This week, Niantic dropped a huge update for Pokémon GO that completely changed the way Gyms work and added a new feature called Raid Battles. However, many players seem to be facing issues with the way these new mechanics work.
Kotaku reports that the biggest problem players are facing is the way they are now expected to attain PokéCoins, the game’s in-game currency. In the old system, if you were able to place one of your Pokémon at a Gym, you could immediately collect ten PokéCoins and then collect ten more for each subsequent day your Pokémon stays at the Gym without getting kicked out. Now, however, players receive PokéCoins on an hourly basis rather than a daily basis and you have to wait an hour after placing your Pokémon at a Gym before getting any PokéCoins at all. Also, you only get one PokéCoin an hour. And lastly, you only actually receive your PokéCoins after your Pokémon has been kicked out of the Gym, so while your Pokémon is at a Gym it accumulates PokéCoins, but the player can’t get those PokéCoins until their Pokémon has been defeated.
This new system causes huge problems for both players living in big cities and players living in small, rural areas. If you live in a big city, chances are that no matter how strong the Pokémon you place at a Gym is, enough people will battle it in a short enough period of time that it’ll get kicked out of the Gym before it has been there for even an hour. In the old system, you could have at least gotten those ten PokéCoins for getting your Pokémon to defend a Gym at all, but now that you have to wait an hour to get even one PokéCoin, many players in areas with high density populations aren’t able to get any PokéCoins. If you live in a low density population area, you have the opposite problem. You set up one of your Pokémon at a Gym, but since not many people in your area play Pokémon GO, your Pokémon is going to end up staying at that Gym for a really long time. Since this new system doesn’t reward players their PokéCoins until their Pokémon is defeated, players in areas where Gyms are rarely challenged may have to wait weeks or even months before getting any PokéCoins.
As for Raid Battles, the biggest problem players are having with that mechanic is that not many players can take part in them at all. Upon the update’s launch, players had to be level 35 or higher to take part in Raid Battles. For context, the highest level in the game is 40 and you need to get 5,000,000 XP points to get from level 39 to level 40. Recently, Niantic lowered the Raid Battle level requirement to 31, but that still blocks out a lot of players. As Kotaku pointed out, in the official announcement for Raid Battles on Twitter, even Niantic’s Pokémon GO account was only on level 29.
Trainers level 35 and above: You can now participate in Raid Battles at select Gyms around the world. pic.twitter.com/spg1okmpw8
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 23, 2017