The latest Pokemon GO update is now slowly rolling out on Samsung and Android App stores, but data miners have already taken a look under the hood. I must admit, this is one of the most exciting updates in recent Pokemon GO history 👏, rivaling the initial discovery of Team Rocket and, earlier, Generation III. The new version number is 0.153.0 and it should be available in your region soon, depending on which platform you’re playing.
Please be aware that everything posted here has been publicly reported by data miners. Information shared through these channels is not affiliated nor approved by Niantic, and is always subject to change. Do not take it for granted, features change and get scrapped all the time. It is very important that you are aware that these things CAN and WILL CHANGE. Additionally, this article contains my thoughts and opinions in regards to the code that was shared online – all of these should be treated as conjecture, not as hard statements. If you’re OK with that, feel free to read further. Potential spoilers ahead.
What’s new in Pokemon GO v0.153.0?
- Full Generation V Pokedex has been added, featuring all Unova region Pokemon families and forms.
- Three new items were added:
- VS Seeker, an item used to find Trainers and duel them.
- Route Maker, an item used to create in-game routes for your Buddy Pokemon (!!)
- Unova Stone, a new evolution item that will be used for Gen V Pokemon
- A massive upgrade to the Buddy system is on the way, read more about it below
- A brand new Competitive PvP system is on the way, featuring Seasons, Ranks and Ratings. Finally! ⚔️
Unova is here… almost
Let’s start with the somewhat expected change: the entire Unova Pokedex is now available in the APK. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the “release candidate”, as there are no sound effects, shaders or textures for most of these Pokemon. Right now, we have hardcoded values for their entries, forms and Pokemon families:
As expected, Victini is first on the list:
.V0494 POKEMON VICTINI .V0495 POKEMON SNIVY .V0496 POKEMON SERVINE .V0497 POKEMON SERPERIOR .V0498 POKEMON TEPIG .V0499 POKEMON PIGNITE .V0500 POKEMON EMBOAR .V0501 POKEMON OSHAWOTT .V0502 POKEMON DEWOTT .V0503 POKEMON SAMUROTT .V0504 POKEMON PATRAT .V0505 POKEMON WATCHOG .V0506 POKEMON LILLIPUP .V0507 POKEMON HERDIER .V0508 POKEMON STOUTLAND .V0509 POKEMON PURRLOIN .V0510 POKEMON LIEPARD .V0511 POKEMON PANSAGE .V0512 POKEMON SIMISAGE .V0513 POKEMON PANSEAR .V0514 POKEMON SIMISEAR .V0515 POKEMON PANPOUR .V0516 POKEMON SIMIPOUR .V0517 POKEMON MUNNA .V0518 POKEMON MUSHARNA .V0519 POKEMON PIDOVE .V0520 POKEMON TRANQUILL .V0521 POKEMON UNFEZANT .V0522 POKEMON BLITZLE .V0523 POKEMON ZEBSTRIKA .V0524 POKEMON ROGGENROLA .V0525 POKEMON BOLDORE .V0526 POKEMON GIGALITH .V0527 POKEMON WOOBAT .V0528 POKEMON SWOOBAT .V0529 POKEMON DRILBUR .V0530 POKEMON EXCADRILL .V0531 POKEMON AUDINO .V0532 POKEMON TIMBURR .V0533 POKEMON GURDURR .V0534 POKEMON CONKELDURR .V0535 POKEMON TYMPOLE .V0536 POKEMON PALPITOAD .V0537 POKEMON SEISMITOAD .V0538 POKEMON THROH .V0539 POKEMON SAWK .V0540 POKEMON SEWADDLE .V0541 POKEMON SWADLOON .V0542 POKEMON LEAVANNY .V0543 POKEMON VENIPEDE .V0544 POKEMON WHIRLIPEDE .V0545 POKEMON SCOLIPEDE .V0546 POKEMON COTTONEE .V0547 POKEMON WHIMSICOTT .V0548 POKEMON PETILIL .V0549 POKEMON LILLIGANT .V0550 POKEMON BASCULIN .V0551 POKEMON SANDILE .V0552 POKEMON KROKOROK .V0553 POKEMON KROOKODILE .V0554 POKEMON DARUMAKA .V0555 POKEMON DARMANITAN .V0556 POKEMON MARACTUS .V0557 POKEMON DWEBBLE .V0558 POKEMON CRUSTLE .V0559 POKEMON SCRAGGY .V0560 POKEMON SCRAFTY .V0561 POKEMON SIGILYPH .V0562 POKEMON YAMASK .V0563 POKEMON COFAGRIGUS .V0564 POKEMON TIRTOUGA .V0565 POKEMON CARRACOSTA .V0566 POKEMON ARCHEN .V0567 POKEMON ARCHEOPS .V0568 POKEMON TRUBBISH .V0569 POKEMON GARBODOR .V0570 POKEMON ZORUA .V0571 POKEMON ZOROARK .V0572 POKEMON MINCCINO .V0573 POKEMON CINCCINO .V0574 POKEMON GOTHITA .V0575 POKEMON GOTHORITA .V0576 POKEMON GOTHITELLE .V0577 POKEMON SOLOSIS .V0578 POKEMON DUOSION .V0579 POKEMON REUNICLUS .V0580 POKEMON DUCKLETT .V0581 POKEMON SWANNA .V0582 POKEMON VANILLITE .V0583 POKEMON VANILLISH .V0584 POKEMON VANILLUXE .V0585 POKEMON DEERLING .V0586 POKEMON SAWSBUCK .V0587 POKEMON EMOLGA .V0588 POKEMON KARRABLAST .V0589 POKEMON ESCAVALIER .V0590 POKEMON FOONGUS .V0591 POKEMON AMOONGUSS .V0592 POKEMON FRILLISH .V0593 POKEMON JELLICENT .V0594 POKEMON ALOMOMOLA .V0595 POKEMON JOLTIK .V0596 POKEMON GALVANTULA .V0597 POKEMON FERROSEED .V0598 POKEMON FERROTHORN .V0599 POKEMON KLINK .V0600 POKEMON KLANG .V0601 POKEMON KLINKLANG .V0602 POKEMON TYNAMO .V0603 POKEMON EELEKTRIK .V0604 POKEMON EELEKTROSS .V0605 POKEMON ELGYEM .V0606 POKEMON BEHEEYEM .V0607 POKEMON LITWICK .V0608 POKEMON LAMPENT .V0609 POKEMON CHANDELURE .V0610 POKEMON AXEW .V0611 POKEMON FRAXURE .V0612 POKEMON HAXORUS .V0613 POKEMON CUBCHOO .V0614 POKEMON BEARTIC .V0615 POKEMON CRYOGONAL .V0616 POKEMON SHELMET .V0617 POKEMON ACCELGOR .V0618 POKEMON STUNFISK .V0619 POKEMON MIENFOO .V0620 POKEMON MIENSHAO .V0621 POKEMON DRUDDIGON .V0622 POKEMON GOLETT .V0623 POKEMON GOLURK .V0624 POKEMON PAWNIARD .V0625 POKEMON BISHARP .V0626 POKEMON BOUFFALANT .V0627 POKEMON RUFFLET .V0628 POKEMON BRAVIARY .V0629 POKEMON VULLABY .V0630 POKEMON MANDIBUZZ .V0631 POKEMON HEATMOR .V0632 POKEMON DURANT .V0633 POKEMON DEINO .V0634 POKEMON ZWEILOUS .V0635 POKEMON HYDREIGON .V0636 POKEMON LARVESTA .V0637 POKEMON VOLCARONA .V0638 POKEMON COBALION .V0639 POKEMON TERRAKION .V0640 POKEMON VIRIZION .V0641 POKEMON TORNADUS .V0642 POKEMON THUNDURUS .V0643 POKEMON RESHIRAM .V0644 POKEMON ZEKROM .V0645 POKEMON LANDORUS .V0646 POKEMON KYUREM .V0647 POKEMON KELDEO .V0648 POKEMON MELOETTA .V0649 POKEMON GENESECT
A metric ton of different forms has been added as well:
Basculin Red Striped Basculin Blue Striped Darmanitan Standard Darmanitan Zen Tornadus Incarnate Tornadus Therian Thundurus Incarnate Thundurus Therian Landorus Incarnate Landorus Therian Kyurem Normal Kyurem Black Kyurem White Keldeo Ordinary Keldeo Resolute Meloetta Aria Meloetta Pirouette Deerling Spring Deerling Summer Deerling Autumn Deerling Winter Sawsbuck Spring Sawsbuck Summer Sawsbuck Autumn Sawsbuck Winter Genesect Normal Genesect Shock Genesect Burn Genesect Chill Genesect Douse
These additions are pretty much the entire Unova Pokedex, more or less covering everything that has been released with Gen V. Maybe we’ll see more additions once these Pokemon start appearing, but for now this is what we have.
No stats or move sets were added for these Pokemon.
Unova Stone is a new evolution item coming in with Generation V Pokemon, likely tied only to evolving specific Unova region Pokemon. It’s still unclear which Pokemon will require it, but the item is in there, sprite and all.
Unova Stone is called .ITEM_GEN5_EVOLUTION_STONE in the APK code and the item is very reminiscent of the Black and White color scheme. There are no hints at how the item will be obtained, but we guess it will have something to do with the new Buddy system that’s been in development for a while.
VS Seeker is a new item that allows you to Duel other players in real world. VS Seeker fights will include Seasons, Ranks and Ratings, marking Pokemon GO’s first foray into the competitive world. You can duel only with other Players that have a VS Seeker:
VS Seeker records number of battles, number of victories and your previous season ranking. VS Seeker needs to be charged apparently 🔋. You have a number of Bonus battles you can do when you upgrade it. Probably upgrade-able through in-game purchases. Activating VS Seeker makes you flagged for Duels, and other trainers in the area can challenge you if you cross paths. We’re not sure if you are visible on the in-game map or not, but there is a subsystem that enables other Trainers to find you / start a fight with you.
VS Seeker has several rules and limitations when and how it can be used:
- You have to Fully Charge it before using.
- We’re not 100% sure, but it seems like it can be used only in specific places called “Combat Hubs”
- Activating the VS Seeker will start matchmaking you with players. Your opponent has to have a VS Seeker as well and it has to be in the same season like you are.
- It looks liked it’s allowed for a particular League or Leagues
There’s a new option tied to VS Seeker called “Enable Battle Now”, which probably allows Niantic to remotely turn on or off the feature, probably used in staged roll outs.
Route Maker is a new item that allows creating in-game routes between Pokestops 🗺️. The system has minimum and maximum PokeStop number, distances and checkpoints between them. You can name your route. The system seems to be tied to the Buddy system improvements, especially the Buddy Cameo encounter. There’s a max number of daily attempts you can do and a maximum number of points you can collect.
Here are all the errors Route Maker supports, at least client side:
.INVALID_NUM_FORTS .INVALID_NUM_CHECKPOINTS .INVALID_TOTAL_DISTANCE .INVALID_DISTANCE_BETWEEN_FORTS .INVALID_DISTANCE_BETWEEN_CHECKPOINTS .INVALID_FORT .DUPLICATE_FORTS .INVALID_START_OR_END .INVALID_NAME_LENGTH .INVALID_DESCRIPTION_LENGTH .TOO_MANY_CHECKPOINTS_BETWEEN_FORTS
However, we’re quite confused about the Route Maker. On one hand, it looked like a system similar to Ingress Missions, but then there’s the whole new Buddy system thing that apparently uses parts of the Route Maker subsystem, which makes everything very confusing. Long story short is that there is a lot going on with “Route making” in the new APK, but it’s not clear why or where it will be used.
These settings are applied when creating a route:
- Maximum number of open routes
- Minimum and maximum Stops per route
- Minimum and maximum route distance
- Minimum and maximum distance between Stops
- Maximum number of checkpoints
- Minimum and maximum number of checkpoints between Stops
- Minimum and maximum distance between checkpoints
- Name and Description length limits
Do note that routes can be Rejected as well, but we’re not sure who will be reviewing them. Also, Creator name is recorded for the route.
New Buddy System (Buddy V2)
Big improvements for Buddy Pokemon are on the way and the update seems pretty massive, but let’s break it down one step at a time.
Buddy Pokemon now feature a new “Buddy Level” stat, which is based on your interaction with the Buddy, feeding and grooming your Buddy. As far as it is visible from the code, Buddy Pokemon will be able to participate in the routes you’ve setup through the Route Maker. Buddy levels and feeding have been added in the code base as enumerations:
.BuddyLevel .BUDDY_LEVEL_UNSET .BUDDY_LEVEL_0 .BUDDY_LEVEL_1 .BUDDY_LEVEL_2 .BUDDY_LEVEL_3 .BUDDY_LEVEL_4 .BUDDY_LEVEL_5 .BuddyActivityCategory .CATEGORY_UNSET .FEED .BuddyActivity .ACTIVITY_UNSET .SNACK
A new feature called “Buddy encounter cameo” has been mentioned several times and it seems like a mechanism to encounter your Buddy as a “catchable” Pokemon. It makes sense for those Trainers walking Legendary Pokemon. The chance for this to happen is mentioned in the code as well, hidden behind the
Your Buddy will loose motivation in the new Buddy system. The code mentions Decay frequency, triggers and points per day. The routes seems to decay, or maybe it’s the Buddy decaying (“loosing motivation”), it’s hard to tell from the code (the properties are just called
DecayTrigger). Buddies that are part of a route can be swapped, or at least it looks like that. The game is now tracking Daily Buddy swaps.
Overall, any improvement to the Buddy system is more than welcome, as it’s one of the oldest Pokemon GO features in existence and it’s such a core staple of the game.
Competitive seasons, ranks and ratings
- PvP matchmaking is coming .combatMatchmakingRpcService, features local and remote players. “NPC brain” mentioned, likely a refence to NPC AI
- Trainer Battles against remote ranked opponents are called “Duels” in the code
- You can’t duel with a full bag
- A brand new competitive system has been added, featuring Seasons, Ranks and Ratings
- Seasons have “End Time” limits
- Ratings are adjusted inside Seasons
- Your Combat Rank has a Level that describes it. The level is described by the number of Battles you fought, Wins you had and your overall Rating
- We don’t know a lot, aside that it exists and that it can change
All of this ties in with the Vs Seeker item which records all of these numbers. By using the Seeker you can get current season results, life time results and even the longest winning streak.
More… give me more…
- Pokemon encounters now have attached “strategies”, looks like Niantic has laid the foundation for improving wild encounters finally. The game now knows the context of the encounter:
.ContextForStrategy .STANDARD .RESEARCH .RESEARCH_STORY_QUEST .INVASION .DefaultEncounter
- New shaders: Iris and Uber, not sure what’s it used for, but we guess some of the new Gen V Pokemon will have better shading
- Each Competitive Season has its own settings
- Pinsir to become available as a Shadow Pokemon
- Special Fall 2019 versions of Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur are coming
- Pokemon Bag now displays a count of filtered Pokemon. Typing something like “shiny” will filter the list and show a number of shiny Pokemon in your bag