Pokémon GO was just updated to 0.85.1 on Android, bringing full support for this week’s Generation III release. We managed to quickly grab an APK and dive into the depths of the inner workings of Gen 3. We know you’re all very excited, and we won’t lie: there is a lot to be excited about!

Table of contents

Asset changes

  1. New loading screen added
  2. New weather icons added
  3. New item (Star Piece) icon added
  4. New bizarrely funny icons added
  5. New Battle Party icon found

Code changes

  1. Nine new moves added in the APK, including Delibird’s Present move
  2. Weather effects guarantees higher IV values
  3. Weather has levels and severity
  4. Stardust boost discovered
  5. More battle party code added

The Generation III / Christmas loading screen is live

The new loading screen is live, bringing a new look to the app loading process and rekindling your passion for Pokémon GO. Generation III + Christmas, who can ask for more? We don’t know if all of the featured Pokémon will be available initially, but we surely hope so.

New loading screen is in

New weather icons are in the APK

We extracted all of the new assets on our usual github repository. Among the extracted assets, we’ve found also the new weather icons, which look crazy good, especially the more experimental ones. Our favourite is the Windy weather icon!

Weather clear day

Weather cloudy

Weather partly cloudy

Weather rainy

Weather snow

Weather fog

Weather windy

New item added: Star Piece

We are not 100% sure what this item is used, but we believe it will be a Lucky Egg for Stardust (we go more in depth below in the code section). It comes in x1, x8 and x25 quantities and it’s now in the APK and in the code base it’s referred to as .ITEM_STAR_PIECE:

Two bizarre images added to the APK

Two new assets have been added to the APK, with seemingly no reason at all. Meet file btn_avatar_clothing.png and donut.png. We believe that these images are intentional hints left by Niantic for data miners. Thank you for the acknowledgment, we’ve found it!

A new icon for the upcoming battle party feature added

If you haven’t been following along, Niantic is working on a feature called “Battle Parties” which enables players to create and organize attackers into simple lists of 6 Pokémon. This feature hasn’t been actively developed, but it seems that it’s reaching maturity, as the final UI elements have been added.

Meet btn_new_party.png:

Nine new moves added in the APK, including Delibird’s Present move

The following moves are now part of the APK, and yes, PRESENT_FAST is in. For the uninitiated, Present is Delibird’s signature move! We are super excited to see which Pokémon gets which move, but we’ll have more to share about that soon.


Weather effects guarantees higher IV values and higher stats

We already heard from Niantic that weather spawns will be more powerful versions of the existing wild Pokémon, with a guaranteed set of higher IV values. The following fields are contained in each weather encounter (duplicate getters and setters redacted for brevity):


In other words, it will pay off to go out and hunt in the snow / rain / wind, as you have a chance to get a good IV specimen without much fuss.

Weather has multiple levels and severity category

We were surprised to see that the weather effects have several levels, from 0 to 3, and that those levels fall into two severity categories: moderate and extreme. Also, it seems there is actually 7 weather effects:


But only Rain, Wind, Fog and Snow can have levels:


We are curious to see how this affects the gameplay, but it’s probably just a visual indicator for the in-game rendering engine.

Stardust boost discovered!

When we initially saw the new Star Piece item, we were confused, expecting it to be something connected to Delibird. However, upon further inspection of the APK, we’ve found it to be something completely else.

We now believe that Star Piece (item listed above) will be used as a Stardust gain booster, similar to how Lucky Eggs are used to boost XP gain!

And we have code to support this:


More battle party code added

Battle Parties are one step closer, with the following code being added to support the feature:


In other words, we’ll be able to create, delete and use the Battle Party in a Gym battle or a Raid. Seems simple enough!

  • Pokemon Trainer N

    Wonder if they’ll do a Christmas event with Delibird…Seems weird that we had to wait for gen 3 to get a gen 2 pokemon, but I guess we’ll see..

    • WingedSupernova

      I mean, Mew still isn’t in the game yet and it’s Gen 3 time already.

      • Nicholas White


      • Joe1407

        I ask that same “?” too. Why. They should have let it out the same time as Mewto came into the game.

        • WingedSupernova

          Probably because the mythical style of legendaries such as Meloetta, Celebi, and Mew are going to be released differently.

          • purvansh bhatt

            But where are latios and latias

        • Hedronal

          Based on how they’ve put Mewtwo into the game, they shouldn’t have until they had a good way.

      • Zac Mazzone

        think about it this way though, the first obtainable mew in the main series games was in gen 3 (i think)

        • scelestion

          It was distributed to games since Gen 1. In Gen 3, though, additionally to event distributions, they distributed an item that gave you access to an island where you could catch Mew.

  • Edwin Fung

    That’s huge. The biggest update ever.

  • Heydavid17

    Oh good lord, a.k.a. Niantic, please spare us the wait, we don’t wish to suffer no more!!!

  • Finn Brown

    Any one have a clue about what the two images could meen
    they seem like a some one was bored to me

    • Finn Brown

      the dog picture could be referencing a pokemon

      • Alex Cimpoies

        I’d say it’s a message to the data miners. Something like “You data miners are like some nerds that stick their noses into everything”. Makes sense?

      • peponzio

        I like that one. Feels like I’ve seen it before too.

        Tried reverse image searching in google the head but no matches. I just feel I’ve seen it in some meme before. I wish I’d be a meme expert so much right now.

  • Chris Denton
    • WingedSupernova

      Why haven’t you stopped playing if there’s nothing around you?

      • Chris Denton

        I love Pokémon.

        • WingedSupernova

          Well then I’m sorry for your poor life circumstances.

          • Chris Denton

            I think it’s more of poor game design than a life circumstance.

          • WingedSupernova

            It’s business unfortunately. To cut down on server costs and processing they cut down on the amount of assets used to spawn pokemon and create stops in rural areas. The majority of people live in urban and suburban areas and they’re just balancing the amount of money they spend to run the game with the amount of income they’ll get from in game consumers. It’s the way it is now because they had to rework the entire system after the terrible first couple of months the game had. I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.

          • Chris Denton

            That’s not how you treat customers regardless of population density. I pay, not enough?

          • WingedSupernova

            Like I said, it’s all balancing. They’re not going to cater for every single person because of the different circumstances and locations each person has, so the best thing is to cater towards the urban audiences where you can satisfy more people in a smaller area. If you haven’t already, email them and voice your displeasure. Niantic won’t find your complaints all the time on posts like this though. If enough people voice their displeasure to them directly, maybe they’ll do something. I don’t know what you want to accomplish by voicing complaints here though.

          • Chris Denton

            I do email niantic, at least once a week. The answer is always the same, we aren’t accepting new stops. And again that’s not how you treat customers.

          • WingedSupernova

            Then there’s nothing more you can do other than wait and continue emailing them.

          • Chris Denton

            I’m doing what I can do. Emailing them does nothing.

          • Piotr Krzywicki

            Not really, depends on country and definition of “suburban”. Judging on USA standards, more than half of Europe and most of Asia (except India) lives on countryside. I live in small town, in area that is “subsuburban” by our local standards, and get totaly no love from Niantic there, despite there is handfull of portals in Ingress. It is not really about business, since somehow Ingress can be playable outside cities despite 5000x (or something like that) lower player base, but about customer threating. If you aren’t from US or Japan, and you aren’t living in metropolis, you are just emergency microtransactions source for them. Just tell me, if every single guide board and 2/3 of statues in small city park can get pokestops on them just because why not, why rural areas cannot get just a few stops?

      • Felipe Bauer

        That’s not the screen for there being no pokemon around. If there were no pokemon around the game would say “no sightings nearby”. That’s screen is just a bug in which everything disapears.

        • Chris Denton

          I don’t get a sightings screen because there are no stops. This may be a bug but it’s an everyday bug.

  • Mineman1969

    I just want to know when the rest is coming out

  • CyberBishop1

    Just downloaded it, I love the Christmas screen!! Bring on gen 3!!!!!!

  • News for games

    When the update coming out?

    • WingedSupernova

      It’s rolling out right now.

      • News for games

        Like right right now and today?

        • You bet your patootie.

          • News for games

            What patootie?

          • Imagine a world where answers are only one search away. One where, if we were in some fantastical era of Information, we might get all the answers we need without ever asking a human the question. Exciting and a little scary.

    • juls smith

      Why don’t i have the update? None of us got it. All Android users.

  • Angel

    How do the battle party feature works, anyone knows? I saw screenshots using them already

    • fifis

      Basically it’s the same as the base pokemon game, static party where you can choose the ones you want.

  • John Jorgensen

    Just a thought, and in all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about it, but maybe the different weather levels will affect how the throw mechanic works when you’re trying to capture a Pokémon? An example would be if it were windy, your ball might be blown around by the wind making it more difficult to catch said Pokémon? Like I said, it’s just a thought, but I thought I’d throw it out there and see what everyone thinks…

  • spoofer

    Thanks DraGO, I guess ?

    • Marco De Freitas

      “Thanks for robbing me !”

      • spoofer

        You are welcome, I guess ?

    • Nick Wilson

      Drago sucks

      • spoofer

        Maybe, but it certainly got Niantic do better job with communication and updates…

  • Joe1407

    There is so much coming out, with all the new moves, weather back rounds and 50 new pokeymon. It has happened before, you want to bet on how long before the game crashes when the new update is forced on us? I can see a roll back until they fix the bugs. I really do hope it go’s well but, We all have seen it happen before.

  • Joe1407

    It looks like no hats this year but, I do see funny ears I the screen shot.

    • Maurice Henry

      That’s not funny ears… That’s plus and minus… Not the correct name but essentially that’s what’s they are…. It’s not Pikachu….

      • Rosie Couture

        Minun and Plusle 🙂

  • Alec Tuason


    • Alec Tuason

      Dive Ball, Nest Ball, and Master Ball on the tree

      • Luke Davies

        Looks like it how has no one else noticed this!! This is just a big a deal as Gen 3 and the weather

        • peponzio

          Probably many noticed, they just didn’t write about it. It could just as well be nothing but decoration. Or it could be a hint. We’ll have to wait and see.

          • Luke Davies

            I doubt that why wouldn’t they use the usual balls. They’ve hinted recently the master ball would be finally coming so here’s hoping so interesting to see how they implement it though.

  • CyberBishop1

    Ok just did my first gym battle then Ho-Oh raid with the new update.. OMG I love how much easier it is to pull off the charge moves now and the text that says “not very effective”, Tyranitar did stone edge”, etc is smaller and off to the bottom right of the battle screen.. The charge move meter is on the bottom and once it is filled you simply hit the button and boom.

  • Detonatress BlastersDistrict

    Any Huawei Y5 users here who can’t start the most recent APK? Crashes as soon as the world map starts to load.

  • 0oO0Oo0

    Looks like a massive update. Yet the only feature i wanted is not having to rely on other people to be able to catch certain mons. 0 legendaries and counting.

  • Jose Daniel Ledesma

    Veo que estan los movimientos exclusivos de Kyogre y Groudon que se introdujeron en la sexta generacion… ¿Será que tendremos las FORMAS PRIMIGENIAS?

  • S-GUTZ

    Go hub, have u seen the new battle ui??? It has totally changed the look of battles!

    • KoenB


    • Dan

      This new look is so much better. I love it.

    • Anthony Dominick Fontana

      Much nicer, especially when receiving attack notifications from Ingress which block the health and charged attack bar(s).

  • Shin

    So far I’ve found 43 species from all videos/pics released thus far:

    Treecko family
    Torchic family
    Mudkip family
    Zigzagoon family
    Poochyena family
    Wurmple family
    Wingull family
    Lotad family
    Seedot family
    Ralts family
    Skitty family
    Aron family
    Spheal family
    Bagon family

    Anyone know of more? Could’ve sworn I saw an Absol. This doesn’t mean these are guaranteed, since they showed Ho-oh before in the GO Fest raid video, but we just barely got it.

  • Mady Mad1

    did android lollipop user pokemon go app 85.1 app crashes after loading on ok screen

  • M.Taufik

    Download and install the APK but force closed after loading screen

  • Uwe Streich

    The APK has been updated again to 0.85.2, perhaps due to the crashes after starting the game

  • Luke Makins

    Looks like delibird is halfway up the Christmas tree hiding and the star piece on top of the tree

  • AverageGamers

    I think Delibird is supposed to headline the Xmas update. It likely has been saved for one, but Niantic decided to speed up Gen 3 in a last minute decision.

    But who am I kidding. I’m itching for Gardevoir instead! 😜

  • ikato kiyazaki

    Finally they fixed the auto lock for ios

  • Hee Chan Chae


    • Use it during a 2x stardust event right before your 7th day catch… 12k stardust is delicious.

      • Hee Chan Chae

        woa datz kewl

  • Sayan Plebeian Guha

    Understood everything. But where is smeragle? Mew?

  • Vitor Duzarte

    By far the best update on Pokemon Go history. This is amazing.

  • Luke Davies

    Sorry but how has no one apart from one used further down noticed there’s a Master Ball on the tree? I’d say that’s a pretty significant thing to not point out!!! Hype!!

  • Ketil Salech

    when will it come

  • Partysaurus Rex

    Do we know if the egg chart will change? I haven’t been overly focused on hatching anything as I have just about everything that comes from eggs. But I’ll need to clear out existing eggs, if new ones will be hatching new pokemon.

  • Adam Kline

    Will gen 3 come out if so what time

    • peponzio

      Today, Tomorrow. Saturday the latest.

  • Yvonne Hardin

    Can’t download new update on Samsung 7 android phone

  • Bum Lee

    Love you.

  • Michelle

    So did anyone else notice that the star on top of the tree in the loading screen is the stardust boost piece that dataminers have found in the code/may be coming soon?