Complete Guide to the Updated Mega Evolution System

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Niantic’s update to Mega Evolution in Pokémon GO is the biggest change to the game we’ve seen this year, and up there with one of the largest mechanic overhauls in the game’s history.

Mega Evolution in Pokémon GO has been somewhat controversial since it was introduced – community reactions saw Mega Energy requirements tweaked very early on, and some trainers continue to ignore the feature entirely to this day, citing both the resource grind and the limited utility of Mega Pokémon outside of potentially costly raids and remote raids.

But these changes are…well, mega, and a lot to digest, so GO Hub is here to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know. So let’s dive straight in!

Mega Levels

The Mega Evolution update adds a new levelling system to Mega Evolution. All Mega Evolved Pokémon will now have a Mega Level, and Mega Evolving a Pokémon will help increase its Mega Level. Here’s what we know about how the system will work.

  • There are three Mega Levels.
  • As a Pokémon’s Mega Level increases, so will the bonuses you receive (see Bonuses below for more). Bonuses will vary for each Pokémon, and will only remain active while the Pokémon is Mega Evolved.
  • You can click on the Mega Evolution icon on the Pokemon’s information page to view its Mega Level details. This will work much like the friendship detail screen. You will be able to see the Pokemon’s current Mega Level and what bonuses will activate if the Pokemon is Mega Evolved. You can also review what bonuses will unlock at increased Mega Levels, and information on how to increase the Pokemon’s Mega Level.


We’re also getting new bonuses, and improvements to old ones, in line with the addition of Mega Levels.

New Bonuses

  • Candy icon Increased chance of earning Candy XL when you catch Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
  • XP icon Increased XP for catching Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.

Existing Bonuses

  • Candy icon Increased Candy when you catch Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
  • Raid icon While attacking with a Mega-Evolved Pokémon in a Raid Battle or a Gym battle, the attacks of other Trainers’ Pokémon challenging that same raid or Gym will deal more damage. Their Pokémon’s attacks will deal even more damage if the attack is the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.

All Mega Evolution bonuses will scale with your Pokémon’s Mega Level – that is, increased XP and Candy for catching Pokémon of the same type, increased chances for Candy XL drops, and even more increased damage in raids!

Cooldowns and Decreased Mega Energy Requirements

Once you Mega Evolve a Pokémon for the first time, Mega Energy will no longer be required for it to Mega Evolve again. Instead, the Pokémon will become exhausted after its Mega Evolution and need to rest before being Mega Evolved again.

In other words, there is now a cooldown period after you Mega Evolve a Pokémon.

  • The length of the cooldown period will depend on the Pokémon’s Mega Level. A low Mega level Pokémon will have a 72-hour cooldown, while a max level Mega will only require 24 hours before it can Mega Evolve again.
  • Mega Energy can be spent to reduce the cooldown period, with the amount of Mega Energy required decreasing as the Pokémon rests. That is, if the cooldown is 72 hours and you want to Mega Evolve it again after say 12 hours, that’s going to cost more Mega Energy than if you want to Mega Evolve after 60 hours.
  • If you use Mega Energy to end a cooldown period early and Mega Evolve your Pokémon, the cooldown period will reset – that is, a 72-hour cooldown period ended after 24 hours will start back up again at 72 hours.

Quality of life changes

Finally, we have some smaller adjustments to improve the Mega experience.
  • Mega Raids will require fewer trainers to complete.
  • Pokémon will be able to Mega Evolve from raid and battle prep screens.
  • Previously Mega Evolved Pokémon will have an extra visual effect added to their information page


So that’s it – the whole Mega update, starting right away in Australia and New Zealand and coming soon for the rest of the world.

In terms of the update overall, it’s nice to see new end-game goals for long-term players. For example, I’ve mostly Mega Evolved for dex entries in the past, but as I’m still grinding for level 50, a collection of max level Megas of varying types could be a great new way for me to farm XP, rather than relying on the friendship coordination grind.

Whether big or small, each addition and adjustment in this update has the clear intention of making Megas more accessible, more useful, and most importantly, more fun. It seems like Niantic has really thought this through carefully, and that gives me hope that future updates will be just as considered.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how these changes work in practice, and how they affect Pokémon GO as whole.

Author & tags

Sarah is a writer and Level 48 trainer from Melbourne, Australia.

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