The latest Pokémon GO update has brought a new feature to Niantic's hit mobile game. Is it a new species that has yet to be released in-game? A new Shiny form of a fan-favorite Pokémon? A way to mass-send Gifts to Friends? No. It's "AR Mapping," which essentially tasks trainers with taking video footage of the areas surrounding Pokéstops. Before we go on, just take a break. Inhale, deep. Exhale. This is major so, as you scroll down to learn more, be careful not to get so excited that you damage your computer.
Niantic, in their heart-pounding announcement of this update that everyone has been asking for, wrote:
"Certain PokéStops will have a special design indicating that you'll receive an AR Mapping task when you spin them! The task will require you to complete an action either at the PokéStop where you received the task or at another PokéStop within a certain radius. Complete the task by heading on over to the AR scanning screen and exploring the area around you. This task will count as your daily Field Research task.
Trainers level 20 and up will have access to this new feature beginning on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). This feature will not be available to Niantic Kids accounts at launch. In the future, parents will have the option to toggle this feature on for Niantic Kids accounts. Stay tuned for updates on when that option will become available."
Those poor Niantic Kids are going to be missing out on all of this game-changing action. While they play the Pokémon GO Halloween Event, having fun with the game's most beloved annual festivities, all of the adults will likely be found filming their local Pokéstops in exchange for a TM and a few Pokéballs.
On a serious note, this is a voluntary feature that doesn't impede gameplay in any way. It is funny, though, to see this treated as an exciting feature on the week of the release of Galarian Ponyta, Mega Gengar, Shiny Spiritomb, and more in Pokémon GO. This is something that trainers can do passively while hunting but, let's be real, most of these tasks will probably be deleted. No harm no foul, but it would perhaps be more interesting to Pokémon GO trainers if there was more information or even visuals Niantic showed to illustrate what their end goal is with this feature.