Review of new QOL Updates & Features in 2023 so far (Pokémon GO)

Posted in

2023 is slowly coming to a close and we’ve seen a lot of new Quality of Life Updates and New Features added to the game this year. Whether minor or major changes, all these updates have had a positive impact on Pokémon GO. Let’s have a look back at some of these new features that have been added in 2023 so far!


Pokémon GO Routes

Routes were added with the debut of Zygarde during the Blaze New Trails event. They have been the man new feature added to the game this year and are a good new touch for the game. Although they may not have brought communities together as Niantic originally intended them to, they do inspire people to walk more and explore new tracks that local trainers use. The additional rewards from completing them are great too, including Rare Candy, Elite TMs, and more which add just a little more inspiration to want to complete them. 

Routes started very slowly with hardly any trainers being able to complete them, but now with the route creation level lowered there has been more routes around. I have found this to be a great feature as I can complete up to 6 routes on my usual walk, including with 3 routes and their reserved direction. This would also be great for rural trainers to gain items they usually wouldn’t have easy access to and it only requires 2 PokéStops to create, which almost all trainers should have nearby. However, Niantic’s review process is rather slow and it can take up to a month or more to get your route live in the game. 


Showcases were recently added which involve Pokémon adding their largest or smallest Pokémon in them to compete against other trainers and be rewarded with prizes. They don’t add very much value to the game but they are a neat little feature. The inclusion of them in monthly announcements has been great too, as trainers can prepare and anticipate them to have the best chance of ranking highly. Showcase PokéStops don’t change throughout the season, which is also very convenient.

One key issue I have noticed is that every showcase so far has only included largest Pokémon only, and there should be the inclusion of the smallest Pokémon at some point like originally announced. Another problem is the lack of Showcase PokéStops, as I have noticed many of my local areas only have 1 or 2 stops which are commonly found in inconvenient places which cause detours to normal walks. Adding showcase stops only at local parks or common public places would make showcases more accessible for all.

Ready Button in Raids

ZoëTwoDots 🎀 on X: "Ready up button is live in #PokemonGO!? Do you have this feature in your area? Tested with local raid and also with inviting remote raiders (both worked)." /

Having a ready button in raids is a Quality of Life update that has been called upon for literal years by trainers, so finally having this feature is amazing. Trainers can now press the button and if everyone in the raid has pressed it, the timer with go down to 10 seconds and the raid will happen quickly. This stops everyone from waiting a whole two minutes for quick raids. I also noticed that the timer cuts to 10 seconds when the maximum trainer number of 20 is reached in a lobby, which is amazing and saves unnecessary wasted time.

The only criticism I have is that you can’t press the button on your own in the raid, you need 2 or more people. I think allowing the button to be available on your own after a certain amount of time would be great.

Pokémon dropping Items when caught

Meteorite drops are enabled as a rare drop for Mega Rayquaza raids (remote invite from New Zealand). : r/TheSilphRoad

Some Pokémon have a chance of dropping items when caught on special occasions, which is a new feature that was added this year. The first instance of this was Gimmighoul holding Gimmighoul coins when caught, helping you to evolve it when you collect enough. This feature slowly became more common with chances of Rayquaza holding a Meteorite during GO Fest, Carbink guaranteed to hold Diancie Mega Energy during GO Fest, and most recently Oddish holding Sun Stones during Oddish Research Day. Although the chance of them holding items on some of these occasions were very miniscule, it is a nice feature that the traditional Pokémon games on gaming consoles have.

XXL/XXS Pokémon

Similar to Item holding, the new feature of XXS and XXL Pokémon was inspired by other Pokémon games, and the animation most notably from Pokémon Let’s GO Eevee and Pikachu. Although this doesn’t change the game too much, it adds another incentive for trainers to catch small and large Pokémon and complete the new badges for them. The different sizes are also visible on the Pokémon as your buddy, in your inventory, in battles, on the catch screen and more, which is a nice touch.

Scarlet/Violet Linking

In February 2023, Pokémon GO became able to link with the Nintendo Switch game, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Trainers can send Postcards from their postcard book to receive a Coin Bag once per day, and a Golden Lure every 5 days. In doing so, you can use the Coin Bag and Golden Lure to catch Gimmighoul and obtain 999 Gimmighoul coins to evolve into Gholdengo. Although you can’t directly send any Pokémon over to Scarlet and Violet, this new linking feature is a neat addition.

Paldea Region

It isn’t very often that a new region debuts in Pokémon GO, but the Paldea Region was introduced recently in September. 20 new Pokémon debuted throughout 2 Paldea events to celebrate the new Scarlet and Violet DLC. These Pokémon included the cute starters (Fuecoco, Sprigitato and Quaxly) and their evolutions, the raid-exclusive Bombirdier, Lechonk & Oinkologne, Pawmi’s family, Nymble & Lokix, and last but not least the extremely rare Frigibax and its family!

Updated Settings Page

How to Connect to Pokémon GO — Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet | Official Website

The Settings page was changed to a more modern outlook in April. Not many people noticed it, but the dark blue background became light green and sections were added to it. Previously the settings was a long page of which you had to scroll down to find what you wanted, but now it is clearer and sectioned to make it easier for trainers to navigate it easily.

Number of Trainers in Raid shown

The Raid Lobby Counter feature was added in April 2023. This QOL update allows trainers to see how many people are in a raid before clicking on it. Strangely, this feature was implemented for remote raiding after the remote raid limit updates happened, but nonetheless its a great feature that saves trainers time.

Mega Energy from spinning Gyms

Latias mega energy received from pokéstop spin, not sure if this was found already : r/TheSilphRoad

This has been a mainly unnoticed addition, and reasonably so as it isn’t that important. Trainers have a chance of getting 5 Mega Energy of various Pokemon, notably Beedrill. This feature was added during Hoenn Tour when Latios and Latias Mega Energy was obtaiable from Gym spins.

3 bonus XL Candy from In-Person Raids

When you win a 5-Star Raid in-person (at the gym of the raid), trainers will get a bonus 3 XL Candy of the raid boss you defeated, in addition to the XL received from catching. This feature makes it easier to obtain XL Candy for Legendaries, Mythicals and Ultra Beasts with the 5 daily remote raid limit.

Pokémon GO Web Store

Niantic also introduced a new way to buy PokeCoins online, the Pokémon GO Web Store. This new feature allows for maximise with bonus PokeCoins and some interesting deals. The web store is still relatively new but it looks to be another permanent feature!

Author & tags

The Poke GO Hunter
The Poke GO Hunter
Pokemon GO Content Creator since 2019. I enjoy designing infographics in my free time and writing the occasional article.

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.