If you played Pokémon GO on the last few events, you probably noticed a random blue circle on top of some specific PokéStops. Those are Showcases, one of the most recent features brought to the game, and, after four months since the official release, we think it’s time to talk about them.
What are Showcases?
On a brief explanation, Showcases are a feature introduced along the seventh anniversary of Pokémon GO, back in July. They were adapted from the main series games and the anime, but in both cases are called Contests.
It’s a new type of competition that occurs in some specific PokéStops where trainers enter specific Pokémon – usually XXS or XXL ‘mons tied with the current in game event – and compete against other trainers’ Pokémon.
Showcases will only run for a short time – it can be a few hours during Community Days, or a few days during specific events. Right now, trainers can only participate on three Showcases at a time, with one Pokémon per Showcase, and once a Showcase is over, all the trainers will get rewards based on their Pokémon’s rank. The trainer who takes home the number one spot will get a medal. You can find more information on how Showcases work here.
Are Showcases viable?
Short answer: yes. In my opinion, and it gets corroborated by a lot of comments on social media, Showcases are a wonderful way to get the so-called “premium items”.
Think about free-to-play players. The amount of incenses, lure modules and star pieces in their bag is small, limited to what the game offers on special or timed researches. This feature is a pretty good way to farm those, usually, paid items.
I can even add more. In a some Pavlovian way of playing the game, it makes the players catch more Pokémon, or at least look for the XXS and the XXL creatures, to have more chances to win those premium items. This way, it gives us a new goal on going outside and click on every single spawn we see. Click on more Pokémon to win more Showcases to get more premium items.
Right now, in my hometown – a small/medium size city -, there’s six or seven PokéStops that turns into Showcases during events. Some are located on less populated areas, like industrial sites or in a street near an a equestrian center. Those are great to end in first place. So, there’s a trick, or, at least, a smart way to play: look for these “abandoned” PokéStops to easy wins! Except if you’re a rural player. If so, the win is almost guaranteed. GG.
We can even put your Pokémon in Showcases at distance, and that’s a nit touch that Niantic provided to us – let us think that is intended and not a bug…
Imagine you catch a Skrelp – one of the first events with Showcases was the Noxious Swamp event, and Skrelp was the featured Pokémon. After the catch, on the Pokémon screen where you can check the IVs and so, you will see the option “Enter nearby PokéStop Showcase”. It makes possible for you to participate on Showcases near you! From my home I can see two PokéStops with Showcases, one further away than the other. The closest one is 350 meters from me and the farthest one is 750 meters away. The real range is yet to be studied, but I can participate remotely in the closest one.
After that, you can even switch the Pokémon you entered anytime you want. For that, you just need to go to the Today View, scroll all the way down and you will see the Showcases you’re currently on.
But not everything is a bed of Roselias.
Right now, Showcases are almost perfect. This feature makes collecting Pokémon even more fun, knowing there’s something to do with those extra large or small ones. And you can be a city player, a rural player, a free-to-play one or spend a lot of money in the game. In the end of a Showcase, you can win great items for free.
The fact that Showcases can be played remotely – if nearby, of course – it’s amazing, and thank Arceus for that!
I only have a few suggestions to make.
For me, Showcases should work outside of events as well. Sure, it would be a little less exciting, but a lot more challenging. They could, also, use nests to work. But this would make a rework needed, and it’s too soon to think about it.
Another thing is the list of rewards. The rewards should be always premium items. I ended up in first place on a Showcase and got Potions and Super Potions. Are they useful? Yes, of course. But they’re items I can easily get spinning photo discs on PokéStops or Gyms.
Last, but not least, why “ban” a recent winner Pokémon for days before we can enter it on a new Showcase? If Showcases only works on events, with the featured Pokémon, obviously we won’t use the same Pokémon on the next day, right? Don’t ban Pokémon, Niantic. Justice for that XXL Amaura that won a Showcase during the Adventure Week event, and I couldn’t use again for quite some time.
Beside those suggestions, it is as I said: Showcases, to me, are almost perfect!