggs, and evolution items. Different items have different "drop rates" — chances for you to get them — from the extremely common Poké Ball and Potion to the extremely rare Max Revive or Evolution Item.

On May 9, shortly after the Pokémon Go grass-type event ended, Pokémon Go seems to have made a change to those rates, decreasing the odds of getting some items and increasing the odds of getting others.

From The Silph Road:

  • Balls drop rates took a cut, moving from about 65% of drops to 60%. The relative distribution of Pokeball / Greatball / Ultraball remained unchanged (72%, 21%, 7% respectively).
  • Potions held steady at around 15%, but interestingly, their distribution changed significantly. Regular potions cratered from 60% to 45%, while super potions got a big boost from 23% to 32%. Hyper and max potions saw modest gains, moving to 15 and 8% respectively.
  • Berries gained a bit, from around 14% to 16%. The distribution remained mostly the same with 50% Razz, though, Pinaps seem to have gained slightly from 25% to 27%, while Nanabs dropped from 25% to 23%.

Revives held steady, as did evolution items. Hit the link above for precise drop rates for all items and the rest of the details.

May 10, 2017: Hints of Pokémon Go cracking down on Blissey stacking and mechanics for remote defense discovered in latest app update code

With the availability of Pokémon Go version 0.63.1 for Android, the code has once again been mined for hints of what's to come. This time, that includes a system to limit the number of same-type Pokémon in a Gym, and a method to bolster defenders on a Gym, even from afar.

From The Silph Road:

A new Gym attribute has appeared: MAXSAMEPOKEMONATFORT which strongly hints that soon, Pokemon of the same species will be prevented from being deployed at gyms where their co-species defenders already sit.

This would be great news for the diversity of high-level gyms and is a very promising hint at Niantic's new focus on the gym scene. Hype!

It's become common practice in some areas for some players to raid Gyms and fill them with Blissey and/or Snorlax top-to-bottom. Since those Pokémon are significantly harder to attack than any others, it makes taking the Gym back down tougher and less appealing.

So, the hope is this helps with that.

There are also new strings that suggest you might be able to earn XP if your Pokémon successfully defends a Gym, that you might be able to see your Pokémon on Gyms from afar, and that you may be able to remotely feed your Pokémon a berry to fortify it during a "raid" or attack.

But it is our guess that feeding berries may be a real-time, socket-based attempt to rejuvenate and strengthen your defender remotely as they are attacked by opponents at their gym. This mechanic is utilized in Ingress to more actively defend critical portals from afar. Many find the push notifications about on-going attacks to be one of the most fast-paced elements of the competitive scene.

All of this will likely be part of the new Gym system, which Pokémon Go has suggested will be the next major quarterly update.

May 9, 2017: Pokémon Go app being updated for Brazilian Portuguese and smarter medal browsing

Pokémon Go is being updated. As usual, that means the Android version will start appearing almost immediately and the iOS version, a couple or a few days from now. From Pokémon Go Live:

Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.63.1 for Android and 1.33.1 for iOS devices. Below are some release notes and comments from our development team.

  • Added Brazilian Portuguese language support.
  • Tapping on a medal will now show your progress toward the next medal tier.

I'll update if and when the usual suspects deep dive the app for hints at what''s coming next.

May 7, 2017: Pokémon Go now soft-banning Pokémon 'snipers'

It looks like Pokémon Go has worked out the kinks and is now once again soft-banning Pokémon "snipers".

Pokémon sniping is a form of "spoofing" (faking GPS location) where people cheat at the game by using third-party hacks to "teleport" to high stat (IV) Pokémon, "click" on them to start the catch mechanism, teleport back to their real location, and then catch it.

Previously, that would only register their real location and avoid any "soft bans", or temporary in-game lockouts applied to accounts that moved around faster than normal travel methods would allow.

The change, apparently, involves Pokémon Go recording both the encounter and catch location and comparing the two, to look for abnormal distances. If it finds a disparity, it will issue the soft ban.

This won't stop spoofers from attacking or holding Gyms, nor will it take away all the 100%, maxed out, Blissey, Snorlax, Dragonite, and Tyranitar they already have. But it will hopefully prevent them from getting more.

And, hopefully, Pokémon Go can use the sniper data to hard ban obvious spoofers permanently.

May 6, 2017: PokéStop and Pokémon catch glitch fixed — possibly the result of a crackdown on Pokémon snipers

During the evening of May 5, 2017, EDT, many players experienced problems when spinning PokéStops or trying to catch Pokémon. Pokémon Go support (Niantic support) has since issued the following statement on Reddit:

We have received several reports over the last few hours from Trainers claiming they've experienced issues trying to collect items from PokéStops or catch Pokémon this evening. After investigating further, we've implemented some changes that should further prevent this from occurring, and we believe that this issue has been fixed. We will continue to monitor the information available to us and react accordingly should any additional issues arise. Thanks again for remaining patient and bringing these issues to our attention both here on Reddit and over on our other social media channels.

The problems began being reported shortly after the Pokémon Go grass-type event started.

There's a theory being floated on Reddit, with some credibility being afforded to it, that the errors were caused by Pokémon Go making changes to crack down on Pokémon snipers.

Unfortunately, it also seems to have caused a lot of false positives for non-sniping players due to GPS drift or people playing in cars, buses, etc.

It seems like the fix also reverted the crackdown but, hopefully, Pokémon Go figures out a way to have the soft ban work and prevent false positives too.

It would go a long way to preventing spoof accounts from having super high CP Dragonite and Tyranitar to stack in Gyms.

May 3, 2017: Pokémon Go promo codes appear — on Android only

Pokémon Go has added a promo code redemption area to the Shop page on the Android version of the game, and added a support page explaining how the process works.

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO occasionally offers promotional codes through our partnerships and special events. Promo codes can be used to redeem items such as Poké Balls, Lure Modules, Lucky Eggs, and more.

This has led to some speculation that promo codes will also be used for things like Legendary and Mythical Pokémon and related events.

Note: Promo code redemption is currently only available on Android devices.

No word yet on when or if promo code redemption will be made available on the iPhone and iPad version of the game. Apple has stricter policies for iOS apps on the App Store.

According to Reddit, it's something Pokémon Go's developer, Niantic, has had to work around before.

Apple has strict rules about/against Promo Codes. Presumably to prevent app devs to use them to circumvent apple's 30%(?) tax on all IAPs. When Niantic released Ingress on android it had passcode redemption on it from day one. A year later when Ingress launched on iOS they couldn't add that passcode feature because of apple's restrictions. Months later after trying to get apple to approve the passcode redemption feature they managed to get apple to allow them to add passcode redemption outside the app on their [website/intel map]. It's a safe bet that this negotiation process has already started with Apple for PoGo and they'll get a solution for iOS users before anything important is used with Promo Codes.

In other words, Apple doesn't want developers moving transactions outside the App Store by charging customers directly for digital goods and then giving them a promo code to redeem them in-app. In other words, if you gave Niantic $20 and they give you a code for a Master Ball, Apple wouldn't get its cut and, for less reputable developers, wouldn't be able to help if you got ripped off.

Given the nature of Pokémon Go's digital goods, and the popularity of the game, hopefully something can be worked out so iPhone and iPad players can enjoy the same convenience as those gaming on Android.

Read: What to expect from promo codes in Pokémon Go

April 26, 2017: John Hanke, CEO of Pokémon Go developer, Niantic, talks what's coming next

The CEO of Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, recently spoke at a high school and a couple of Reddit members were kind enough to share what he said.

From The Silph Road's summary:

  • Said he can't give any secret information on Pokemon GO (but proceeded to confirm a few things)
  • "We are working on improving gym battles."
  • Will probably be some way to release legendary Pokemon "in the not so distant future"
  • The other feature that we know people want and that we will be working on and send out "pretty soon" is letting you battle one on one with other people. (woot!)
  • Acknowledged that some Pokemon haven't appeared in-game yet due to their "special moves." He didn't name Delibird and Smeargle outright, but MTC offered their names and Hanke asked if they were the ones with special moves. MTC confirmed, and Hanke concurred.

Like Ditto in Gen 1, Delibird and Smeargle in Gen 2 have unique moves, called Present and Sketch, that need to be fitted into Pokémon Go. So, much as Ditto arrived last fall, we should see Delibird and Smeargle pop into the game sometime this spring or summer.

April 24, 2016: Pokémon Go daily catch limits lowered to 500

This won't affect most players, but it looks like Pokémon Go has lowered the maximum amount of Pokémon you can catch on any given day from 1000 down to 500.

While it may seem impossible for legit players to catch 500, let alone 1000 Pokémon in a day, a few people on Reddit who live in large urban areas with clusters of PokéStops that are consistently lured, and who use Pokémon Go Plus to speed up catching, claim to be hitting it. Specifically, some parts of Hong Kong and Copenhagen.

If you hit 500, you can still spin PokéStops, apparently, and walk for buddy candy, but all Pokémon you try to catch will flee after you throw the first ball of any type at them.

The change is suspected to be aimed at "botters" who use scripts and GPS spoofing to cheat at the game.

April 20, 2017: Pokémon Go stats now vary by trainer level

Following the end of the spring event, Pokémon Go has made a major server side change to the way Pokémon spawn in the wild.

Now, IV — attack, defense, and stamina — and other stats like height and weight all vary by trainer level, up to level 30 (and are the same from levels 30-40.)

CP has always worked like that in Pokémon Go, but it's the first time the other stats have become level-dependant as well.

It's being theorized the change was made to help combat "spoofers", or those who use bots and GPS cheats to catch rare, high-IV Pokémon from a computer rather than out in the real world the way nature and Niantic intended.

So, if you're out with friends, a Dragonite spawns, and all its stats are completely different for all of you, don't worry. That's now the new normal.

April 7, 2017: Pokémon Go updated to 1.31.0

On April 7, 2017, Pokémon Go for iOS was updated to version 1.31.0. In additon to a new, Steelix-themed loading screen wallpaper, the update includes:

  • Traditional Chinese language support.
  • New Pokémon collection screen scroll bar.
  • Various bug fixes.
  • Minor text fixes.

Not mentioned but thankfully included, only 4 months after the New Year's version went live:

  • New loading screen featuring Steelix.

Steelix is the Gen 2 Pokémon that evolves from Onix with the Metal Coat item.

Download the Pokémon Go update from the App Store

Future Pokémon Go updates

In addition to what's already been released, there's a whole slew of updates planned for the rest of the year. Luckily, much of it has been substantiated by Niantic and Niantic employees in talks or interviews, so we have a rough idea what to expect.

Q3, 2017: Player vs. Player (PvP)?

John Hanke, CEO of Pokémon Go developer Niantic, spoke to Vice about this year's updates:

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:

  • Q1: Pokémon Go Gen 2
  • Q2: New Gym system
  • Q3: Player vs. Player?
  • Q4: Trading?

Also: More Events!

How can you prepare for the new Gym system and PVP?

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 Tyranitar, Dragonite, Snorlax, Gyarados, Blissey, Rhydon, and Vaporeon and other top-tier attackers as possible, with the best movesets possible, and power them up as much as possible.

Best Pokémon to evolve and power up in Pokémon Go

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 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?