What Pokémon GO Can Do To Make 2021 Their Best Year Yet

2020 was the biggest year for Pokémon GO thus far. This year of uncertainty brought major changes to the game, which saw Niantic continue with planned drops such as Buddy Adventure, GO Battle League, and GO Beyond while also adjusting to the global situation with Remote Raids, Remote Raid Invites, and more. While there were some stumbles along the way, I believe that, if Niantic sticks to this trend, they can make 2021 even better. Here are ways that Niantic can improve Pokémon GO as we head into the next year.

New Year's Event promo in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
New Year's Event promo in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What Pokémon GO Should Do

  • Keep expanding: The most impressive aspect of 2020 is how different gameplay is now than before the year started. The amount of new content and features added is incredible, and Niantic's pace of their rollouts is perfect. It doesn't overwhelm and it certainly doesn't bore. Based on how many new features, both expected and unpredictable were added last year, it'll be interesting to see what else is to come.
  • Listen to players: Niantic does great with answering bigger questions from the Pokémon GO community, evidenced by how quickly they adjusted Mega Raids based on the backlash. However, their inability to answer smaller questions, such as the hundreds of times they were asked by paying players if Top Hat Kirla was available in its Shiny form, was ridiculous. There was still no answer given and, considering Kirla was the only evolved costume Pokémon ever to not feature its Shiny form in raids, that seems at best annoying and at worst leaving the question unanswered in order to give our wallets a Draining Kiss.
  • Make Community Days fun for legacy players too: Simply put. Community Days have tanked in quality as other aspects of the game have improved. It seems as if Niantic is tailoring these days to only new and casual players. Finding a balance would certainly help.
  • Balance Shiny releases better: Niantic has certainly slowed down on releasing Shinies, and that's understandable. However, they then do odd things like making Machop Community Day a thing the same month they release Shiny Snivy outside of an event.
  • Keep surprising us: Wooper Watch was an amazing surprise. More fun, one-off events and Shiny releases go a long way to enrich the game.
  • Notes on stickers: Stickers are an underrated feature. Personally, I like putting the extra thought into a gift. However, these can turn from an aesthetic bonus to an actual helpful feature. What if Stickers could help us coordinate Lucky Eggs with Friends? A sticker, for example, with an adjustable message that says: Please open at 12PM Pacific.

What They Should Stop Doing

  • Major Shiny releases as raid/Egg exclusives: Rufflet and now Jynx. That's two in a row. That's a weird note to end 2020 on. Niantic would be smart to pace out these releases in a smarter way. Some raid/Egg only Shinies are great. For example, Timburr's Shiny release enriched raids because it is a long-term raid/Egg-exclusive with a highly boosted Shiny rate. More of that and less "Shiny Rufflet is now out and we have no idea what its Shiny rate is, so raid while you can for its release week!"
  • Month-long raid rotations: With Remote Invites, it's too much. Three weeks tops for a newly released Shiny Legendary, one week for an oft-returning species, with two weeks as the perfect in-between.
  • Ticketed Events for non-Legendary or Mythical species: Galarian Mr. Mime enraged the fanbase. Avoiding that will be best, even if the items did equal out to more than the ticket's worth. The fandom has spoken and they don't want this.
  • Announcements with missing information: This is Niantic's biggest flaw. It would be nice to see announcements with more information and less confusing fluff leading up to a bulleted list that leaves many players confused about the events to come. If Niantic manages to make this small change, 2021 will be off to a great start for what I genuinely believe is the best Pokémon game ever made, because it truly does seem as if Niantic is trying and succeeding to make this feel like the world we loved as kids brought into real life… Pokémon GO.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

Stay up-to-date and support the site by following Bleeding Cool on Google News today!

Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
Comments will load 20 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.