Pokémon Go isn’t just about the events this summer. There are also plenty of new features for trainers to enjoy on a day-to-day basis, with the latest major change to the game being how you earn PokéCoins. The coins are the main way to buy new goodies in the game, and there are just two core ways of getting them.
The first is to pay real-world money, which should help pad out Niantic’s actual coffers as well as your virtual ones. For £0.79, you can pick up 100 PokéCoins, while £4.99 will net you 550 of these virtual coins. You can even shell out an incredible £99.99 for 14,500 PokéCoins, although making such a hefty payment on virtual currency is a sign of serious commitment.
You can also earn coins through non-payment methods, mind. For instance, every 10 minutes you have a Pokémon in a Gym, you gain a single. You’ll get the coins once your Pokémon is removed from the gym, and it’s worth noting that you’re capped at 50 coins per day.
A number of other new features dropped this summer, too, courtesy of a birthday update on June 19.
First on the menu is a major gym overhaul. From now on, you’ve got to take your responsibilities as a Pokémon parent seriously, stopping by a gym where you have a Pokémon to feed it and boost its motivation. If you don’t, it’ll weaken over time, making it easier to defeat and causing a reduction in its CP if it’s defeated several times.
If you forget, you’d better rely on fellow trainers to help you out; other trainers in the same team can also feed your Pokémon if they notice it’s been neglected. If a Pokémon gets completely neglected and loses motivation, it’ll eventually fall from the gym.
There will also be Gym Badges, which will be awarded for various outstanding gym accolades, six monster slots in every gym and the ability to pick up items from gyms just as you would from a PokéStop.
Raid Battles are another new addition, allowing up to 20 trainers to work together against the clock to battle rare bosses, who will randomly pop up at gyms. You’ll know there’s a boss about to rear its head when a Pokémon egg appears at the gym with a countdown timer for its imminent hatching. If you succeed in taking the boss down, you get the chance to capture a rare Pokémon.
One of the cool – or potentially terrifying – things about Raids is that you and your team will need to be in the same area to take down a boss together, which is Niantic’s effort to bring trainers together. You can create private Raids between you and your friends if you’re mortified by the idea of colluding with fellow trainers.
Before you can take part in a Raid Battle, you’ll need a Raid Pass. You can get one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a gym, but you can only keep one in your inventory at any time – or buy a Premium Raid Pass from the shop, if you’re that desperate to battle.
Niantic’s final birthday gift to trainers is a bunch of new items that you can only obtain by defeating a boss. There are rare Candies that can take the place of any Pokémon’s own Candy when used on them, Golden Razz Berries, which increase your chances of catching wild Pokémon, and finally, Technical Machines.
Think you can’t teach an old Pokemon new tricks? Think again. You can use Technical Machines to teach old Pokémon new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.