Pokémon GO in 2022: A Year in Review


2022 has been a year of highs and lows for Pokémon GO, but today we’re here to look at all the new Pokémon, shinies, features and more we saw released this year! What were your highlights of 2022? Let us know in the comments!

New Pokémon

First up, the new Pokémon released in 2022. At times it seemed like new Pokémon released had slowed to a trickle, but we actually saw 124 new additions! We saw many different forms of Pokémon, from Hisuian versions, to the different Genesect Drives, 18 different Vivillon patterns, and a whole bunch of Mega Pokémon. We also had the first Pokémon from the seventh generation of Pokémon, the Alola region, that wasn’t Alolan versions of existing Pokémon! The release of new Pokémon had to slow down this year, because we are catching up to the main series far too quickly. While it may seem a bit frustrating, it is for good reason, so that we can have many years of new Pokémon to come, and not run out of new releases.

Some of these Pokémon were fantastic, meta breaking, new releases, like the Hoenn Mega Pokémon, and others had their releases not go as well as Niantic might have hoped, Zorua anyone? The launch of the Ultra Beasts was done in a particularly exciting way, with found footage horror movie style promo videos on social media, and a great build up. Fingers crossed in 2023 those wormholes stay active, as more Ultra Beasts have yet to arrive in GO! Some of these Pokémon have been trickier to obtain than others, with the likes of Jangmo-o being an incredibly rare spawn, and Salazzle being stuck in the 12km egg pool, with a very low rate of those being female, which you need to evolve to Salandit. Having brand new Pokémon like these be rare, and stick with being rare for a decent chunk of time, means you aren’t able to just immediately get these Pokémon in your Pokédex on release day, and it can be fun to have to work so hard to obtain them.

A lot of regional exclusives arrived around the world, from the four different Oricorio forms, Flabébé and their various colour palettes, and even Celesteela and Kartana staying within specific hemispheres. Collecting the different colours and forms of Flabébé and Oricorio will be a real challenge for the living dex collector!

Vivillon and Zorua both brought with them brand new mechanisms in order to catch them. The Vivillon postcard collection is a highlight I’ll talk about in the new features section, and after some bugs, Zorua was fixed, and fun!

New Shiny Pokémon

2022 was definitely a great year for new shiny releases, even if we saw some more controversial Community Day choices that meant new shinies weren’t released. 2022 saw a whopping 130 new shiny forms in game!

When I started compiling this list I had no idea we had seen so many new shiny releases! The 129 figure includes the various forms of Furfrou, Unown letters and Castform, because for living dex shiny hunters, they would be aiming to hunt down one of each. Johto Tour saw the last of the Gen II shinies being released, and we have truly seen an array of shiny Unown this year! Several Pokémon made their debut with their shiny available this year which is always a hyped up event, including Stufful for their Community Day, and Yungoos and Rockruff for the Alola region debut.

It’s been a mixed year, with some Pokémon we’ve been begging for as shiny forever, (Litwick Community Day!), to some really unexpected ones, like Snowy and Sunny Castform. The two Castforms are particularly significant, because it marks the first time they have ever been shiny in any Pokémon game! Before GO, only the normal form could shine, then we had Rainy Castform released as shiny, before the Season of Mythical Wishes brought with it the rest of the family. Getting shinies in GO that have never been in any Pokémon game is a huge deal!

We also had some really rare and unexpected shinies released this year, from the surprise addition of Noibat, which many thought would wait until a Community Day, through to Furfrou, which had been absent since it’s Fashion Week debut in 2021.

I also think it is important to take note of some of the Safari Zone shiny Pokémon debuts, as many trainers may not have realised their shinies are now available in GO. Purrloin, Finneon, Corphish and Spritzee were all released as part of various Safari Zones this year, so are easily forgotten about, don’t forget about them!

New Features and Updates

We’ve seen an array of new features and updates in Pokémon GO this year, including:

Of all these new features, I have to give a particular shout out to the Daily Adventure Incense, Vivillon Postcard Collection, and event ticket gifting. Daily Adventure Incense is a great way to encourage us to get out for 15 minutes a day, with the potential for incredible rare spawns in the form of the Galarian forms of Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres. 15 minutes is fairly easy to fit into your day, it is totally free, and it encourages you to get moving. Event ticket gifting is such a lovely addition. Opening up the game to discover a pal has sent you the Community Day ticket fills my heart with joy! It’s a really sweet thing to be able to do, and I think it helps create warm fuzzy feelings in the community.

Finally, we have to talk about the Vivillon postcard method. Honestly? Niantic, you nailed this. It works fantastically, it is such a cool concept for how to add a regional pattern to the Pokédex, and we’ve seen such an amazing flurry of people wanting to help each other. This is how you foster a worldwide community! 10s across the board. Top marks. Love this!

Community Days

2022 saw the introduction of the Community Day Classic, the return of the three hour window, and a mixed bag of different Pokémon featured. Several Community Days featured Pokémon who already had their shiny released, but we had arguably two of the biggest Community Days we’ve had in a long time, Deino and Litwick. The community has been begging for Litwick for October since the moment Litwick made their debut, and Deino has been so rare, even though the shiny was already available, for the vast majority of players it was new to them!

2022 had a fair few Community Days focused on PvP moves, and a few movesets that didn’t add anything meta relevant to the Pokémon. While some were a little lacklustre, there were still some great shinies featured, and the introduction of the Classics was a great success. Letting us get moves on Pokémon featured so long ago is great not only for newer players who missed the original Community Days, but brilliant for long time players who may have caught better IV Pokémon since the original, but not wanted to use an Elite TM on them.


2022 had a lot more released than I initially realised! We are fairly consistently seeing new Pokémon and shinies released via a fairly steady trickle style launch. It means we aren’t getting overwhelmed with new launches, and also that we can be sure we aren’t about to run out of new Pokémon and shinies, or catch up with the main series games.

What has been your favourite new release this year? I’m particularly loving the way Vivillon has been released, and seeing some of the Hisuian Pokémon I’ve grown to love in Pokémon: Arceus Legends.

Have a great end of 2022, and here’s to an incredible 2023!

Author & tags

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

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