Way back when in internet years, Pokémon Go was more popular than fidget spinners and water bottle flipping combined. But, as the lifecycle of trends these days is so short, after months of people walking into street signs because they were too busy searching for Charizard, the game’s popularity soon waned. But with Pokémon Go‘s one-year anniversary approaching, the makers are hoping to thrust their beloved game back into the cultural spotlight with a massive new update. These changes are meant to fix the problems that turned “trainers” off to the game in the first place, including the difficulty of fighting in gyms and the ability to take down powerful bosses and catch legendary Pokémon.
The major change is in regards to gym battling, as that was by and large one of the more frustrating aspects of the game for users. Gyms are set up in a king-of-the-hill style, where the most powerful trainer is allowed to defend the gym until they are knocked out by someone else. However, people quickly realized that only certain types of Pokémon have the stats to defend a gym, and everyone without those Pokémon never stood a chance. With the new update, Pokémon that spend prolonged periods of time in the gym will slowly lose their motivation, making them easier to defeat. This, ideally, will give everyone a fair chance when it comes to gym domination.
There is also a new “Raid Battle” feature, where during certain parts of the day, up to 20 trainers can team up to battle and catch massive, mega-powerful Pokémon. And certain Pokémon that are less useful in other parts of the game are ultra-valuable when it comes to raids, making every captured creature have a useful function.
Instead of forcing out these updates at the first sign of trouble, Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, took its time and made sure they were actually going to improve the gaming experience. And, while the game doesn’t have nearly the cultural foothold it once had, there are still 65 million active trainers playing every month. However, with these new updates, Pokémon Go may be able to climb back to its former level of success and once again be the go-to punchline for internet videos and late night interviews.