Over the month of March, Pokémon GO has had more than its fair share of events, updates and new additions. However, this may have been a bit confusing for many Trainers considering the vast amount of movement that went on in the community and in the game.
The purpose of this article is to compile a short summary of all the different changes or happenings that occurred during this last month in Pokémon GO. Please note that this article pertains more towards Trainers worldwide, so region specific events may not be included or as detailed as others.
If you wish to see more information about these events or read a bit more in detail on them, links to our full articles will be provided under their respective topics.
On March 22nd, Pokémon Go’s 2nd Annual Eggstravaganza event began, offering as a highlight, the ability to hatch Pokémon normally found in 5k or 10k were found in 2k eggs, to go along with this, Pokémon Go made all Egg drops form Pokéstops exclusively 2ks. As a bonus to this main feature, there was double Stardust throughout the entire event
As a secret little gift for Trainers, along with the event, there was a small chance for Trainers to hatch one of multiple Shiny Babies, such as Wynaut, Magby, or Togepi, along with finding shiny variations of their evolutions in the wild.
Hours before the official announcement of the event, our code-cracking expert ZeChrales was able to find the text for the announcement in the game, releasing the information to Pokémon GO Hub where we were able to announce the event before Niantic had any mention of it!
If there was ever an event that was able to show the world that the Pokémon GO Community is not dead, it was with this event. On March 25th, for three hours straight, Trainers worldwide went out to find an exclusive Pokémon to the event. Aside from this, many trainers took advantage of the 3 hour lures and 3x Catch Stardust, taking full advantage of this once in a life-time event.
Niantic really threw a Curve Ball with this month’s Pokémon, Bulbasaur. Trainers worldwide worked together to catch as many Bulbasaur as possible in the hopes of evolving them during the three hour event, Trainers that were successful in doing so were able to obtain an exclusive Legacy move for Venusaur, Frenzy Plant Grass. With the introduction of Bulbasaur’s Signature Move, its use in the Meta was completely changed and was well sought out by Trainers because of this game-changing move. Aside from all this, Trainers were more than happy to report the presence of Shiny Bulbasaur throughout the event. Trainers worldwide reported a much higher Shiny rate encounter than normal, some Trainers even reporting a Shiny rate encounter of up to 15%!
Although many Trainers were excited the day of the event to evolve a Frenzy Plant Grass Venusaur, the initial reaction was something less than approving. A majority of Trainers were more than vocal when it came to the option to use a Generation 1 Starter as a Community Day Pokémon. However, this changed with the introduction of the Community Day Exclusive Move, which made Trainers very happy to finally have a meta-relevant Venusaur.
Legendary Week Results
Continuing with Legendary Week, on March 5th we received the announcement that Rayquaza had won, so from March 5th to 16th not only would we continue to see Rayquaza in Raid Battles, but Pokémon that favored Windy weather would be be hatching from eggs more often, and as a plus, double XP!
Starting on March 16th, Lugia made a comeback to Raid Battles world-wide, but this time with a new kicker. This round, Lugia’s Sky Attackwould be given a power boost, this wasn’t so interesting for Trainers, so as a means of inspiring Trainers to once again Raid for the Sea Pokémon, Niantic added Shiny Lugia! Having around a 10% chance of appearing and a nearly 100% capture rate, Trainers were ecstatic to go out Raiding this Legendary once again.
For the first time in Pokémon, we were able to finally come across Mythical Pokémon, of course, starting with Mew. On March 30th, a new update was released which would give the introduction to Mythical Pokémon in Pokémon GO, adding a new way to play the game.
Gym Leader Outfits
Starting March 27th, Trainers worldwide were able to purchase and wear clothing based on one of the in-game badges, once more following the newer implementation of Unlockable clothing in relation to badges. These new outfits are only available to Trainers who have accumulated a Gold Gym Leader Badge, which equals having defended in gyms for a total of 1000 hours.
Like with the first implementation of this new “unlockable” system last month, Trainers were still upset that they had to purchase the new outfits although they had accomplished reaching the Gold Badge required, the controversy with this new clothing was not as large as last month’s, but we suspect this is only because it is a new system that Trainers now know to expect.
This last month was filled with many different Raid and pass distributions, here they are:
Pass Distribution Confusion
Trainers on March 8th were confused after seeing that the EX Raid Passes they received were for the same day (and same time for some) as the EX Raid Passes they had previously received on February 24th. This confusion did not rest quickly, after on March 9th, Trainers were once again lost after seeing another Pass Distribution, a day after already having a Pass Distribution occur, putting the community into more confusion as to exactly when Passes are distributed.
Pass Time Issues
On March 9th, Trainers were a mix of confused and angry after multiple areas in America that were going though the process of Daylight Savings Time, was causing many issues with times that would appear for Raids, for some users saying the correct time and for other times that were before/after the actual EX Raid.
Updates in General
Throughout the month of March, Niantic released a total of three new updates, these updates brought new game features and a new way to sign in for Trainers, many Trainers considered these updates to be some of the most revolutionary in the way Trainers play Pokémon GO, and we can’t disagree.
0.95.3 Android / 1.65.3 IOS
As of March 16th, this update provided Trainers a new sign-in method, before as Trainers could only use Google or their Pokémon Trainer’s Club. However, with this new update Trainers were now able to sign in using their Facebook Credentials, making the game easier to sign in for most Trainers, although a small change, it is a very effective one. Aside from this, Trainers reported that Maps and Trackers were no longer working, showing us that Niantic is looking more into the way they eliminate programs that violate their Terms of Service.
0.97.1 Android / 1.67.1 IOS
This update which was released on March 29th added a new interface to the Weather System and laid out the groundwork for the next update which we would see the following day.
0.97.2 Android / 1.67.2 IOS
On March 30th, this monumental update was released, the Research update promised on March 26th finally made its release, integrating the brand-spanking-new research system, rewarding Trainers for completing task and along with this the integration of the Special Research Quest. This Special Research would allow Trainers to communicate with Professor Willow for the first time in more than a year, helping him look for and fine the elusive and Mythical Pokémon, Mew. Trainers have been taking full advantage of this update, posting their rewards online and sending in AR pics of their Mews!
0.93.3 Android / 1.63.3 IOS
Out of all the APK Mines, this one was one of the least interesting, it included bug fixes galore.
0.93.4 Android / 1.63.4 IOS
This APK provided information on the Time issue related to EX Passes. Along with this we talk a bit about Code Branching!
0.95.3 Android / 1.65.3 IOS
This was one of the largest APK Mine discovered this month, which included a long list of new things added, but what stood out most was Spinda being in the code base, a new place of interest system added which we believe to be Pokéstop submissions and Frenzy Plant was added for Bulbasaur’s Community Day.
0.97.2 Android / 1.67.2 IOS
This was the largest APK Mine, revealing more details in relation to the Research Update, and providing new information hours before its release.
On March 31st, Trainers were surprised to open their games and observe a clever little joke dropped by Niantic, introducing their new 8-Bit Graphics. Although this was loved by any Trainers, it was despised by others. Aside from this, for some unown (pun intended) reason, Shiny Murkrow was added to the game.
Throughout the month of March, there were multiple reports of Unown appearing, including as SXSW, at GDC, Armageddon Expo, and Dutch Comic-Con
Although regular Raid bosses have mostly been put on standby ever since the introduction of Legendary Raids, there was still a few Raid Boss rotations. The first rotation occurred on March 5th with the victory of Rayquaza over Groudon and Kyogre for Legendary Week. The second rotation occurred on March 16th with the return of Lugia to Raid Battles. Along with this, European raid times were extended, going farther into the evening.
Accidental Shadow Bans
Attempting to solve the issue with users using Third Party Applications, Niantic implemented a new way to track cheaters, and unfortunately, it backfired big time, shadowbanning Trainers that weren’t using any Third Party Applications.
Xiamen New Media Exhibition Event
This event on March 6th took part in showcasing new electronics, and part of this includes AR, so to celebrate, Pokémon GO made an appearance, allowing Trainers to catch Mewtwo and Pikachu using a Plush Pokéball.
Global Telecom Niantic Breakup
Global Telecom, a local sponsor of Pokémon GO in the Philippines ended their contract with Niantic, removing sponsored Gyms and Pokestops.
Google Launches AR Core
For Android users that were upset about not having AR Plus, on March 1st this changed, giving select devices the availability of using AR Plus in Pokémon GO.
More likely than not, all Pokémon that have been released throughout this month (including their shiny variants) will continue to be accessible in game, this does exclude however specific Legendaries and specific Unown.
Although this month’s Community day has passed, we still have April’s community day to look forward to, this is a feature that is not going anywhere.
As we can already see, with the departure of Lugia, there was quickly an introduction to New Legendaries. Although other Mythical Pokémon may not appear so soon, the release of Mew indicates that we will be seeing Mythical Pokémon in the future.
Although controversial at times, the new Avatar Clothing is here to stay, using medals to unlock and then pay for is a system that is no longer new to us.
EX Raid Passes
Even though despised by many trainers, the EX raid system is most likely here to stay, at least for the meantime, the month of March created lots of confusion as to how the system works, but we should expect things next to be resolved within next month.
Assuming according to our APK Mines that big things are coming, we will most likely see more updates in the next few months such as these, they should come as no surprise.
With each new update, there is a brand new APK Mine to work on, so rest assured that we will provide updates at they come along.
Although March wasn’t as jammed with events like last month, it was still a revoulutionary month for the game, establishing the concept of returning Legendaries, Mythical Pokémon, the new Quest System, and much, much more. We can bicker, we can argue, we can fight and we can battle, but know this, Pokémon GO is growing every single day, in number and evolution, and with each moment that passes, we are one step closer to greater updates and greater Pokémon.
From this writer’s point of view, sure, Pokémon GO has had its issues this month, and although we do not wish to hear the “no game is perfect” cliché, it’s true. Pokémon GO this month was filled with errors, issues, controversy and everything else, but it also moved forward the mission of Trainers and brought something new to the table, so what’s a few kinks if it means having greater features in the long-run?
If you want to see what happened in March compared to last month, take a look at our Monthly Overview of Pokémon GO: February 2018
Have fun and stay safe, Trainers.