In the face of waning popularity, developer Niantic recently announced a few updates to Pokémon Go that aim to make the game easier for players, with a focus on training at friendly Gyms and capturing wild Pokémon (via Engadget). The updates are for “trainers of all levels,” but they appear to mostly benefit newcomers who might have given up on the game prior to the changes.
The first update is a way to make it easier to catch rare Pokémon by incentivizing players to grind through common Pokémon. Through a “catch bonus,” users will increase their chances of catching lesser-seen creatures every time they nab one that they’ve already caught a handful of times. These are tied to the game’s existing medal system, so “for example, as you reach a higher tier for the Kindler Medal, your bonus to catch Fire-type Pokémon such as Charmander, Vulpix and Ponyta increases.”
The second addition will focus on training at friendly Gyms, allowing players to bring a total of six Pokémon into training instead of the current limitation to one creature. The game will also temporarily adjust the CP of the opposing Pokémon to your level “to generally match your Pokémon’s battle capabilities,” making it easier for low-level users to boost their team’s prestige at a Gym.
Basically, this will make it possible for lower level players to train Pokémon and get them into gyms at all. Under the current system, casual players stuck at lower levels or are just starting off can’t do much to get a Pokémon into a friendly gym or snag the free bonus coins that are available as a result. It doesn’t make it any easier to take the fight to other teams, but now even if you’re at a lower level than other players in your area, you will have a reason to actually stop at gyms again.
Niantic didn’t confirm when the updates would roll out, but the company did say they will be “coming soon.” In late September, Pokémon Go ended its reign as the highest grossing app in the United States App Store, which it held for 74 days. Other major updates have introduced a buddy system, but players are still waiting for trading, friend battling, a new generation of Pokémon, and the Apple Watch app announced at Apple’s September 7 iPhone event.