In the largest Twitter poll we ran to date, almost 16000 votes were cast by Trainers all around the world, answering one simple question: “Which content update should be released next?”

Given the provided options, the results were not surprising – 54% voted Gen III, 24% voted PvP and 22% voted trading. While we agree with this poll, we strongly believe that a Gen III release without Abilities could be detrimental for the game.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re on board the hype train also, but there is a few key points that need to be discussed. A huge shoutout to Trainer Tips for summarising the underlying issues in just one tweet:

We completely agree.

The battle system needs to change

The current battle system is underdeveloped, repetitive and limits the potential of all current and future Pokémon families. One can even argue that if Niantic doesn’t introduce Abilities, there is no point of releasing new Pokémon generations.

Abilities are a huge part of what made the Generation III games so appealing, giving more usage and power to a large number of Pokémon families that would otherwise be considered completely useless. They provide depth, strategy and more than anything else: variety.

Without abilities, we are afraid that the game could face one of the lowest periods to date. For us, the discussion about the new Gen III meta, attackers, raiders and defenders makes absolutely no sense without them.

Why you may ask? Well, if you’ve been following the Hub, you are aware that we’ve been writing previews for every upcoming Gen III family for months. Let’s just say its not looking good.

Literary, dozens and dozens of Gen III Pokémon are trivialised and made useless by the current battle mechanics in GO. For example, consider Milotic, a bulky Gen III staple that usually works good on almost any team.

Why would anyone decide to farm for a Milotic, when they’ve already got a number of strong Vaporeon in your water team? There is too little differentiation between these two Pokémon in GO, as they are just both bulky water types with a rather good movepool.

Luckily, Smogon has an answer, but that answer requires abilities to make sense:

If there was one word with which to describe Milotic, that word would be “resilient.” Thanks to Recover, Marvel Scale, and great defenses, Milotic is not easily taken down. With investment in Defense, many of the game’s best attackers will fail to bring it down. As a bonus, Hypnosis lets it shut down whatever the opponent brings in to try to stop Milotic. In short, Milotic is a great bulky Water-type.

So, to conclude, where does this leave us? We’re not sure, honestly.

One one hand we feel that without Abilities Gen III will be a wasted opportunity and potentially the biggest disappointment in the game’s lifespan. On the other hand, it sounds like the community isn’t vocal enough about these issues.

Well, we’re doing our part. Let’s be heard — we don’t want just Gen III, we want the real deal: Gen III with Pokémon abilities.

  • Edwin Fung

    Gen 2: Evolution Items and new berries
    Gen 3: Abilities, status effects and evolution of learning movesets
    Gen 4 (optional): Trading evolution, evolution of gaining happiness and encountering Pokemon before capturing them

    • Jayden Plays Pokemon GO

      NO HAPPINESS/FRIENDSHIP! I AM NOT DOING THAT FOR A LUCARIO! Probably the Espeon trick but for 20km

      • Edwin Fung

        Hold on! The evolution system is too simple, lack of freshness and continuity now! Who says you must walk with Riolu as a buddy pokemon for 20km to meet the requirement of Friendship evolution?

        • Jayden Plays Pokemon GO

          That I understand but if that’s for ALL Pokémon, I ain’t havin it

    • furan

      Where’s the bred system goes?

      • Edwin Fung

        Gen 5: Breeding, all shiny Pokemon

  • Chris Denton

    It’s obvious the game needs to work before stacking more Pokémon on the pile. The only people wanting more Pokémon are the ones with a full dex.

    The game needs to be playable outside of town
    Then battle system update
    Then pvp
    Then gen 3
    Then possibly trading(not local, as the only reason to trade would be to get regionals)

    Daily quests or missions would help bring parity to rural areas but they need to update how Pokémon spawn.

    We need Pokémon not another version of ingress.

    It’s BS that I can play for hours and only power up one Pokémon 1 time.

    • Jason

      I completely agree only people with full or almost full pokedex are the main ones wanting gen 3.. I am with you update the game itself and add new features first.. rural players like myself have always had it harder.. and pvp and trading (even if it is just items) should have already been added imo

      • Gryphon Strother

        Trading (will) break the game as the MAIN focus of this game (somewhat more than the main games) is collection. Also I think all the need to do to make it better for (I’m assuming super rural as my dex is nearly full and I live in a small (sub 10k) town, ) is to add the OPR element right into the GO game for maybe 30+ players. IMO

        • Jason

          I live in a village of maybe 300 in the middle of a bunch of cornfields.. I love it its peaceful but is a big disadvantage in this game.. I play with my nephew some and really just wish there was a way I could give or trade him items like pokeballs which he always is low.. and what about the article GO Hub did on new items that should be added.. things like that I personally would rather see I don’t even have ALL gen 1 yet haha.. but I also don’t know anything past gen 2 so probably another reason why I am not super excited personally.. need to study up I guess

          • Gryphon Strother

            Item trading would be awesome! And shoukd come to the game 🙂 but I’m not sure if it ever will b/c it will decrease the chances of people buying things such as Poke Balls if they can just trade some from a friend with 200

  • Losifer

    These would still be great Pokémon to be farming until Niantic gets in gear and addresses this issue, among a massive pile of other issues it needs to address. I’d still want to have a nice collection of these on my bench waiting for that update; and woe be unto those who didn’t think ahead like that. Well, for at least a month until they got around to farming some up as well. I’d assume that once such an update went into effect it would enhance the Pokémon you’ve already got that are supposed to have abilities rather than just leaving you with a pile of useless Pokémon that you took the time to catch/hatch.

  • Abreader

    I’m sure most players are more interested in collecting pokémon than battling. Further, most pokémon from Gen I and Gen II are useless, why does it matter now that pokémon without abilities are useless? Abilities can be released after Gen III.

    • Nathaniel Lee Lewis

      First of all because in the main series games abilities were introduced in generation III and second of all maybe they wouldn’t be so useless if they had abilities

    • Gryphon Strother

      I agree, we need GEN 3 then abilities (could) come later, I don’t even mind the current battle system as it’s a big reason why the game is so big (simplicity) but I wouldn’t mind a bit of an update. GO hub isn’t speaking for the whole community here

  • Joel Jensen

    People are complaining about people who want new Pokemon.. We want new Pokemon because we have almost every Pokemon available to us in our areas!! A battling system would be nice, but in the games, about half of the fan base doesn’t battle! I honestly don’t like online battling, I like the storyline and catching Pokemon, and when it comes to Pokemon GO, catching Pokemon is the main goal. I would like to see Generation 3 released for the Halloween event, and after giving us a few weeks to catch new Pokemon, for say on Thanksgiving, they release abilities for Pokemon, and in January they could release PvP and an updated battling system. I hope this will happen, but I really do hope that we get Generation 3 for the Halloween Event!!

    • Dennis Cunliff

      my sentiments exactly!!!!

    • Gryphon Strother

      Absolutely. GO hub is literally just talking for maybe half the community and making it like it’s what we all feel which is definitely not the case. I’m a collector/story guy and would actually love more STORY elements (wishing maybe) rather than a new battle system or even PVP

    • Chris Denton

      So the players who have been shafted for over a year should wait on you to have even more Pokémon before we can finish our dex? Greedy and inconsiderate of others if you ask me.

      I just got dragonite and chancey last week. Been playing since day 1 and haven’t missed a day.

      I’m not lazy, I am just not fortunate enough to live in an area with every Pokémon on someone’s tracker.

      • Pika Lee

        You must live in a rural area like me. I’ve been playing since day 1— LITERALLY—- and I just caught a Girafarig at a frequent/cluster spawn point maybe 2 weeks ago.
        There are NEVER Enough people to do a Legendary raid.
        I have to travel to my closest “city”…. 40 minutes away.
        I AM ABSOLUTELY SOMEONE who knows what you go thru.
        Unfortunately, I’ve recently started to use a scanner to “lightly cheat”…. But all the level 36-40s have been using the scanner bots since day 1.
        Yes. They don’t blatantly spoof locations and I don’t like what they do… But this is a gray area you should consider.
        Pokehuntr and pokehunter.
        One is dot co; the other dot com.

        I hope this helps.

        • Chris Denton

          I know about the tracking sites but there is nothing around me. I have to drive 30 minutes 1 way to use the tracker, so by the time I get up there, the Pokémon usually has despawned.

          Still no girafarig and still no ampharos. No birds and no raikou. I do have entei and 2 mewtwo but only after I was invited to a discord group I knew nothing about. Some members of it share their tracker on discord, which is nice if you live up there.

  • Nathaniel Lee Lewis

    How would abilities like pressure work?

  • Joe Bartenders

    Well im happy for Gen III but they need to seriously change out the Pokemon on the raids I so tired of the all the same Pokemon and i prefer to a magicarp and tyranatar raids then a magmar or anything other out at this time. So It would be awesome if that would happen.

  • WingedSupernova

    I could care less about battling. I just want a complete dex.

    • Pokeballdk Denmark

      You can’t complete the pokedex without battling at least the legendaries…

      • WingedSupernova

        I know, and I’m not very fond of it.

  • Higher_Ground

    Sigh…

    Enough wishing for the moon. We’d all like Pokemon GO to be a more/less mobile AR version of the handheld games, but that isn’t happening. Not “soon” and probably not ever.

    If we can live without status changes and stat boosts, surely we can live without abilities. Will the game be less enjoyable? Yeah, just like it’s less enjoyable without 4 moves, actually battling wild pokemon, trading, PvP, etc. It doesn’t mean the game itself is unenjoyable, just that it’s a mere shell of what it could be with enough dedication.

    I’d rather have new pokemon to catch for a few months. It’s better than nothing, which is what we’re going to get if we have to wait for the other issues to get resolved first.

    Even if they have to drop certain moves or some pokemon for the time being it’s not like they can’t just fix it later. The game is full of pokemon with legacy moves. You’ll always be able to catch a new one unless they pull something stupid and stop spawning gen 1 & 2 pokes.

  • sibbil

    why everybody is keen for gen 3 . its better to complete first and second generation not?. for example could be unblocked regionals pokemon-not everybody can travel just for pokemons. Or there is still ho hooh ,smeargle or delibird and big one Mew and celebi . Its not point to update gen 3 yet . this is my opinion

    • Higher_Ground

      just think that through for a minute though.

      You release those others first – and then what? It would take less than a week to catch them and you’re back to having nothing to do.

      Releasing gen 3 gives us months of new pokemon, not a week or few days. It’s going to happen eventually… are we to wait until everyone’s gotten bored to implement it?

      It’s not like they’re going to stop spawning gen 1/2 pokemon. There may be some in game precedent to doing that but it just wouldn’t work for POGO.

  • Spetsen

    We don’t NEED a battle system rework for Gen 3, but a lot of people (me included) WANT it. But I want a battle system rework regardless of Gen 3, so it doesn’t really matter if they release Gen 3 first.

    The battle system is broken without Gen 3 and it will continue to be broken with Gen 3, it will not get much worse.

  • NAME NOT FOUND

    More pokemon = more crappy mons everywhere. I don’t want Gen 3 until they release all of 1 and 2

  • Pokeballdk Denmark

    I agree with Go Hub and Nick “Trainertips” that some pkm would be broken without their abilities, but I don’t agree that it should prevent Niantic from releasing Gen 3. Several pkm from Gen 1 and 2 have not even been released yet, so why should missing abilities prevent the release of Gen 3? Niantic could release the otherwise broken pkm later along with abilities. We desperately need new content in Go very soon and not only new legendary raids once a month…or else I think most of us will soon start a Go hibernation until then – if most haven’t already.

  • Leo Luo

    We NEED new Pokemon in raids. I am tired of seeing the same old things. I really love PGO, but it is getting boring, and eventually I will have to quit because there is nothing new, and the attacking is just tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. Niantic should really switch out some Pokemon. Tyranitars, Machamp, and legendary beasts are just too easy to get now. The whole gym and attack system should be reworked. Now on to the Gen. 3 topic. I feel that Gen. 3 should come out, then the abilities would come out almost right after. Then they would release something like quests. Someone else thought of this, not me, but I forgot who, sorry. I would really like more things to come out in PGO. I have so many friends that quit because they do not have time for raids, and they just saw this game as trash, because there was nothing interesting. Niantic, please fix up this game.

    • Ari Thunder

      I totally agree, I didn’t like legendaries when they came because if you lived in a at least small city it would be soooooo easy to beat a legendary and catch it.

  • mafafu

    I am in it for collecting. The battling, especially for a rural player, is definitely secondary for me.

  • Ari Thunder

    We need gen 3 because with all these raids everyone is already getting all the rare and good gen 1 and 2 pokemon so now they don’t have any rare/good ones to catch

  • Richx93

    To be honest I’d rather see Mewtwo rolled out world wide than Gen 3, PvP or Trading. At this point I’m more concerned that myself and every other person in my local city ‘missed’ our chance because there hasn’t been a single EX raid nearby.

  • Nguyen Ngoc Tu

    I think Gen III is not big enough to PvP. It should be PvP. We can wait for Gen III

    • Abreader

      No, we can’t wait.

  • Diskus1

    Why do you think Pokemon Go wouldn’t get abilities?

  • Zapmeister

    It would be great if pogo was once again interesting enough to be worth playing. Putting some strategy into the combat system could well do that. Adding a new raft of toons definitely won’t.

  • Florian

    I stopped playing POGO about a month ago and I can’t pin it to one specific issue I have with the game. I think it’s just the overall development and management of the game that eventually turned into boredom and frustration. That, and the fact that I had already put sooooo many hours and KM into this game with little to no enjoyment/reward. I think that the investment in time and effort kept me playing far longer than I should have been. I grew up playing the original gameboy games and was so excited for POGO’s potential. What we got was a rushed collect em’ all app with a Pokémon skin. I just wish they would have given this game more thought and time. They should have also put some thought into who is playing these games. Old fans of the game are in their late 20s and early 30s. They should have tried to appeal to these people but instead made a game that even kindergarteners would find boring. Sorry for the rant. I hope that some day this game will be fun enough to make me want to play again

  • Partysaurus Rex

    “With investment in Defense, many of the game’s best attackers will fail to bring it down.” We really don’t need another Blissey do we? I mean honestly in your little hypothetical scenario that doesn’t at all sound broken to you?

    Honestly I read posts like these and all you REALLY want is PoGo to turn into an updated version of the games you played on your handheld, but now for your phone. It completely ignores the quirks and intricacies that are unique to PoGo.

    I also can’t help but laugh that you run a poll, and when it isn’t what YOU want, or what you thought it would be… your response is… “No no no guys… THIS is what you REALLY want…” The community didn’t leave out “abilities” it wasn’t in your poll.

    Lastly, I want to address this fallacy that if you are vocal enough you’ll get what you want. Let me put it to you this way… Did you have any influence over all the other Pokemon games that Nintendo has released? No, you didn’t. Were those good games? Good enough for you to still be playing YEARS later. So why do you think you get to have a say in the development of PoGo? You don’t. The reality is, when developers start catering to the whimsical desires of the vocal minority what they are working, the original design intent… becomes watered down, bland, vanilla.

  • Konner Franklin

    I love catching new pokemon and filling my pokedex but the part I loved about the ds games is that there is a story. Personally, I am waiting for Niantic to add a story or quests that spice the game up.
    Gen III is my favorite of the gens but I am more interested in quests or a story line you can spent hours or days on.

    • Gryphon Strother

      Story elements (like maybe “Gym Raids” that periodically spawn at gyms (gym leaders with a set/changing team) could easily be done with the current raid system and a couple graphical additions and would be AWESOME in my opinion. As well as any sort of story elements, just makes the game more interesting:)

  • Edward RAW Studios

    Remember, Slaking is in Gen 3, if we don’t have abilities sooner, Slaking is going to be a very OP Pokémon

    • Higher_Ground

      or just left out like delibird and smeargle… though they’d have to leave out slakoth too if they did that.

  • Matteo R.

    I completely agree with Pokemon Go Hub, we need abilities to be introduced, if not with the 3rd generation, soon after it. And maybe also statuses (like sleep, burn, confused…), so that some now useless pokemon could get much more interesting! I think that the fight mechanics should change to get more interesting, at least for PvP… I don’t want to see who can tap the phone faster…

  • Leon119

    Even with abilities some pokemon will be better than others and thus they dont really matter. So no abilities after gen 3 or not at all doesnt really matter. If you go by smogons example then we will find our OU tier pokemon after gen 3 rolls out and stick to them. If abilities were added right now i doubt the top threats would change at all

  • Zapmeister

    The discussion seems to have morphed into the question of what pogo needs to make it into a good game. As it stands, the raids are difficult to engage with in any mode except solo (in which they’re repetitive and boring), the gyms have little point since they stopped being a focus for competitive play, and the combat system can be described in three words – tap, tap and tap.

    I think that the elephant in the room here is that pogo is not a game at all, it’s a medium for collectors. People enjoy collecting and “possessing” these toons way more than they enjoy the process of getting them, which isn’t surprising since the latter involves virtually no thought.

    So maybe we should just leave it at that. Leave the collectors to their collecting, and the folks that want some depth to their gaming will simply have to look elsewhere.

  • Chris Denton

    Well hope the 54% are happy with their new <10 Pokémon they will catch in 1 day.

    For the rest of us we are still screwed on real content.