Niantic has announced plans to tweak the battling system in Pokémon Go. In a new community note posted to the Pokémon Go blog, Niantic outlined their planned changes, which include changes to Trainer Battles and Team GO Rocket Battles, and the effects of a few specific moves.
Firstly, they will “improve” the timing for dealing damage and charging energy for charged up attacks, for both Trainer Battles and Team GO Rocket battles. The current system “provided a possible knowledge gap that players could learn to work around, giving them an edge in battle.” An example they gave was players’ ability to switch Pokémon before a Charged Attack, which they could predict because the timing of charging up energy for the attack currently runs one move late. During Team GO Rocket battles, players can also charge up energy for attacks while the Team GO Rocket grunt is switching Pokémon, which gives players another advantage. The next change they aim to implement is having Pokémon’s HP bars “briefly pulse” after the Pokémon takes damage.
A few specific moves are getting some updates, including Bubble Beam, Power-Up Punch, Psychic, and Snarl. Bubble Beam will now decrease opponent Pokémon’s attack stat by one stage. Damage dealt by Power-Up Punch will be decreased, to better differ Pokémon who can use it from one another by giving more attention to their other moves. Psychic will deal more damage, become usable sooner in Gym, Raid, and Trainer Battles, and will have a chance at decreasing an opponent Pokémon’s defense stat during Trainer Battles. Lastly, Snarl will charge up more quickly, so offensive Pokémon will be able to use it before fainting while defensive Pokémon will be able to use it more.
Two new moves will be added to the game: Thunder Fang and Ice Fang. Arcanine, Steelix, Mightyena, and Hippowdon can learn Thunder Fang. Suicune, Mightyena, Mawile, Hoppowdon, and Drapion can learn Ice Fang. Additionally, damage dealt by the pre-existing Fire Fang has been increased to match that of Thunder Fang and Ice Fang.
Lastly, some Pokémon will be able to learn moves they hadn’t been able to before. The list is as follows:
- Alolan Raichu: Thundershock
- Alolan Sandslash: Ice Punch
- Alolan Ninetales: Charm
- Golduck: Bubble Beam, Synchronoise, Cross Chop
- Alolan Marowak: Fire Spin, Flame Wheel
- Mantine: Bubble Beam
- Mawile: Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Power-up Punch
- Weavile: Snarl
These updates will be implemented “over the next few weeks.” In the meantime, Pokémon Go players can participate in Niantic’s collaboration event with the United Nations celebrating World Tourism Day until October 1.