Pokémon Go launched in the summer of 2016 and has been updated regularly ever since. In 2017 we got Gen 2, Raid Battles, the new Gyms, the first two generations of Legendary Pokémon and the beginning of Gen 3. So far, 2018 has brought us Field Research and Alolan Forms. what's next? Player vs. Player (PvP), Gen 4, Trading? Here are all the latest Pokémon Go updates!

July 3, 2018: Pokémon Go News: Niantic CEO talks PvP, Maps, and fall updates

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, was interviewed while at Pokémon Go Safari Zone in Europe. One of the highlights was a status check on updates, including Player vs. Player (PvP).

From Eurogamer:

[Eurogamer:] John, I believe a man on a flight recently talked to you and then wrote about it all on reddit. You mentioned player-versus-player gameplay was being worked on. Anything more to share there?

John Hanke: I spent an hour with him, we had a good conversation. We've talked about PVP ever since launch and it's definitely on our roadmap... Since 2017 we've been striving for a major game update every quarter. The second half of 2017, in the aftermath of Chicago, we lost some time there when the team went into bug-fix and performance mode, taking on bots which is an unfortunate distraction. So the cadence in 2017 wasn't all we wanted it to be, although we did get Weather out before the end of the year. This year it's been more regular with Gen 3, Quests and Friends and we're looking forward to finishing out the year with something interesting for people.

[Eurogamer:] Does that mean two more big updates, autumn and winter?

John Hanke: [laughs] I couldn't say specifically.

[Eurogamer:] But that would be the game plan if it was one per quarter?

John Hanke: I guess you could put a buffer in there for the events season - we're going to be spending the rest of July and August making sure events go well.

[Eurogamer:] So just one more update this year then?

John Hanke: [laughs] I'll let you do the calendar math to figure it out. But I feel like the team is in a great place to deliver good quality updates and we have a much bigger team which has been growing over the past few years that is bigger now even than a few months ago. We have a 12 month roadmap. The team is in a much stronger place to deliver on that. The game is strong, the community is strong, usage is up.

We'll have to wait until the fall to find out what's next.

On the topic of illicit maps still being down following an API change — that included encryption to prevent simple reverse engineering — Hanke kept things close to the vest, but did offer some hope:

[Eurogamer:] You mentioned bots earlier, and there was an update just prior to Quests launching which took down game scans. These remain down, some months later, to the surprise of people who expected them to be back by now. If and when they are cracked again and return, is it back to the game of cat-and-mouse?

John Hanke: We watch it really closely. It's not scans which are the primary offender, but the APIs you would use to talk to the game server are the same ones you would use to automate gameplay - to amass accounts which you can then sell on eBay. Automated farming of Pokémon and the selling of accounts is something very disadvantageous to those who play legitimately, who travel across Europe to participate in events, who work with friends to build up their level and Pokédex, so it's about fairness. We look at it constantly and it takes a fair amount of resource as there are people out there with businesses built up around selling Pokémon accounts. It's interesting - it's a sign of success there are people out there invested in doing that kind of thing - but it takes resources to combat it which I'd rather spend on building new features. It's a multiplayer game - and like a football match you have to pay for the referees and infrastructure.

[Eurogamer:] I'd never argue for selling accounts or spoofing, but some of the functionality of scans themselves does lend itself to enjoyable gameplay. A rare Pokémon appearing on the edge of town, and dozens of people coordinating lifts to zoom over and get it just in time. Just being able to see raids in my town a few metres outside of the gameplay radius.

John Hanke: We have to find opportunities to make that information available through APIs or gameplay features. I'm not promising anything but it's something we're actively looking at - where there might be things which make the game fun for people and how can we provide that in a way that replaces people going in and hacking into the server.

Read the full interview for the rest.

June 19, 2018: Going full Alola

A big update is hitting Pokémon Go this week, adding some fun new features for the core game but also setting up a new Friendship and Trading system we will see rolling out sometime after the update has reached everyone. Specific updates you will notice right away include a way to search for Alolan variants of your Pokémon, new badges for the upcoming trading and friendship features, and of course a new Alolan loading screen.

In keeping with the Alolan theme, new sprites for 19 Alolan variant Pokémon have been added to the library. That means it will soon be possible to catch Alolan versions of:

  • Meowth and Persian
  • Vulpix and Ninetales
  • Ratata and Raticate
  • Geodude, Graveller, and Golem
  • Grimer and Muk
  • Diglett and Dugtrio
  • Sandshrew and Sandslash
  • Marowak

This update also remembers recent searches when assembling a battle team, making it faster to squad up when the battle is about to start. Keep an eye on this space for the Trading and Friendship updates to roll out soon!

May 29, 2018: Pokémon: Let's Go!

The just-released game trailer for Pokémon: Let's Go shows the Nintendo Switch game sending a present to Pokémon Go on iOS or Android. Apparently, the present is a Pokémon — but not just any Pokémon — it'll be a Pokémon we've never seen before.

That's quite the cross-promotional incentive.

May 29, 2018: Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region that you've caught in Pokémon Go can be brought into Pokémon: Let's Go, coming November 16 to Nintendo Switch

Great news for Pokémon players who have both Pokémon Go on iOS or Android and a Nintendo Switch.

May 29, 2018: Pokéball Plus accessory coming in November

It looks far more functional on the upcoming Pokémon Games for the Nintendo Switch, but should work like the current Pokémon Go Plus for Pokémon Go — with the added bonus of step counting for eggs and candy.

May 29, 2018: Pokémon Go app updated ability to view and activate items, such as Rare Candy and TMs, directly from a Pokémon's info screen

  • Improved in-game messaging for error codes.
  • Added ability to view and activate items, such as Rare Candy and TMs, directly from a Pokémon's info screen.

Also finally.

May 16, 2018: Pokémon Go app updated with bulk Rare Candy transfer goodness

  • Trainers can now transform Rare Candy to a specific Pokémon's Candy in bulk.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

Finally.

May 16, 2018: You can now upgrade your Pokémon Go backpack to store up to 2000 items. Rejoice!

If you've been hitting the Pokémon Go storage limit of your backpack because of item bonuses or just the frequency you spin, raid, and complete research tasks, then good news. Pokémon Go is kicking it up from 1500 to 2000. Finally.

Of course, once you hit that limit you'll still have to trash lesser potions and all the Nanab Berries, like always.

April 30, 2018: Pokémon Go app updated for in-Raid Lucky Egg and Star Piece dropping, and to finally work properly on iPhone X

  • Aspect ratios and UI are now optimized for larger screens such as the iPhone X.
  • Lucky Eggs and Star Pieces are now accessible and usable from the Raid and Gym Battle inventories.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

Finally.

March 31, 2018: Pokémon Goes 8-bit for April Fool's

In silly celebration of April Fool's day, all Pokémon Go sprites (but not 3D models) will be going retro — in full-on 8-bit glory — for the week.

From Pokémon Go:

We always want to bring you the most immersive graphics experience possible, and we're excited to share our latest breakthrough with millions of Pokémon GO Trainers around the world. Starting later today, you can be one of the first to experience this all-new graphics engine.

Experience Pokémon GO like never before with cutting-edge 8-BIT GRAPHICS! Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition. Your Pokédex will feel lifelike in ways previously unimagined on any handheld device ever created.

We feel 100% confident in saying that you've never seen Pokémon like this in Pokémon GO! We're looking forward to your feedback on this brand-new feature. Tell us your thoughts on our latest update with #PokemonGO, and be sure to include a picture of your favorite Pokémon!

Love it.

March 26, 2018: Pokémon Go bringing Field Research to the game

Pokémon Go is about to add its biggest new feature since Raids. It's called Field Research and not only will it give you a chance to go on fun quests, master important skills, and earn rewards, but it'll give you the opportunity to meet the Mythical Gen 1 Pokémon, Mew.

From Pokémon Go:

A series of mysterious happenings is occurring all over the world, and Professor Willow is seeking Trainers to help him find out if this is connected to the Mythical Pokémon Mew. These research tasks will become available to Trainers around the world later this week!

There are two different types of research you can contribute to: Field Research and Special Research. Gather Field Research tasks by spinning nearby PokéStops, which will give you objectives that include discovering and catching certain Pokémon or engaging with battles, among other things. Special Research may be requested by Professor Willow himself, and will take you on a journey to make important discoveries!

Both types of research offer great rewards, including a variety of useful items and even encounters with certain Pokémon! You can complete as many research tasks as you want every day, leading to a full day of adventures. These tasks also have different levels of difficulty, so the more challenging a research task is, the greater the reward waiting for you.

You can earn one Stamp per day by completing at least one Field Research task, and when you obtain seven stamps, you can achieve a Research Breakthrough to receive even greater rewards! You may even have an encounter with a Legendary Pokémon!

Research tasks will provide interesting challenges that will help you get better at discovering, battling, and catching Pokémon! We're excited to see your contributions to the exciting field of Pokémon research, and we can't wait to hear about the adventures you have along the way! Let's get moving!

There's also a developer insights post up on Pokémon Go with even more details about the feature design.

It goes live on March 30 at 1pm PT, 2pm ET, happy researching!

March 17, 2018: 8 patterns of Spinda, 5 kinds of Weather Ball, and PokéStop submission!

The Silph Road has torn into the latest Pokémon Go update, and here's what they've found:

A whole new species has been discovered in the APK this round: Spinda! [..]

An exciting clue has appeared in the metadata that points to a special handling of the panda-mon: 8 variants have been added to the species dictionary! We're excited to see what might cause these variants to differ in wild encounters soon.

In addition to the improvement to Sky Attack, they also found another new and interesting move:

But in a surprise addition, another move has also appeared: Weather Ball!

This is a signature move of Castform – and it's a bit of a special case as well. Weather Ball is a normal type move, but will change its type depending on the weather! [...]

Looks like there'll be Fire, Ice, Rock, and Water-typings, likely tying into Clear, Snow, and Rainy weather patterns.

Potentially the biggest news, though, if it pans out, is PokéStop submission.

As if the aforementioned additions weren't exciting enough, a new POI management system has just appeared in the APK. In plain English, this means a tool to submit the points of interest that power POKESTOPS in Pokemon GO and portals in Ingress.

There's no indication yet whether this feature will ever be enabled in Pokemon GO, or if this is simply a new Niantic platform tool. But our suspicion is that this is the beginnings of a POI-submission system for Pokemon GO players.

Right now, Pokémon Go pulls from Niantic's other location-based game, Ingress. Having submission directly in Pokémon Go, though, would really help fill out the dead zones that many suburban and rural players have to contend with.

Check out The Silph Road for all the details and specifics.

March 16, 2018: Pokémon Go updating to version 0.95.3 for Android and 1.65.3 for iOS

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.95.3 for Android and 1.65.3 for iOS devices. Details from our development team:

Facebook credentials can now be used to log into the app via the 'Account' section in Settings. Various bug fixes and performance updates.

March 15, 2018: Facebook Account Linking coming to Pokémon go

You'll soon be able to use your Facebook login for Pokémon Go, if you have one.

From Pokémon Go:

Good news, Trainers! We'll soon begin rolling out support for account linking with Facebook. Along with a simpler sign-in process, linking Pokémon GO to your Facebook account gives you more options to log in and helps preserve your progress across devices.

With this change, you will also be able to link your Trainer profile to your Facebook and Google accounts, and use any of those credentials to access Pokémon GO. For example, someone who currently logs in with Pokémon Trainer Club could link their Trainer profile to both their Google and Facebook accounts, and then they can use whichever account they prefer going forward. To link your Trainer profile to a Google or Facebook account, access the Settings menu and then select the platform you'd like to link.

Account linking is especially useful for someone who has registered for Pokémon GO using a Google Account that they may not be able to access in the future, such as one associated with a work or university email address. By linking their Facebook account, they can continue to make progress on their Pokédex, and even link a new Google account to their Trainer profile.

Please note: this feature will only be available to Trainers aged 13 and over.

The last part is especially great. Previously, if you used a school or work Google account, and lost access to it, you lost access to Pokémon Go as well. Now, while the process still seems needlessly convoluted, you can at least link a Facebook account and then swap out the Google acconts.

February 6, 2018: In-game quests are coming to Pokémon Go!

Based on a teardown of the latest Pokémon Go for Android APK, it looks like in-game quests are on their way to Pokémon Go.

From The Sliph Road

Previously, the daily spin / daily catch bonus was called a 'Quest' in the APK.

With this new update, this entire section has been reworked and a lot has been added. The team has done our best to piece together how this metadata might suggest the mechanics work together in the final product – but this is a hypothesis only at this point!

There are now entries for both Story Quests and Challenge Quests and — Multi-part Quests!

And instead of just first spin and first catch of the day, there are now entries for hatching, walking, feeding, winning a Gym battle, completing a raid, and leveling up a Gym badge.

Also, Quest Characters!

We're looking at the beginnings of an in-game quest system that appears to encapsulate all of the mechanics available in Pokemon GO, even incorporates characters who grant them, and pre-conditions that suggest increasing levels of difficulty and progress.

Quests would certainly be a better mechanic for handling, say Ex-Raid invitations, than the current system.

February 5, 2018: Pokémon GO updated to version 0.91.1 for Android and 1.61.1 for iOS

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.91.1 for Android and 1.61.1 for iOS devices. Details from our development team:

  • Improved the in-game News feature.
  • The Pokémon Collection search function now lets Trainers search using "Shiny."
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

January 17, 2018: Pokémon GO updated to version 0.89.1 for Android and 1.59.1 for iOS

From Pokémon Go:

Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.89.1 for Android and 1.59.1 for iOS devices. Details from our development team:

  • Resolved a bug that caused the Pokémon collection screen to scroll to the top after evolving, transferring, or renaming a Pokémon.
  • Added the ability to sort the Pokédex by region.
  • Improved incubator sorting order when selecting an incubator.
  • Improved the way Pokémon scale throughout the app.
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

As usual, the Android version of the update has been thoroughly torn down by The Sliph Road:

  • There are a slew of changes related to how large Pokemon appear in different scenarios (encounters, battle, info screen, dodge animations, etc).
  • Incubators are now grouped by type and ... the infinite incubator now appears before paid incubators!
  • A chunk of new tweaks were made to the AR+ functionality - but nothing groundbreaking.
  • Now it's even harder to accidentally transfer your shiny Pokemon, travelers. The shiny icon (stars) appear in the listing page above any shiny Pokemon you've caught - calling extra attention to them!
  • Your last selected Pokeball is now remembered from encounter to encounter, travelers.

As usual, you can sideload the update on Android right away if you really want to or you can just wait for it to hit your App Store or Play Store updates.

January 9, 2018: Pokémon Go dropping support for iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, older iPads and iPods touch

Pokémon Go has announced that, as of February 28, 2018, the game will no longer support devices that can't run iOS 11. That includes iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and earlier, iPad mini, iPad 4 and earlier, and iPod touch 5 and earlier.

From Pokémon Go:

In an upcoming update to Pokémon GO, we will end support for Apple devices not capable of upgrading to iOS 11, such as iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c models. This change is a result of improvements to Pokémon GO that push the application beyond the capabilities of the operating systems on such devices. This change will take effect on 02/28/2018. After that date, Trainers using affected devices may no longer be able to access their Pokémon GO accounts from that device, or use their PokéCoins or other items in their Bags. They will need to switch to a supported device to continue playing Pokémon GO. You can see the full list of impacted devices and learn more by visiting our Help Center.

Note: You don't have to update to iOS 11, you just have to have a device that's capable of running iOS 11. It's an odd way to phrase the device requirement but probably one Pokémon Go felt was simpler than saying 64-bit or A7 processor or later.

Here's the list of devices that support iOS 11, and hence will still be able to play Pokémon Go:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inches
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inches
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inches
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch 6

Obviously, this sucks for people — and especially kids — using older devices who now face a choice between losing access to their accounts and having to shell out for a more modern device.

Support will continue all the way back to the 2012 iPhone 5s, though so, hopefully, that's enough for most of the people currently playing the game.

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