Trainers, the new Pokemon GO 0.149.0 update is slowly rolling out on Android (iOS to follow soon after) and it’s one of the biggest surprises the Pokemon GO team has done to date. The update brings a vastly improved Appraisal process, a new UI for PvP battles, a few quality of life changes and it even officially hints at Shadow and Purified Pokémon and Team Rocket in the official patch notes.

The official patch notes: Trainers—we need your help! Team GO Rocket is invading the world of Pokémon GO! Here’s what can you expect in this release.

  • New Challenges: Take on Team GO Rocket Grunts in battle!
  • Shadow Pokémon: Catch the mysterious Shadow Pokémon Team GO Rocket Grunts leave behind! Is there a way to help these Pokémon?
  • New Appraisal Tool: You can now learn even more about your Pokémon when appraising them.
  • Battle Minigames: Charged Attack gameplay includes new minigames.

The new Appraisal system

The new Pokemon GO Appraisal now breaks down and ranks your Pokemon into three main stats (ATK, DEF and STA) and ranks each one of those in a bar-like simple fashion. The higher your stat IV is, the higher the bar will go up. The new system is super fast and you can even swipe between Pokemon making the whole Appraisal process fast, smooth and incredibly satisfying.

Take a look for yourself:

The system is designed to enable Trainers to quickly swipe through their Pokemon storage and find strong Pokemon with ease. The surprising thing is that it works automagically, removing the need for third party IV checkers and similar apps. A redditor by the name of radimous created a handy graph which shows how various bar positions correlate with IV values:

You should be able to swipe through a huge number of Pokemon and sort them out easily.

The new PvP UI

The second large change is a redesign of the PvP UI. Although the difference is not huge at the moment, we expect it to be more drastic once Niantic introduces the new Charge move mechanics they’ve been talking about for the past two weeks.

This feature is coming soon and has been confirmed on Twitter:

The new UI is cleaner and more visible in direct sunlight, and it also includes CP for both combatants:

In addition to this change, the New Move button has been moved under the list of Pokemon’s moves, making it impossible to press it accidentally while powering up.

Where is Team Rocket?

The truth is – we don’t know. Shadow and Purified Pokemon have been in the APK since 0.147.1 and we already know which Pokemon can be encountered as Shadow Pokemon:

Shadow Pokémon feature a new property called Alignment which is similar to Gender and Form. Alignment can be Shadow or Purified and there is a badge tied with the number of Pokémon you purified. These should be available from the upcoming Team Rocket invasions feature, but there’s no word on those just yet. I guess we have to sit tight a bit more, but we’re expecting this feature before the official end of summer.