Pokémon Go update and features: Everything you need to know about all the new features and fixes in Pokémon Go's latest update for Android and iOS. These include the recent changes to spawning and Sightings, new Catch Bonus, Gym Training tweaks, Pokémon Go Plus and Apple Watch 2 support, news on the jailbreaking and rooted devices crackdown, and much more.
The Pokémon Go updates just keep landing. Niantic hasn't trumpeted it latest changes, but the game has received another incremental refresh – it's now version 1.11.4 on my iOS device.
The big tweak this time round is the apparent disappearance of spawns and Sightings if you're found to be moving faster than 30 miles per hour.
If the game notices that you're above this "speed limit", your Sightings radar will shut down and you won't see any Pokémon spawn. This move is obviously motivated by safety concerns over people playing the game while driving.
And that's not all.
As promised by developer Niantic, one big new feature was recently added in Catch Bonus. Pokétrainers will now receive a capture bonus for snaring multiple Pokémon, with the medals earned helping to improve your odds of finding rare Pokémon.
The other main change of late saw Gym Training in Pokémon Go receive a bit of an overhaul. You can now bring up to six Pokémon to battle at friendly Gyms, and the CP of the creature you're fighting may be temporarily reduced for your training session to provide a better opportunity to develop your critters.
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Pokémon Go latest news
Previous updates to the game have introduced a raft of new features. First up is Capture Location, a simple addition to the game that means the spot where you snared a particular Pokémon will now be displayed on its statistics screen.
Perhaps more significantly, the Pokémon Go Plus accessory is finally out in the wild for a lucky few, with new shipments expected to resume later in October.
With that in mind, Niantic has added the ability to use Incense to lure Pokémon right from the in-demand wristband.
When we last checked, though, it was still out of stock with Nintendo.
Other new features to have been announced recently include the Buddy Pokémon system, incoming Apple Watch 2 support, and the Pokémon Appraisal system, which lets keen Pokétrainers learn more about their monsters' attack and defence stats from their Team Leader (that's Candela, Blanche, and Spark).
On the way out has been the ability to (officially) play the game on jailbroken or rooted devices – Niantic has confirmed that the game will not support modified operating systems, as it looks to continue to crackdown on bots, scrapers, and other forms of – what it deems to be – cheating in the game.
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Scroll down to learn more about the latest Poképatches.
Pokémon Go Update – Buddy Pokémon explained
The new Buddy Pokémon system has been rumoured for a while and it's pretty easy to understand.
Basically, you can now nominate a "Buddy Pokémon" to accompany your trainer in their exploits. As well as making the game's interface a little less bland, you'll also earn Candy for your Buddy Pokémon based on how far you walk, so it's a useful way to evolve specific critters.
Previously, the simplest way to earn Candy was to catch a Pokémon and then "transfer" them to the Professor, but many players found that to be a pain, especially for rarer creatures.
Pokémon Go Update – Latest "cheating" crackdown
The latest iteration of Pokémon Go also takes something away – the ability to play the game on jailbroken and rooted devices.
As part of its ongoing efforts to rid the game of "cheating" – namely, bots and scrapers – Niantic has confirmed that hacked phones aren't supported by Pokémon Go.
What's important to note, though, is that the developer isn't banning or deleting accounts from rooted devices – if you've jailbroken/rooted your phone but play the game legitimately, you could be fine.
However, it's another flag Niantic will be looking at when rooting (chortle...) out cheats – although there's some optimism over on Reddit that you may be able to "hide" your rooted status with a workaround, a situation we'll keep monitoring closely.
Pokémon Go Update – Nearby tracking
The biggest change in version 1.3/0.33 of Pokémon Go isn't actually an addition to the game – it's a refinement of the Nearby tracking system. Previously, users of the app were able to identify how close nearby monsters were by the number of paw prints next to their icon. Niantic changed things around with version 1.1.1 by removing the footprints aspect.
With version 1.3/0.33 we've been gifted with a new, and potentially much more effective, Nearby tracker – at least some of us have, since Niantic is apparently testing the feature "with a subset of users", according to the release notes.
Previously, tracking nearby creatures involved bringing up the Nearby list and walking around to see whether your desired Poké creature moved up or down the order, providing an idea of where the beast was hiding. Now, the tracker allows you to tap on a particular Pokémon, after which you'll be shown which PokéStop to walk to in order to have the best chance of catching that creature.
Here's a video of the new tracker in action:
As you can see, the PokéStop is highlighted in a top-down map view, but remains highlighted once the view returns to normal. This allows you to navigate to the supply store with ease.
While the new system is being trialled for some users, most will probably have a new "Sightings" menu in place of the Nearby tracker. This menu simply lists Pokémon that have appeared in your immediate area; it features none of the functionality listed above. We're waiting to see just how it works in practice.
We expect Niantic to roll out the new tracking system to all users in the near future, but there's been no official word on when, or if, this will happen.
Pokémon Go Update – Battery-saver mode
One change that had iOS users baffled and angry after the release of version 1.1.1 was the removal of the battery-saving feature. TrustedReviews Games Editor Brett was among those venting on Twitter:
Related: Best battery packs for Pokémon Go
Fortunately, Niantic has seemingly recovered from its momentary bout of insanity and reinstated the feature in the new update. Players can now simply turn their iPhone upside-down to dim the screen, allowing them to walk around with the game still running. This is a handy tool for making sure you're able to hatch eggs – which require you to rack up mileage – without losing all their battery life.
Hopefully battery-saving mode is back for good this time.
Pokémon Go Update – What else is new?
Niantic has also fixed a few niggling issues. You should now be able to gain experience points for getting a "Nice", "Great", or "Excellent" throw when trying to catch Pokémon. This always used to be the case, but for some reason the feature stopped working. Thankfully, it's back now.
Other developments include the ability to change your character's name through the in-game menu. Beware, though, you only get one change. After that, you're stuck with your choice.
And it seems the devs are keen to alleviate safety concerns surrounding the game. Now, when you first load the game, it will warn you that you shouldn't be driving and playing at the same time. Yes – it's come to this, ladies and gentlemen. What's more, when Pokémon Go detects you're travelling at speed it will hit you with another pop up that asks you to confirm you're a passenger and not sitting behind the wheel. That should solve the problem...
It also looks like Niantic has made a few tweaks to the curve-ball throws. Now, you should be able to curve-throw Pokéballs at Pokémon with greater accuracy.
And finally, the team leaders Blanche, Candela and Spark have all been given shiny new images, which replace the previous silhouettes.
Pokémon Go – What we want to see
Perhaps chief among the things we want to see added is Pokémon trading, a central feature of the Game Boy games of yore.
It looks like Niantic has plans in that respect – most of which we now know about thanks to a revelatory panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC).
Here's all you need to know about trading and other new features coming to the Pokémon Go.
Trading is perhaps the biggest omission from Niantic's game. One of the central mechanics of the classic Game Boy games, and a big part of the fictional Pokéverse itself, trading could surely be the only thing that could make Pokémon Go even more addictive.
And although the game launched without what seems like a crucial feature, a future update will soon have us swapping our collected monsters with mates, and possibly people around the world.
According to Niantic CEO and founder John Hanke, who took to the stage at Comic-Con, trading is coming.
Related: Pokémon Go beginner's guide
While Hanke remained tight-lipped when it came to details, the Pokémon Go beta did include a trading feature, which allowed players to send in-app trading requests to nearby trainers. The other trainer then had the option to accept or decline.
Whether the final version that comes to Pokémon Go will allow you to trade with players around the globe via the internet remains to be seen. Starting with Pokémon Red and Blue, the original games featured different types of creatures, which could be swapped with beasts from other players via a physical cable. Of course, Go won't be limited in this way, but it's previously been reported that users will need an NFC-equipped smartphone in order to take advantage of the upcoming trading feature.
Seeing as Hanke was reluctant to divulge any further information, we expect there's more to the story. We'll update this article as soon as we know the details.
And, if you want to ensure your phone lasts long enough to find and catch a Pokèmon worth trading, you might consider one of these great battery packs, especially as the game is a major battery drain:
While most of us are a long way off catching 'em all, we're sure some determined players have already managed to capture all the available creatures in Pokémon Go. In fact, we know that to be true in the case of one Brooklyn-based Pokétrainer, who's managed to fill his entire Pokédex already. Yes, one Nick Johnson made the news recently for bagging all 142 creatures that are currently available in the US.
Seeing as the original lineup of monsters totalled 151, you may be wondering where the remaining nine are. Well, there are three more creatures exclusive to other international regions, but that still only makes 145 Pokémon in Pokémon Go overall. That's because the legendary creatures – Mew, Mewtwo, Ditto and the three birds Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos – are unavailable at this point.
Luckily, it seems we can expect to see more coming in the future. And that isn't just the remaining five from the original roster of beasts. According to Hanke, we'll be getting some new creatures from later generations: "Beyond first generation, there are some others that may make their way into our universe. We're looking forward to finding interesting ways to make that happen in the coming months and years."
Alongside new creatures and trading, Hanke also made a big deal of upcoming changes to how PokéStops work. These supply stores are littered around the local environment at locations of interest, and as of right now, provide players with supplies such as Pokèballs and extra items.
Related: How to win battles in Pokémon Go
But Niantic could be planning to develop the Stops beyond their current function. While you can currently drop what's known as a "lure" at any one of the supply stores to attract Pokémon to its location, in the future you could be able to modify the Stops even more. As Hanke said at the SDCC event: "That's a pretty cool idea that you can acquire an object that changes the function of a PokéStop and gives it a new ability."
So what other possible functions could a PokéStop fulfil? Well, it seems Niantic is intent upon adding healing PokéCenters, where damaged creatures could be treated, and which could be introduced in the form of modified PokéStops.
Further details are, again, elusive at this time. But expect to hear more about upgraded PokéStops in the near future.
Hanke also used the SDCC event to unveil the design for each of the game's Team Leaders. Candela, Blanche and Spark were revealed as heads of the Red (Valor), Blue (Mystic), and Yellow (Instinct) factions respectively.
So what does this mean in terms of gameplay changes? Well, it doesn't look like it makes much of a difference at this point. The new leaders will apparently offer advice to players and interact in other ways, although just what that will entail remains unclear.
And the rest
Other new features mentioned but not detailed include Pokémon breeding and new gym functionality. Specifics are currently unavailable, but Hanke made clear during the SDCC panel that Niantic definitely has ambitions to add these elements in the future.
And, you can expect the remaining five legendary Pokémon from the original lineup to crop up in some way. Unfortunately, it's all a little mysterious at the moment.
So when will we get all these amazing features?
For now, the focus for Niantic will be on fixing the server issues that have plagued the game since launch. Pokémon Go is yet to roll out fully worldwide, so until the company has managed to launch globally and stabilise the server to ensure a smooth experience for all players, the new functionality will likely be put on the back burner.
Speaking during the SDCC panel, Hanke said: "I don't have a date for you. We're working really hard to keep the servers up and running. We're working on it, but it will take a little longer."
So there you go, no solid release dates just yet. But stay tuned for updates – we expect to hear a lot more about the game's upcoming features in the weeks and months ahead.
Watch: Hands-on with Pokémon Go
What would you like to see in Pokémon Go? Let us know in the comments.