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Pokémon GO is getting a massive update this week, adding new Pokémon, new player items, enhanced trainer customization, and more.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) February 15, 2017
The update, while highly anticipated, comes at a somewhat surprising time, following closely on the heels of the last week’s Valentine’s Day event.
This new update will add over 80 new Pokémon from the Johto region to the game. These Pokémon, first introduced in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games, include some further evolutions and some pre-evolutionary forms of existing Pokémon from the Kanto region, as well as entirely new Pokémon. Players who were prudent enough to save up their Zubat candies may now be able to evolve their Golbat into the newly-added Crobat.
The update also teases new gameplay elements without giving too many specific details, only warning players not to be too surprised by wild Pokémon encounters if they “react in new ways as you’re trying to catch them.” The update will also add new “item carousels” that should streamline the process of selecting Poké balls and berries during an encounter without having to open the full item inventory.
Also added in this update are two new items for players to find at Pokéstops – Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries. These berries can be given to wild Pokémon during battle and will have new, different effects from the only berry currently available, the Razz Berry. The Nanab Berry will slow a wild Pokémon‘s movements and make it easier to catch, while the Pinap Berry will double the amount of candy the player will receive if the next catch attempt is successful.
Players will now also be able to give their trainer avatar a much more customized look, as the update promises a “complete upgrade”, with new hats, shirts, pants, and other items, letting players design a much more individualized look than was previously possible with the very limited avatar clothing options.
After seeing a huge initial boom in players when the game first came out, Pokémon GO has experienced a drop-off in player activity over time. This update may be just what it takes to rekindle widespread player interest once more.