Pokémon GO's new Season begins today. The Season of Alola will run for three months and it kicks off with the Welcome to Alola event. In addition to this new Generation drop, we're also getting all of the expected content for the month including a switch-up in the Research Breakthrough encounter and Pokémon GO Spotlight Hours. However, they also announced the end of buffed stationary Incense, which may not go over as well as the rest of the new content. Let's get into the details.
First up, the Research Breakthrough. Alolan Vulpix will be replacing Espurr starting today, Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 at 1 PM PT until Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 1 PM Pacific. Alolan Vulpix is Shiny-capable and indeed has quite a boosted Shiny rate, so keep an eye on its little paws when it pops up. If those paws are more purple than blue, you just may have a Shiny on your hands.
Here is the schedule of Pokémon GO Spotlight Hours and bonuses taking place in March 2022:
- Tonight! Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 from 6 PM – 7 PM: Cubone Spotlight Hour with a bonus of double transfer Candy
- Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 from 6 PM – 7 PM: Exeggcute Spotlight Hour with a bonus of double evolution XP
- Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 from 6 PM – 7 PM: Growlithe Spotlight Hour with a bonus of double Catch Stardust
- Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 from 6 PM – 7 PM: Sudowoodo Spotlight Hour with a bonus of double Catch XP
- Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 from 6 PM – 7 PM: Paras Spotlight Hour with a bonus of double Catch Candy
Niantic also announced the end of buffed stationary Incense, writing:
As mentioned in our previous Dev Diary, exploration is an important part of what makes Pokémon GO special, and we're always looking for ways to give Trainers the opportunity to discover Pokémon in the real world. We keep this goal in mind constantly as we evaluate the game and its systems. With that in mind, we wanted to give you a heads-up on some adjustments that we're making on March 1, 2022. For the Season of Alola, we'll be increasing the number of extra daily free Raid Passes that Trainers can receive. Additionally, the stationary Incense bonus will be removed, but a new bonus that increases Incense duration from 60 minutes to 90 minutes will take its place.
We'll see how that goes over. I personally think it's time for Pokémon GO to return to being primarily a get-out-there-in-the-world game, but the problem with Incense is that pre-COVID, it was a useless item. It offered fewer than five spawns per thirty minutes. We'll see if it truly goes back to its original "Why does this even exist?" style soon.