Let’s Talk About Spiritomb: Take Two

October is one of the most hyped months in Pokémon GO! Halloween season is officially here, and part one of the annual two part event kicked off with a variety of new exciting additions. From the debut of spooky doggo Greavard, to the fantastic shiny Phantump being released, to a whole host of Timed Research quest lines. But as with 2022, it leaves us all asking a familiar question… why is Spiritomb once again locked behind Timed Research with a single encounter?

I’ve written about Spiritomb before, because in 2022 it wasn’t just locked to a single encounter, it was a PAID single encounter! $5 for a single Spiritomb was the scariest part of Halloween last year. This year is slightly better, because it is a free Timed Research, but it is still a single encounter. Many Pokémon GO trainers were hoping to see it in field research tasks, but it isn’t in part one, and part two has no mention of it.

In 2020 the shiny version of Spiritomb was released, and it was available from field research tasks during the Halloween event. In 2021 Spiritomb was available for the whole month of October, via the field research tasks ‘Catch 18 ghost/dark types‘. And yet, for the last two years, we’ve had access to a single Spiritomb encounter, for the whole year!

While field research tasks can be a tricky grind, trainers do have the option to grind them, which has been removed since 2022. Now with a single encounter each year, you have to really pray to Arceus that you are incredibly lucky with the shiny. The field research tasks were on the rarer side, but it was still possible to put in time and effort and encounter a fair amount of Spiritomb if you really wanted the shiny.

Personally as a semi-rural player, I’ve encountered 59 Spiritomb in total, not the biggest amount, but the map was very different for PokéStops in 2021 to what it is now. There will be trainers who have encountered drastically more than me in cities and haven’t managed to get the shiny yet. I know I haven’t!

Regular Spiritomb Shiny Spiritomb

In the main series games, Spiritomb is often a fixed point encounter, with a singular spawn, but the ability to reattempt the chance for a shiny Spiritomb is possible via soft-resetting. It may be tricky to obtain, but it is entirely achievable with dedication. Pokémon GO takes away this potential grind, making it near impossible to obtain the shiny, after previously allowing us to grind it.

It seems an odd choice, to make something available albeit locked behind field research for two years, and then to revert to a single encounter locked behind Timed Research. Why make it much more widely available, to then make it the ultimate rare shiny? Newer players have had almost no chance of getting the shiny, and a single yearly encounter, even at Community Day shiny odds (1/20-25), could potentially take well over 25 years to get the shiny, if ever!

How do you feel about how Niantic handle the annual Halloween appearance of Spiritomb? Some trainers like knowing they have an incredibly rare shiny, but is it fair on newer players or those who weren’t so lucky?

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Turtwig obsessive, real life Psyduck, Pokémon GO AR Photographer, found footage horror fan and Pokémon GO Hub AR Queen

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