Can anyone else remember the last time we didn’t have an event on in Pokémon GO? I think we’ve had one week off in 2021, bar the single days between events. It is has been pretty constant this year, and a lot of the community are starting to experience event fatigue with this never ending cycle of events.
So far in 2021 we’ve had the Charge Up event, Beldum Incense Day, Kanto Tour, Fletchling Community Day, Searching for Legends Event, Sneasel Research Day, the Carnival event, Roselia Community Day, a Team GO Rocket event, Lunar New Year event, Valentine’s Day event, the various countdowns to the Kanto Tour, and I am sure I am probably missing some!
With raid hour every Wednesday, spotlight hour every Tuesday, now bonus hours on a Thursday, it feels like we are constantly planning.
2020 and 2021 have been interesting years to say the least. The whole world has experienced things it never expected, from a pandemic, to the resulting lockdowns, to such grief and loss.
And throughout it, Niantic has constantly adapted and changed and given us things to do that (mostly) we could do at home. It has given us something to do while stuck at home, and something that makes us smile, but as time has gone on, with the most important part of the game missing for so many of us, the community, fatigue has set in. Do we need a break?
I have been endlessly grateful to have Pokémon GO in my life, as I know many others have. I know to plenty it will sound daft to be thankful to a game, but when things have been so rough, it has been nice to have something that feels so warm, familiar, and nostalgic, to turn to. Taking a game made to get us outside and walking, and bringing it inside has been a challenge, but it has been a pretty successful one, and I know it has helped me pass many an hour away!
That’s not to say we haven’t had our issues during the pandemic. Lockdowns haven’t been considered enough with some of the events, and introducing so many new shinies encourages people to go out and hunt, because the reality is, the game and its spawns are never going to be as good sat on your couch with incense on, as they are out and about.
It has become impossible to keep up with the new shiny releases and events. I find my local group chats are constantly checking in and not being able to keep up, or are confused as to which event it is, and what is coming next. It is so hard to keep track!
With events now seeming to run pretty solidly from Tuesday to Sunday, that means we get roughly one day with ‘normal’ spawns and eggs. While it is awesome that the spawns change so often, it also makes it difficult to hunt for anything that isn’t an event spawn, because they are so rare! With the Shiny Mew Masterwork quest line, how many of us are stuck looking for Dark and Dragon types that just aren’t appearing? I can’t remember the last time I saw a Dark type spawn!
The idea of a shiny living dex is now a distant dream for so many who used to be able to keep it up. With a new shiny becoming almost guaranteed with each new event, the hunt is harder than ever before, and many of the most hardcore grinders I know have found themselves burnt out and giving up on that dream of a living dex.
No More Fomo
Remember when FOMO (fear of missing out) was one of the biggest issues in Pokémon GO? We’ve moved beyond FOMO and are officially into PSDWCKU (please slow down we can’t keep up). Yes, I know it’s a crap acronym but I just made it up.
The days of worrying you would have a commitment that meant you couldn’t play Community Day are long gone, with events what feels like every other weekend, it just isn’t viable to be able to do them all. Yes, these extra events have kept us busy with lockdown, but it doesn’t mean people don’t still have responsibilities and work and family obligations.
I know people that have started skipping events. I never thought I’d see the days when daily players just started skipping events, but with event fatigue setting in, for long term players in particular, did we really need another shiny Sneasel? No? Skip Sneasel Research Day.
For people who did the original Beldum Community Day, plenty skipped the incense day because they knew shinies would be thin on the ground and six hours is a long period of time to sit and play Pokémon.
People have even started only doing the first hour of Community Day, with not the most exciting Pokémon featured, shinies seeming pretty prevalent, a heavy PVP focus, or existing shinies featured, why bother to get more than one of each shiny for your living dex and skip the rest of the day?
With mini events three nights a week, usually running at the same time as a weekly event, with 6 hour events happening at least one weekend a month, keeping up is something else. Raid Hour means spending cash money for many because of the pandemic, Spotlight Hour can be hit or miss without increased shiny chances, and now we also have the new Thursday bonus hours?!
Ouch. Three nights a week seems unsustainable, especially when the pandemic (hopefully) begins to ease for much of the world.
So what can we do to deal with event fatigue? Slightly longer events so we aren’t rushing to complete quests? Longer gaps between them so we experience our normal area spawns too? Or events with more substance?
New Pokémon have slowed to a trickle, and when we do get new Pokémon they are often released in an event then never seen again. We’ve moved onto Gen 6 and still have Gen 5 Pokémon missing, never mind the Legendary and Mythicals from earlier generations. Also, Kelceon, poor Kelceon seems destined to never be seen in game at this point.
During a pandemic knowing what to release and what not to in this pandemic has been a really difficult balancing act, but releasing new Pokémon in single releases is a stretch. Could events with more substance and content be the answer to event fatigue?
Personally I feel like the biggest part of what is causing our event fatigue right now is that we can’t be together as a community. How much more fun is Community Day when you are messing about with your mates?
Even if it was a lacklustre shiny, or a Pokémon I wasn’t too fussed about, I miss threatening to push my friends in the river where we play when they get a shiny quicker than me, or the hour we sit down for drinks afterwards to trade and compare our shiny hauls. Without the community, it just isn’t the same.
We might have group chats and Discord and more so we can all keep in touch, but we all miss the thrill of group shiny checking raids, nattering endlessly as you walk miles on event days, running to chase hundos together and cheering when that one poor person in your community is on their 70th legendary raid and finally gets that elusive shiny.
Events just aren’t as exciting when we can’t play them together, leading us to feel fatigued by them. They’ve lost their shine, because we’ve lost each other.
Whoever thought we’d have such bad event fatigue that we missed those previously super common spawns? I can’t remember the last time I saw a Weedle or a Pidgey! We used to have large gaps between events, weeks at a time, which could get boring, but now we are glad to get a Monday off.
Sometimes we just need a break. Whether or not that is you making the choice that you aren’t going to partake in, or not allowing yourself to feel that you have to hunt that new shiny release, or if it is Niantic slowing down the constant events, take a breath.
You don’t have to complete the Timed Research every week. Don’t put yourself at risk if you are in lockdown or the pandemic is bad in your area. As much as we love them, they are just digital monsters on a screen. I know! I know. I’m obsessed too, and I know I won’t follow my own advice.
How have you found the constant events of the last few months? Is it too much or do you love it? Let us know in the comment section below!