Pokémon Go is constantly evolving, just like your Pokémon. Well, hopefully if you’re doing it right. Keep up-to-date on all the latest announcements with our guide.

Pokémon GO news

Months after being showcased at Apple’s WWDC 2017 event, ARKit support has finally landed in Pokemon GO in the form of AR+. The new mode provides an enhanced augmented reality experience with better tracking and general performances boosts. The catch? It’s available only to iOS users running iOS 11 on an iPhone 6s or newer. See how to update your iPhone here.

And now that Pokémon Go demands more from phones with things such as dynamic weather (see below) Niantic is officially ending support for the game on devices which can’t be updated to iOS 11. That means iPhone 5 and 5C (and all previous model). 

If you play on an iPad, it means the game will work only on iPad Air or later, and iPad mini 2 onwards. The full list of affected devices is here.

The change will come into effect at the end of February.

Top tip: If you are going to be playing Pokémon GO you are probably going to need a power bank. We highly recommend the Anker PowerCore 10,000 or Zendure A2 – pocketable, high-capacity batteries that charge your phone fast and are also pretty tough. If you’re taking out young kids who have tablets but not phones, it’s also worth considering Mi-Fi (mobile Wi-Fi routers).

Gen III Pokemon in Pokemon GO

20 more Gen III Pokémon arrived in the game at the end of 2017. There are now 70 new monsters to catch, and a recent game update brought the current weather into the game, followed by the AR+ mentioned above.

Niantic said “The real-world weather around Trainers will impact the gameplay of Pokémon GO in a variety of ways that include changing Pokémon habitats and where they can be found, increasing Combat Power, and earning more Stardust after catching a Pokémon.”

It means that you’ll see different types of Pokémon appear as weather and seasons change. Pokémon. Here’s how sun, rain and snow will affect the look of the map (which – incidentally – has just changed from Google data to OpenStreetMap):


What’s going on with EX Raid Battles?

As explained in a blog post, the field tests for EX Raid Battles is over after a very long wait. 

  • EX Raids will take place at Gyms in parks and sponsored locations, for the most part.
  • You’re more likely to get an invite if you have a high-level Gym Badge at those Gyms (not just any Gym).
  • You need to have done a lot of Raid Battles to be invited to EX Raid Battles.
  • The start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at that Gym.
  • You’ll get an in-game notification if the EX Raid Battle is cancelled.
  • You’ll get Stardust and Premium Raid Passes when an EX Raid Battle is cancelled.

Also, the blog post explains that regular raids will now give fewer (but higher-quality) potions, guaranteed Golden Razz berries, and more chance of getting a Technical Machine for tier 3 – or higher – raids. You’ll also get stardust whether you win or lose the Raid Battle.

Trading & PvP battles

In an interview with Bloomberg, Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara confirmed that both trading and PvP (player versus player) battles would be coming to Pokémon GO.

He said, “We’ve only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do, so going forward we will have to include fundamental Pokémon experiences such as Pokémon trading and peer-to-peer battles, and other possibilities.”

How do I catch legendary Pokémon?

Legendaries aren’t out in the wild. So to catch one, you need to arrange to attend a Raid with at least 5-6 other players (more if players are below level 30).

It’s best to find a Battle at a Gym held by your own team since you’ll get more balls after defeating the Raid Boss at a gym you own.

You won’t be able to leave your legendary Pokémon in a gym to defend it, though.

If you don’t know enough people who play the game, download the Discord app. There are lots of ‘servers’ (groups) already set up for specific regions and areas for arranging Raids. 

You can also search for local Facebook groups.

New-style Gyms

Pokemon GO new gyms 2017

Gyms have been completely revamped (not the battling mechanism, though). Here’s what’s happened. 

First, gyms now act like Poké Stops and you’ll get items by spinning their photo disc.

Pokemon GO new gyms 2017

Next, gyms have six permanent slots. Each can be filled with a Pokémon (belonging to a member of the controlling team) but they must be unique, putting an end to multiple Blissey, Dragonite, Tyrannitar and Snorlax.

Pokémons in gyms have a ‘motivation meter‘ represented by a heart icon and its CP will decrease along with its motivation as it has more battles. Trainers can give any Pokémon in one of their team’s gyms more berries to restore motivation, but if it loses all motivation it will return to its trainer.

Also, when you fight at a gym, you’ll take on the Pokémon in the order they were assigned to the gym, not in CP order.

Pokemon GO new gyms 2017

You now earn new gym badges, which you can level up from the basic badge. The system goes Bronze > Silver > Gold. 

You need the following points for each level:

  • Basic: 0
  • Bronze: 500
  • Silver: 4,000
  • Gold: 30,000

Bronze level gives you +1 bonus item when you spin the photo disc, and you’ll get +2 or +3 for Silver and Gold levels.

Raid Battles

Pokemon GO new gyms 2017

A raid battle is where to 20 players will battle together at a gym to defeat the Raid Boss. You get 5 minutes to defeat it. 

You’ll need a Raid Pass in order to be able to take part, and you can get one free one per day by visiting a gym. Those that want to battle more will have a buy a Premium Raid Pass from the in-game shop.

Before a Raid Battle, the Pokémon in the gym are all kicked out and a big egg timer sits on top of the gym with a 2-hour countdown to the battle.

Pokemon GO new gyms 2017

If you win you’ll get some Premier Poké Balls and Golden Razz Berries to try and catch the uber-powerful Pokémon. The special items you’ll get from a battle include:

  • Rare Candies – turns into a Pokémon’s candy type when used on that Pokémon
  • Golden Razz Berries – Much better chance of capturing a Pokémon (or can be used to fully restore motivation meter if the Pokémon is in a gym)
  • Technical Machines – Fast and Charged. These can ‘train’ a Pokémon a new attack type (which it keeps permanently).
  • Premier Poké Balls – use these to try to catch the Raid Boss after the battle.

Unfortunately, in a recent game update, you’ll now also receive revives and potions, with fewer TMs and Rare candies awarded.

As you can see in the screen above left, it’s possible to use a group code so you can battle with only your mates.

You can keep any leftover Golden Raz Berries, but not Premier balls. Also, here’s how to use Technical Machines you’re awarded. 

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is a mobile game for Android and iPhone developed by The Pokémon Company and Niantic, a former Google startup that has since branched out on its own and is known for its earlier augmented-reality mobile game Ingress. Nintendo is also contributing with the development and manufacture of the companion Pokémon GO Plus.

Pokémon GO is a mobile app that you download to your Android smartphone or iPhone, but play in the real world through augmented reality.

John Hanke, founder of Niantic, said: “For the first time, Pokémon will roam free in the real world. Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks and the countryside all around the world. Imagine discovering a Squirtle hiding along the waterfront in San Francisco, a Bulbasaur at Shinjuku Station or a Pikachu beneath the Eiffel Tower.”

In Pokémon GO the aim is to locate, catch, battle and trade Pokémon, and you are encouraged to connect with other nearby Pokémon GO players as you do so.

“Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items,” writes The Pokémon Company on its official blog.

Follow Marie Black on Twitter.

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