Pokémon GO's Best & Worst Of 2020: The Best Events

The year 2020 is wrapping up, and it has been a year of major change in Pokémon GO. Trainers have seen the game add both new features and new species, all the while adjusting to the ever-changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that followed. Now, let's take a look back at what has been a defining year for Niantic's worldwide mega-hit game and determine the Best and Worst of 2020 in every aspect of Pokémon GO. This time… we're talking about the best events of 2020. Let's go!

GO Fest 2020 promo image in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
GO Fest 2020 promo image in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

5. Seasons Change

October's Seasons Change event was terrific because of its structure. It was initially announced as essentially a weekend event that would debut Autumn Deerling and Shiny Vulpix in Pokémon GO, which was welcome after Vulpix's loss for the February Community Day slot. The only downside was how short of a time we had to hunt for Vulpix. However, when the event was over, Niantic immediately launched into "Seasons Change – Part Two" which was a continuation of the event, keeping all of the Vulpix spawns, adding Poison- and Dark-type spawns, introducing new Team GO Rocket research, debuting a wide release for Shadow Mewtwo out of GO Fest, and adding Strange Eggs to the game.

4. Wooper Watch

This one-day event makes the list because it saw Niantic utilizing a surprise release in the best kind of way. Generally, Niantic will essentially announce that they're withholding information, which isn't quite as exciting as they may think. Every other announcement seems to mention a "surprise raid boss" that they'll announce later. However, with the release of Shiny Wooper during what was announced as a Team GO Rocket-centric event, Niantic didn't say a word until the event began and everyone noticed the flood of Wooper. It was a genuinely fun surprise that brought some anything-can-happen energy back to Pokémon GO.

3. Sinnoh Celebration

Gible was in the wild at a rare but fair rate. Riolu was hatching from eggs at a rare but fair rate. That in and of itself was exciting and is how rare spawns should be handled during events (looking at you, Dragon Week and Deino) but, on top of this, the event spawns, in general, were terrific.

2. Throwback Challenges

The most exciting time spent playing Pokémon GO, at least for me and some players that I know, was the Throwback Challenges leading up to GO Fest. Each week was a region-specific event with a new Shiny release with a Timed Research that culminated in a Legendary encounter, which included the only time that a non-Shadow Mewtwo was available in 2020.

1. GO Fest 2020

GO Fest had problems, yes. The servers went down, the themed hours didn't work as well as intended, and the Shiny rates felt stingy compared to Safari Zones the same year. But you know what? When I think back on GO Fest 2020, none of that comes to mind. Niantic truly succeeded in creating a Comic Con-level event in a way that none of the actual Comic Cons did remotely this year. Kyogre, Groudon, Giratina, Palkia, and Dialga were in raids. A long list of Pokémon saw their Shinies releases. Gible was in raids. The Special Researches awarded Shadow Pokémon with an IV floor. Overall, it was an event that felt very much worth the immense hype and, hopefully, Niantic can bring that same energy to remote events in 2021.

NEXT: The Worst Raid Bosses of 2020

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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