Let’s Talk: The Night Spawns Problem for the Solstice Horizons Event


UPDATE 21st JUNE 2023

Trainers, we are pleased to say that Niantic have acknowledged this issue and have shared the following:

‘Trainers, we have updated the Solstice Horizons event so that Pokémon associated with night will now appear from 6pm until 6am local time for the remainder of the event.’

This is a great response and update that solves the night spawns problem for those in the Northern Hemisphere, and especially those without night at all at this time of year! Thank you Niantic for acknowledging and fixing this.

Original Article

The Solstice Horizons event is here, and brings with a fairly unusual feature for an event, different spawns depending on whether it is daytime in game, or night time in game. Whilst you may be able to evolve Pokémon like Rockruff into Midnight Lycanroc as soon as the sun sets in GO, the actual night spawns work totally differently.

Here are some things about Pokémon GO’s day and night system you should know:

  • Pokémon GO spawns go into “night mode” 2 hours after “sunset”, and return to “day mode” 2 hours after “sunrise”.
  • Sunset and sunrise are when your game map goes visually into night / day mode.
  • The game uses local sunrise and sunset times to calculate spawns and the in-game map visuals

The first night I expected to start seeing the night spawns when the sunset, not realising how the night spawn mechanism worked, and was a little confused. Surely the spawns couldn’t be so limited for parts of the world currently in summer?

Lunala Season of Light

For example, in the UK right today sunset is at 21:33, and sunrise is 4:30. So that gives us 17 hours of daytime, and 7 hours of night time. With how Pokémon GO spawns work, night time spawns will appear from 23:33, until 6:30. Today in Oslo, Norway, sunset is 22:43, with sunrise following at 3:53. Almost 19 hours of daytime! Night time spawns will only appear between 00:43 and 5:53, an incredibly narrow window of time. The more north you get, the less night time there is. In some parts of the world (northern parts of Greenland for instance), there is no actual sunset until September! So no possibility for night time spawns. The most northern parts of Norway won’t see the sunset again until August.

This makes the Collection Challenge, and hunt for night time spawns, rather tricky, or downright impossible!

With this being the first time you’ve had to hunt both day and night spawns for an event, this is the first time the night time spawns have truly proven to be a problem in GO. Many of us didn’t realise quite how it worked until this event, when we eagerly logged in after sunset to realise… the spawns are still the daytime spawns?

Thanks to geography, many trainers are finding it incredibly difficult, or literally impossible to complete this collection challenge which is a real shame. While it isn’t ‘essential’ to complete these, many people pride themselves on always having completed them, and for the first time are finding it impossible. It seems an odd choice to have an event like this at the time of year, when the days are at their most extreme of summer and winter. Children and younger trainers in particular may struggle, because while us adults can choose to stay up till a silly time to play Pokémon GO, that isn’t viable for the young trainer.

It is also something of a safety concern. Raids stop spawning at 9pm for a reason, to discourage trainers from gathering after dark, and to hopefully keep players safe from playing in the middle of the night. This event goes totally against that for Northern Hemisphere trainers. Those of us who do have a night time, are finding it so late, that the only chance to get the spawns is to stay out well after dark, when most of us would rather be sleeping.

cosmoem season of light

If raids can end at 9pm, why can’t day be 9am to 9pm, and night 9pm to 9am, or something similar, to give all trainers the chance to catch both day and night spawns? I may be in my thirties so I can stay up to whenever I like, but I’m also someone with chronic pain, 10pm is past my usual sort of bed time, never mind staying up till almost midnight for Pokémon GO! 9am as a switchover time would also give younger players a chance to hunt these spawns safely in the morning, rather than bugging their guardians to stay up past their bed time.

We hope Niantic will reconsider how these sort of events work in the future, or maybe choose to do them at a different time. Whilst the Solstice makes sense as a time for a day and night themed event, it doesn’t work as a time for day and night spawns, because not everyone gets a night! Something we always try to push for from Niantic is a level playing field for trainers, which can be tricky at times, and this event just doesn’t seem like it had too much thought put into it when considering how the event spawns would actually work. Even in San Francisco where Niantic HQ is, night spawns won’t start today till 22:35.

What do you think of this event and the different spawns? It is such a fun concept in theory, just sadly not working too well in practice.

Solgaleo season of light

Author & tags

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

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.