Pokemon Go saw its first major update today, and Niantic has added some nice touches that make the game easier to play and add some new ways for you to enjoy the game. Here’s what’s here, what’s ready, and what’s still getting up and running:
– Raids and upgraded gyms are the most exciting feature, but they aren’t online yet. As of this writing, you can see when a raid is nearby, but they’re not yet ready to join. When they arrive, they’re going to shift how the game is played quite a bit, offering a strong cooperative aspect which will likely require you to throw a lot of Pokemon at the problem. But hey, it’s worth a rare monster, right?
The revamped gyms aren’t yet open, either, although that will likely change later today. The new gyms will allow you to slot in up to six Pokemon, but they all have to be different creatures, and a new ‘motivation’ system will mean the more your Pokemon have to fight, the more you need to reward them — or else they’ll quit the gym.
– Niantic’s campaign to punish cheaters (black marks, misbehaving monsters) will be more extensive than previously thought. With the new update, the anti-cheating features have gone live, and it appears they’re retroactive, so a lot of cheaters are getting their menageries cleaned out right when the raids go live. It’s not clear yet just what form the promised “misbehavior” will take, but it’s probable that unfairly captured Pokemon will be abandoning gyms and likely their trainers as well.
– On the smaller end of things, finally, finally, there’s a search function! It’s easy to miss, but if you go to your Pokemon screen and look at the top, you should see a search bar. That should take away a fair amount of scrolling as you find the right Pokemon for that slot at the gym and help you put together the ideal team to go on raids.
– Pokestops now have a blue ring around their icon instead of turning purple when you spin the photo, something that colorblind trainers have been asking Niantic to include for a while. This makes them easier to track if you need to quickly stop by somewhere while out hunting a Combusken and you need to grab some balls (sorry).
Anything else you’ve spotted in the new update? Let us know in the comments!