We Need to Talk About the Kanto Tour


With the announcement of the absolutely huge Kanto Tour for February 2021, there are a lot of mixed feelings in the community. There’s a lot of hype, so many people are thrilled to finally see all the Kanto shinies released, and shiny Mew! But, there are also a lot of differing opinions about this event, so let’s talk.

The Shinies

First up, the good! We are getting access to a huge amount of special Pokémon spawns, the entirety of the 150 non-mythical Pokémon of the Kanto region. And every single one of these spawns will be available as a shiny. This means we will gain access to the brand new shinies for Paras, Spearow, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Snorlax, Ditto, and from a special research quest line, Mew. That gives us 9 brand new shinies to hunt!

As well as these brand new shinies, many trainers will also get their first access to the Kanto regionals, Tauros, Farfetch’d, Mr Mime and Kangaskhan, as well as their shiny forms. For many trainers who may be newer to the game, or have been unable to travel to their respective regions, these could finish off their Kanto Pokédex nicely. Being able to have access to these regional shiny forms will be a much sought after aspect of this event.

Shiny Kanto Regionals
Shiny Kanto Regionals

Kanto may have been around for a long time, but it still has rare spawns. It’s been a long time since Dratini community day, and most players will be very nostalgic and excited for every Snorlax and Lapras spawn, especially with Snorlax becoming shiny! I can’t remember the last time I saw an Aerodactyl in the wild, and there are plenty of other less common spawns, like Lickitung and Chansey, that people will be hunting for.

The Pokémon I think most people are really hyped about, is shiny Ditto. We aren’t sure yet how it will be implemented, but we do know it is coming because the event confirms that all Kanto Pokémon will be able to be shiny. Ditto isn’t often seen outside of events that increase their spawn rates, so outside of this event, shiny Ditto is going to be unbelievable rare. Shiny Ditto alone has us all super hyped!

Available for Everyone

Several aspects of this event are available for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have purchased a ticket. This includes some Kanto Pokémon spawns, all of which will be available shiny, the special raids, all trainers will have access to the event-exclusive timed research, and all trainers will be able to take advantage of the 40km increased trade distance.

The return of the Legendary birds with their exclusive moves, as well as the incredible Mewtwo with Psystrike, is also a popular choice. With the addition of remote raids, these will be easier to access and organise for than ever before! Shiny Mewtwo has been available a few times, but I know I’ve never had one from a raid despite my best efforts, so I’ll be trying to get my own for sure!

The Price

Now the price is a little controversial, and we’re going to discuss all sides of this. If you buy the ticket before 13th January 11:59 p.m PST, you will also gain free access to the January and February community day special research stories. These events usually cost $1 (or your countries equivalent), so if you are someone who is inclined to buy these community day special research stories, it’s well worth buying your ticket before the early purchase bonus cut off. Who doesn’t love a freebie?

The tickets available immediately in the in-game shop, and tickets are US$11.99 plus any applicable taxes and fees (or the equivalent in your local currency). You will be able to pick which version, Red or Green, closer to the event time. That price point is higher than most people expected, so let’s compare the price to other large in game events.

GO Fest 2020, the at home GO Fest, cost US$14.99. GO Fest Chicago 2019 cost US$25. GO Fest Chicago 2018 cost US$20. All of these prices also have applicable taxes and fees, and are the equivalent in your local currency.

Now this Kanto Event isn’t a GO Fest, nor does it include any in person aspects, so it is probably most fair to compare it to the at home GO Fest of 2020. This event ran for 2 days over a weekend, 10am to 8pm local time, and the cost US$14.99 covered both days. The Kanto Event is a single day, 9am to 9pm local time, for US$11.99. GO Fest essentially cost US$7.50 per day, making this one day event quite a bit more expensive for a single day. If you take into account the two Community Day research stories you gain access to, it still means this event costs US$10 for a single day.

We are assuming that this event will have similar shiny rates to GO Fest, which is a lower rate than Community Day rates, but still higher than on any normal day. Without the ticket you have access to some spawns, the raids, the event research, so what does the ticket give you access to that is worthwhile?

GO Tour Kanto ticket
GO Tour Kanto ticket

With a ticket you gain access to all spawns, Kanto research rewards, incense that attracts Kanto spawns, and additional candy for catching Pokémon. With GO Fest, while shiny rates appeared slightly increased for non-ticket holders, they were much higher rates for those with tickets, and we think it is probably safe to assume the same here. Non-ticket holders get access to some spawns, ticket holders get access to all spawns, so keep in mind that without a ticket, you do not get access to all the spawns, and this may well include the regionals.

The key thing that is exclusive to ticket holders, is Shiny Mew. This research quest line is only going to be available for those with a Kanto Event ticket once you have completed the event research. This is big. Shiny Celebi is being released to all trainers as part of a free event, but Shiny Mew is only going to be available to those who pay for this event. It may later be available to all trainers, but for now, ticket holders only. For many, this alone is worth the cost of the ticket, but for others, the fact that Shiny Celebi is going to be released for free, makes the cost for Shiny Mew even less preferable. Why is one mythical shiny for everyone, and the other has to be paid for?


The other big issue a lot of people have is that this ticket price isn’t an affordable price point for all. Exchange rates can mean that this event is a lot more expensive outside of the US, and US$11.99 is a lot to ask for with the current world situation. We have seen massive damage to economies world wide, with a lot of people losing their jobs and livelihoods, and this ticket is a luxury a lot many won’t be able to justify buying when they are struggling. The early purchase bonus ends not long after the Christmas holiday season, when many people are on a tighter budget than usual even.

A lot of players feel that things as important as shiny Mew shouldn’t be hidden behind a paywall full stop, because it prices out those that can’t afford it. With the timing of this event, many younger players who may be relying on pocket money, or help from their parents to pay, may feel guilty asking for this, or unable to ask to play this event full stop, with the approaching holiday season. Many parents plan hard for Christmas and they may not be able to work it into their budget. If a family plays Pokémon GO together, it becomes one expensive weekend!

The Pandemic

This event is occuring 20th February 2021. Many countries will be anticipating that lockdowns and more restrictions will be in place after the holiday season almost inevitably leads to a rise in cases of Covid-19 with more travel and social gatherings taking place. This means for many, this will again be an ‘at home’ type event, like GO Fest 2020. This means relying on incense, and hoping that natural spawns will be increased. This also means that players may not have the ability to spin Pokéstops for the event exclusive research tasks, and if there are any egg hatching aspects to the quest line, it might prove tricky!

3D rendered PokéBalls

We hope Niantic will take the pandemic into consideration, as while there is hope in sight with the start of vaccine rollouts, and some countries have done incredibly well with controlling the virus, other areas have not, and as such restrictions as in place. February 2021 isn’t far away and life won’t be anything like normal still by then for many countries. Hopefully our buddy Pokémon will bring us balls during the event, or the quest line will reward us with large amounts of them to make sure we don’t run out.


We are massively hyped for this event, and all it brings with it, but a little cautiously so. With GO Fest 2020 many people were disappointed with the shiny rates, so it is important to manage your shiny expectations, as these shiny rates are unlikely to be as high as a community day. The price point is on the higher side, and out of reach for many, especially with Christmas coming, and the pandemic. With this in mind we are glad that even without a ticket there a lot of parts of this event that are free to play.

We hope this event will be a success, and that ultimately the ticket proves worth it!

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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