How Will Niantic Handle 2021 Community Days In Pokémon GO?

Before 2020, Community Day choices were somewhat predictable in Pokémon GO. Niantic's choices alternated between starter Pokémon and either rare or pseudo-Legendary species. This year threw all of that into disarray. In 2020, none of the expected rare Pokémon like Gible or Deino had their days, nor did the Unova starters. Instead, we saw Niantic debut Community Day voting with pre-selected nominees, which led to some great Community Days such as Rhyhorn and Porygon and some repeats, such as October 2020's Charmander. We also began to see species that had already had their Shiny forms released in the wild, such as Gastly and Magikarp, receive Community Days. Now that Niantic has thoroughly shaken things up, let's float some theories for what may happen in 2021 Community Days.

Pokémon GO promo image. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO promo image. Credit: Niantic

Will Starters Return to Pokémon GO Community Days?

Without a doubt, yes. Niantic's switch-up in Community Day plans is thought by many to be a reaction to the lockdown, but that's actually not entirely true. An early 2020 datamine leaked information about planned votes for Magikarp, Weedle, Porygon, Charmander, and many of the other species we saw spotlighted. That was all pre-pandemic. It is clear that Niantic saw an existential problem with the pace of Community Day, and slowed it down with a year of unexpected choices. I would be that not only will the Unova starters receive Community Days in 2021, but that it will happen early in the year. However, once Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott receive their days, don't expect the Kalos starters to follow soon after. Niantic is clearly trying to stretch the starter Community Days out, so I predict that we won't see any Kalos Community Days until well into 2022 at the earliest.

Will Rare Species Return to Pokémon GO Community Days?

Doubtful.

Niantic has released that Pokémon like Gible, Deino, Axew, and now Sandile and Noibat, can be endlessly monetized because of their rarity. Even during events that spotlight these Pokémon these days, they end up being quite rare. If a Gible Community Day happens, it will be scheduled after Gible is featured in multiple events as a rare and exciting spawn or raid boss. Only when these Pokémon become less of a monetary draw will we see them have their Community Days.

Other Options

For the non-starter Community Days, Pokémon GO players are going to have to adjust to a new reality: inconsistency. 2020 will likely be the new model for Community Days, with Niantic moving back and forth between new Shiny releases here and there with other Community Days focusing on Pokémon that aren't new at all. Personally, I'd wager that we can look forward to some of these species receiving Community Days in 2021:

  • Starly
  • Spheal
  • Sewaddle
  • Aron, Duskull, and other lines that have had their Shinies released ages ago
  • Repeated starters like Squirtle and Bulbasaur

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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