Pokémon GO is feeling like a monthly subscription, let’s talk about it

Posted in

There are often paid tickets for research during events in Pokémon GO. These tickets unlock exclusive rewards such as avatar clothing, poses, XP and Stardust. Let’s take a quick look at the tickets made available through 2023…

Month No. of tickets Cost
January 2 $2
February 1 $1
March 2 $5.99
April 2 $2
May 1 $1
June 4 $12
July 4 $12
August 1 $1
September 4 $9
October 4 $12
November 5 $6.99
December 6 $20
TOTAL 36 $84.98

The above table excludes the GO Fest, Hoenn Tour and City Safari tickets. Towards the end of the year, it felt that every event had something locked behind a paid ticket, and these add up very quickly.

Are event tickets on the rise?

Every month during the season of Timeless Travels, there has been access to a $5 Eggs-pedition Access ticket. Eggs-pedition Access includes Timed Research opportunities and bountiful bonuses that supply Trainers with Incubators, Gift storage, and extra XP. Each month’s Eggs-pedition Access provides new Timed Research that unlocks at the start of the month. A monthly payment to have access to basic gameplay bonuses such as opening or holding more gifts feels very much like a beta subscription model. 

The first time we saw something like this was in October 2023, with the Ticket of Treats. This ticket granted spooky Halloween themed Timed Research throughout the whole month. With the ticket, every Thursday a new Timed Research was unlocked, giving you until the end of October to complete them all.

Events feeling increasingly locked behind a paywall

Dazzling Dream Collection Challenge

Hatch these Pokémon to earn rewards and an encounter with Carbink. These Pokémon are hatching from 7 km Eggs during the Dazzling Dream event.


During the January 2024 Dazzling Dream event, there was a collection challenge that involved hatching Pokémon. This was a 4 day-long event which required 4 different Pokémon to be hatched. These Pokémon were available from 7km eggs obtained from gifts once the event had started.

This challenge felt majorly locked behind a paywall. The average player usually only has their infinite incubator and maybe one or two other incubators. To then walk 7km each time to try to hatch the Pokémon without a guarantee of hatching the one you need, particularly when half of the event is in a work week. This event encouraged the purchase of either the Egg-spedition ticket or super incubators, for those that wanted to complete the collection challenge.

Dusk Form Lycanroc

Dusk Form Lycanroc released during the Lustrous Odyssey event. Previously caught Rockruff could not evolve into Dusk Form Lycanroc upon its debut, meaning that everyone looking for the dex entry would need to go out on a new hunt.

During the event, you were be able to catch a special Rockruff from:

  • 2 km and 7 km Eggs – Rockruff hatched from these Eggs have a chance to evolve into Dusk Form Lycanroc.
  • Field Research encounters – Some Rockruff caught from Field Research rewards will be able to evolve into Dusk Form Lycanroc instead of Midday Form or Midnight Form Lycanroc. 

Field research I hear you cry, that’s free to complete! Well… the two research tasks rewarding a Rockruff (with only a chance of it being Dusk Form) were: ‘Hatch 3 eggs’ and ‘Win 2 raids’.

… yeah. In a 5-day mid-winter event (including only 2 weekend days), obtaining a Dusky Husky required the use of Premium Passes, remote raid passes, or purchasing incubators. If you were looking for the hundo or the shiny you would be sinking even more money into this cute little pooch. This event had a clear paywall issue.

Taken Treasures Paid Timed Research

Onto the Team GO Rocket Takeover of the season. Team GO Rocket are back, and this time they are armed with new Shadow Pokémon! Giovanni has captured Shadow Kyogre, Shiny Shadow Ho-Oh is in Shadow Raids, Paldean Pokémon Varoom makes their debut, and exciting new Shadow additions are coming to the game, including Shadow Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Snorunt and more!

Sounds good right, and what sounds even better is the new pose releasing with the event. During the Rising Shadows Event the Rising Hero pose made it’s way into the style store for 500 coins. The beauty of this is that it stayed in the store past the event, so even to this day you have the option to buy it. What’s more, you’re guaranteed to get the pose after spending 500 coins.

However, the $5 Taken Treasures event ticket grants paid timed research. The new boss pose is a completion reward for the 4th and final stage of the research. This is after having beaten no less than 30 Team GO Rocket grunts. In a town or built-up area this research could be easily completed within a day. However, there are some people without access to stops during the working week and would be solely relying on the TGR balloons to complete these tasks. It is not fair to players to pay £5 and feel rushed, or as though they might not get one of the main rewards for the research.

Upcoming Sinnoh Tour

There are two tickets available during the Road to Sinnoh event running the week before Sinnoh Tour. For US$5.00 (or the equivalent pricing tier in your local currency), you’ll be able to access event-exclusive Timed Research and other raid/egg hatching-themed bonuses.

Timed Research rewards for Road to Sinnoh: Raids include the following.

  • 10 Dialga Candy
  • 10 Palkia Candy
  • 5 Heatran Candy XL
  • 5 Giratina Candy XL
  • 5 Cresselia Candy XL
  • 5 Darkrai Candy XL
  • Eevee Fan Mask

Plus, enjoy the following bonuses.

  • Additional 5,000 XP from completed raids
  • 1 additional Candy awarded for catching Pokémon in raids
  • 2 additional Raid Passes from spinning Photo Discs at Gyms each day

Timed Research rewards for Road to Sinnoh: Hatch include encounters with the following Pokémon.

Timed Research rewards for Road to Sinnoh: Hatch will also include the following avatar item.

  • Pikachu Fan Mask

Plus, enjoy the following bonuses.

  • 2x Hatch XP
  • 2x Hatch Candy
  • 2x Hatch Stardust

Yes, some of these bonuses seem enticing. However, $10 worth of tickets on the week leading up to a Global event where lots of Trainers will be travelling to bigger cities for a better gameplay experience or planning to do more raids whether that be in-person or remote is a big sting.

When you look at the bonuses for these tickets it’s not even that great. Mostly it’s a little boost of XP, candy and stardust but doesn’t seem worth $10 overall. Not even to mention it’s yet again an instance of paid timed research.

Most events nowadays seem divided between a basic ‘free’ version and a ticketed version, providing exclusive encounter opportunities and premium items (excluding community days). This dual structure makes players more hesitant to invest in raid passes when already spending considerably on ticketed events. It seems that the amount or value of tickets just seems to be increasing.

So, what is the solution?

Interestingly, a significant portion of these tickets offer questionable value, often failing to provide rewards beyond what active players in well-populated areas would naturally attain. The primary targets for these short events and tickets appear to be players with other commitments or those residing in rural areas.

Firstly, paid timed research should not be a thing. Research granted from the paid Community Day tickets stays in the Special Research, all paid research should be this way. If you are paying for something, you should eventually have access to it – no matter how long it takes you. This would be a huge QoL update for rural or disabled players, or even players with employment that prevents them from getting out and about much during events. If the argument is that the research will become difficult to complete after the event due to event-specific tasks, the research could automatically change to post-event tasks of a similar difficulty level similar to the GO Fest 2023 research.

Okay… but this doesn’t solve the amount of paid tickets

Contrastingly, Pokémon Sleep adopts a more user-friendly model, where a monthly subscription brings bonus points daily, free rewards each month, and additional perks, making it a more worthwhile investment (does this remind you of anything… egg-spedition access ticket anyone?)

A potential solution to address player concerns could be the introduction of an optional monthly subscription that includes access to all event tickets. Such a model would likely garner support, as long as the game content remains viable for free-to-play players. 

This subscription could include the bonuses similar to the current monthly Egg-spedition ticket as well as including all paid tickets for the month, at a small discount. This allows trainers that usually buy all the tickets to get a small discount. But importantly, it still allows Trainers to not buy-in to this and alternatively buy event tickets as and when they would like.

A crucial part to this and something I really want to emphasise is that the game must remain playable for the free-to-play Trainers. Take some of the bonuses from the tickets and but them as a baseline free bonus of events. I truly don’t think this would put people off buying the ticket if they were going to anyway!

I think if Pokémon GO continues with the trajectory of tickets it has been using recently, I would be all for a subscription model. What do you think? Let us know!

Author & tags

Hey! I'm phrixu, a Pokémon GO player from the UK. I am dedicated to making Pokémon GO as accessible as possible, to the whole community!

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

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