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What To Expect From The Massive Pokemon Go Update On The Way

Niantic has just announced numerous key additions to its flagship product, Pokémon Go, set to roll out over the course of the next few weeks. As explained in a recent post to the Pokémon Go blog, the series of updates is titled "Go Beyond." This is a fitting title, as each of the update's key components expands on one of the game's existing systems, in hopes of building upon its considerable financial success.

This expansion includes an increase to the game's level cap, from 40 to 50. While an added level grind is generally encouraging only to long-time players, Niantic has also committed to keeping new and lapsed players in mind, revamping the way that experience is earned for levels 1-40. Many tasks will now reward an increased amount of experience, including some that will give double what they had previously. These changes are set to roll out on Nov. 30, though players in Australia will have the chance to level up past 40 starting on Nov. 19. This is part of an early initiative designed to gather player feedback about the new high-level content.

In addition to trainer levels, the pool of available Pokémon is also set to be expanded. Now Pokémon from Kalos, the region in which Pokémon X and Y take place, will be introduced for the first time, including fan-favorite Greninja. Players will begin to encounter this new selection of Pokémon starting on Dec. 2.

Finally, a system that changes the game world's seasons to match those of players' home regions will be added to the game on Dec. 1. In practice, this means that wild Pokémon will vary slightly in accordance with the climate. Wintery Pokémon, for example, will begin to appear more frequently in the Northern Hemisphere, where it's not quite winter but nonetheless in the midst of cooler weather, upon the update's rollout.

In order to tie some of this new content together, the "Season of Celebration" will begin on Dec. 1, during which Kalos Region Pokémon will appear with higher frequency. Also coinciding with these updates is an event titled "12 Days of Friendship," which is now underway. For each of its 12 days, friendship levels will increase quicker, Pokémon will receive attack boosts during raids, additional experience points will be rewarded per raid, and players can open more daily gifts than usual.

Much of Pokémon Go's player base very well could have been lost due to difficulties resulting from stay-at-home orders issued all over the world around the start of the ongoing pandemic. However, Niantic ultimately managed to adapt to the current moment. Its capability to not just continue supporting the game but even improve upon it, especially when contrasted with an overall slowdown of mobile Nintendo games, is a testament to its ongoing popularity among players. Whether or not these changes benefit the game will be determined by those very players when Pokémon Go is updated.