Pokémon Go, the highly anticipated mobile title that The Pokémon Company and video game developer Niantic announced last year, is creeping up on its release. We don’t know this because of the two companies themselves said so publicly. We’ve learned a lot about Pokémon Go battles and experiences from participants in the Pokémon Go Field Test that kicked off earlier this year in Japan.
Making up for lost time, the two companies confirmed a lot of what leaks from the Field Test hinted at today; we’re talking details on how the Pokémon Go Plus device will work and whether the title has in-game currency that users will be able to spend real money. We’ve also learned an awful lot about those Pokémon Go battles that users hoped would make their way into the game.
For longtime fans of the franchise, these new Pokémon Go battle details could increase their excitement for the Android and iPhone game. It could also completely decimate it.
Leaving Pokémon at Pokémon Gyms
One of the last things to leak about Pokémon GO was its implementation of Gyms. Traditionally, Gyms in the franchise have been in-game locations. Players battle a squad of trainers and a Gym Leader that all share the same type of creatures there. They beat the Gym, then move onto another town that has a different themed Gym.
The latest Pokémon Go battle details confirm that Niantic isn’t trying to duplicate that system for this game. Instead, it’s introducing its own take that mirrors what’s available in the Pokémon Go Field Test already.
Players will need to look for different Gym locations around their area. They’ll also need to join one of the game’s three colored teams. Controlling a Gym requires that players battle against the creatures that belong to the team that controls that particular Gym. Any creature in a Trainer’s inventory can be set to Gym duty.
Pokémon Go Battles Revolve Around the Creatures You Catch
Pokémon Go battles might not be as interesting as the other versions of the game. For sure, they will not have as much variety. The Pokémon Company and Niantic have confirmed that Pokémon Go battles, and the game in general, will revolve around “more than a hundred” different creatures for users to capture, train and battle with.
For users that haven’t played the games in a long time, that sounds like a lot. It’s not. Each generation of Pokémon games has introduced 150 new creatures. There are more than 100 different creatures in just the first set of games alone. It’s unclear if Niantic plans to add more creatures over time, or stick to this count.
Dodging and Ordering Attacks Through Pokémon Go Battles
The combat itself is going to be hectic, Niantic confirmed in a press release. All of the existing mobile games use turn-by-turn combat that stays orderly, but does take into account the different advantages that each creature has. Pokémon Go battles won’t have that.
Instead, they are free-for-alls, with players able to get their creatures to avoid attacks by swiping left and right. Then players can fire off attacks of their own. Elemental types will still play a big role, so at least that much hasn’t changed.
In the other games, you fight with other Trainers to level up your creatures and continue your quest to conquer every single Gym and beyond. Pokémon Go battles are all about maintaining control of your team’s Gyms at all cost. Gyms can prestige up or prestige down based on their creatures’ performance against rivals. Eventually, control of a Gym can be taken with a decisive blow by an opposing team. Players can team up for Pokémon Go battles at Gyms to make things a bit easier when going against a well-established team of creatures left by other Trainers.
Besides the news about Pokémon Go battles, we’re learning more about Pokémon Go in general. The companies have affirmed their commitment to releasing the Pokémon GO Plus accessory so that players can enjoy the game without staying glued to their phones. It’s still unclear who’ll carry the one-button Bluetooth accessory and how much it’ll cost.
PokeCoins are officially the micro-currency that’ll be used within Pokémon Go. The iTunes and Android App Store will offer “power-ups and extra items,” that users can redeem the currency for. Remember, Pokémon Go is free-to-play but The Pokémon Company and Niantic are hoping that players will want to spend real-world money for rare extras that aren’t readily available at the game’s different PokeStops.
The official Pokémon Go release is still scheduled for sometime in 2016 during the 20th Pokémon Anniversary Celebration. Joining Go will be Pokémon Sun and Moon. Those games are set to launch this November on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS.
PokeStops & Gym Locations
A recent question and answer session on the Silph Road confirms that Pokémon Go currently uses 30% to 50% of portals that were present in Niantic’s last game, Ingress. Pokémon Go maps these over real-world landmarks that players have to walk to.
PokeStops and Gyms are real-world locations that players go to pick up items and battle the creatures left behind by other trainers. Police departments are already warning players of the game to stay away from their stations, according to VG247.