Pokémon GO Fest 2023 Global Free vs Ticketed experience: Which one to pick?

Pokémon GO Fest 2023 Global is almost upon us, and if you haven’t bought your ticket yet you may be wondering what the difference is between what is available for free, and what is available for ticket holders only. Is it worthwhile getting that ticket? We know all the information shared can seem quite complicated and convoluted, so let’s break it down!

Habitat spawns differences

In general, Ticket holders have access to Unown spelling DIAMOND and a special Pokémon in each habitat. These special spawns are accessible via Incense only. The base spawns for each habitat don’t require a ticket.

Which spawns to pick?

In terms of spawns, the major difference is that with the ticket, you get  Unown spawns, along with Pawniard, Hisuian Growlithe, Carnivine and Pachirisu. Without the ticket, none of these special spawns will appear for you as they are for incense only with a ticket. How worthwhile you consider these spawns is going to be very much down to the individual, many will consider the chance of shiny Unowns to be incredibly valuable, add in the two regional exlusives of Carnivine and Pachirisu, and you have a lot of rare spawns.

Pawniard also is usually only 12km egg exlusive, with Hisuian Growlithe locked in 7km eggs. While Hisuian Growlithe cannot be shiny currently, Pawniard can, and in GO it may only have one evolution, Bisharp, it does have a second evolution in the Paldea region, Kingambit. Kingambit has some greats stats and usage in Scarlet and Violet, so fingers crossed it transfers well to GO!

Special Event 7km Eggs 

Available ONLY to ticket holders 



Collection Challenges

There are 4 different Collection Challenges, one for each Habitat available to Ticket holders ONLY during Pokémon GO Fest 2023: Global. 

In-game Bonuses

Bonuses for All

  • Lure icon Lure Modules activated will last for one hour
  • Raid icon 2× friendship bonus damage in raids
  • Research icon Trainers will be able to enjoy Field Research themed around the different Pokémon habitats
  • Raid Pass icon The Remote Raid Pass limit will be removed from Saturday, August 26 at 12:00 a.m. to Sunday, August 27, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. local time
  • Photobomb icon Take a snapshot during the event, you never know who might show up!

🎟️ Ticket Holder Only Bonuses

  • Pokemon Encounter icon Increased chance of encountering a shiny Pokemon
  • Raid Pass icon Up to 9x free raid passes from spinning photodiscs at gyms
  • Trade icon Up to six special trades can be made per day
  • Egg icon Special 7km eggs will be available
  • Event icon Level up your Elite Collector medal by completing habitat-themed Collection Challenges!
  • Research icon On Saturday, ticket-holding Trainers will be able to complete exclusive Special Research to learn more about the Mythical Pokémon Diancie—and they’ll get an opportunity to encounter it!
  • Research icon On Sunday, ticket-holders will receive extended Special Research focused on Mega Rayquaza and the newly discovered Meteorites!
  • Event icon During each habitat hour on Saturday, ticket-holding Trainers around the world will be able to work together to complete a challenge! If the challenge is completed in time, a special bonus will be unlocked for the remainder of the hour for ticketed Trainers!
  • Research icon The in-game ticket mentions additional premium items including - an Elite Charged TM, an Elite Fast TM, a Rare Candy XL and more

My thoughts

The bonuses are quite different for ticket holders, without a ticket, you do not get the Diancie special research. This is quite a major difference, and one to keep in mind. It may be that in the future a free Diancie may be available through research, but that is also not guaranteed, like with Shiny Mew.

The other major bonus of note, is that only ticket holders get the shiny boost for encounters. Now, we don’t know what exactly this boost is, it may be similar to the in-person GO Fest events, or it may be different, but there is no mention of increased shiny rates for trainers without a ticket. This is the thing most players would consider the most valuable aspect of the ticket, and is why many will buy it, regardless of other bonuses.

Ticket holders also get access to additional research on Sunday that focuses on Mega Rayquaza and the elusive Meteorites that you need to give your Rayquaza for it to be able to mega evolve. The ticket itself mentions being given a meteorite specifically, so it may be that all players have the random chance of one dropping from a raid, whereas ticket holders get one guaranteed as part of the research.

The Collection Challenges, and the hourly global challenges are also ticket holder exclusive. Ticket holders also get an increase to their special trades, with six special trades available per day, for a whopping twelve across the weekend. This is usually reserved for in-person events, so is a great bonus!

In terms of premium items, 9 additional in person raid passes for free is about $9 worth of cost. You get both an Elite Fast and Charged TM as a ticket holder, a singular Rare Candy XL, and ‘more’.

There are also special 7km eggs for ticket holders, but it is not known yet what the pool will be in eggs. If it is anything like the in-person GO Fests, it may include the regional exclusives, and the new shiny releases, but this is purely speculation.

Avatar Items

Free for All – GO Fest 2023 T Shirt

🎟️ Ticket Holder Only – Diancie T-shirt and Treasure Map Pose

Personally I would say not to even consider these in your decision making!


How much these particular bonuses, spawns, and extras are worth to you is entirely down to the individual. Tickets cost $14.99 or the equivalent pricing tier in your local currency, plus any applicable taxes and fees.

I like to look at a ticket for an event for how many hours it took me to earn that money, vs how many hours of enjoyment that ticket will give me. In this case, looking at minimum wage in my country (the UK) which is £10.42, vs the cost of this ticket which is £13.99. So the average person will work around an hour and a half to be able to afford this ticket, for 16 hours of total play time across the two days. I personally consider that a worthwhile trade off, but others may not, and it may be a lot more expensive in other countries.

Are you planning to play Global GO Fest this weekend, and if so, free or ticketed? Let us know!

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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