Pokemon Go update: all the news and rumors for what’s coming next

Update: Niantic has said in an interview that the game's gym system could do with some work, though they did expect more people would be using it than are currently.

In an interview with Polygon at the Game Developers' Conference senior product manager for Pokemon Go, Tatsuo Nomura, said “The gym portion [of Pokémon Go] needs a lot more work, and we are trying to improve it and make a bigger change to how the system works. Overall, I think we need a little bit more time to think through how we do it.”

“We needed to define [gyms] in a way that works in a mobile game. For example … there’s no non-playable characters. That’s not how the game works. We’re an MMO, and we expect people to play with other people.”

Though an update to the gyms is expected to be one of the major changes that have been confirmed as coming later in 2017 we could be waiting a while before we see it. It is certainly one of the game's poorest elements, though, and one of the hardest features to translate over from the mainline games so the fact that Niantic is taking time over making it work is promising. 

Pokémon Go has been out for more than six months now, and while the app has progressed a lot in this time – just remember how unstable the servers when it launched – there's still lots more work to be done.

Some of these features are ones that developer Niantic spoke about prior to the release of the game, while others have been promised since the game's release.

One feature in particular, the 'Nearby' functionality, is something that Niantic removed from the game to reduce the load on its servers, and took months to be rolled out globally. Now that that's out, though, what else is coming up?

Without further ado, here's our guide to every new update rumors as well as the tweaks promised by Niantic so far.

Pokémon Go rumors

The expansion into generation 2 Johto region Pokemon was the first of three major updates planned for this year according to Niantic CEO John Hanke. 

During a keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Hanke said there would be three "major" updates to the game later in 2017, though he didn't reveal exactly what they'll be.

Here's what we've previously heard about updates to Pokémon Go that Hanke may be referring to.

Pokemon Go

Trading

Trading was a key component in the original games, but it's remained absent from Pokémon Go despite repeated assurances that the feature is on its way.

In the beta, trading was a local-only affair, meaning that you couldn't trade with players over the internet, and Niantic has now confirmed that will be the case for when it starts in the core game.

Tatsuo Nomura, senior product manager at Niantic told Polygon trading "won't be "through the internet" when it launches.

We can't wait for trading to make its way into the game. It always feels like a bit of a waste transferring rare Pokémon just because they're a duplicate, and it'll be great being able to put them to use.

Pokemon Go

Player-vs-player battling

Another feature that's been rumored for some time is battling between players.

As it currently stands the only battling functionality in the game is between players and opposing gyms, but since before the game's release Niantic has been promising that PvP battling is coming and CEO John Hanke has confirmed it's in the works.

Legendary monsters

Niantic CEO John Hanke has confirmed the company plans to bring the legendary Pokemon to the game by the end of 2017.

Exactly when we'll see Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres, Mew and MewTwo is unclear. 

There's no word on what legendary monsters will be released upon the world in Pokemon Go, but we'd expect it to be the list above as those are the first generation monsters.

Commercial partnerships

When  Pokémon  Go was at the height of its popularity, commercial locations which happened to also be  PokéStops or gyms sometimes found an increase in the number of customers they were attracting. At the very least they had something that would draw them in. 

It was no surprise, then, when rumors emerged that Niantic was considering teaming up with McDonalds that would see the fast food companies many chains become PokeLocations in which customers would be able to access exclusive in-app content. 

This rumor hasn't actually come to anything, but recently leaked internal memos are pointing to another partnership, this time between Niantic and Starbucks.  

The memos, which were intended for Starbucks employees only, suggest that the partnership will see the majority of US Starbucks branches become either  PokéStops  or Gyms and that when players are in a Starbucks location they'll have the chance to unlock a limited edition  Pokémon Go-themed Frappucino. Though even customers who haven't unlocked the beverage in the game will still be able to buy it.

The leaked memo states that the promotion is due to begin on December 8 and Starbucks' expectation is that it'll encourage more customers to visit and "increase number of transactions."

The most interesting part of the memo, though, is that it states this partnership will see the introduction of a brand new  Pokémon into the game. There's no information on what this  Pokémon will be or whether it will only spawn in Starbucks locations so speculation is rife. 

It does feel slightly off that a game that claimed its intention was to encourage people to explore cultural locations where they live is now trying to draw them into corporate locations instead. However, it's early to judge and only time will tell how these commercial partnerships will play out and whether or not they'll be good for the player. 

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Play
Slider