Ranking All Pokémon GO Halloween events: 2016 – 2018

A reflection of Pokémon GO throughout the years...


With events coming out every single week in Pokémon GO, we thought that it was about time to take a look at one of these unique events, and how they have stacked up year after year. This special article is part of our “Pokemon GO History” article series on GO Hub that takes a look at Pokémon GO’s past.

On this occasion we will break down the yearly Halloween Event from 2018, 2017, and 2016.

Halloween Event 2018

“Have a haunting good time during Pokémon GO Halloween 2018!”

Halloween 2018 event


This Halloween event went on over the course of October 23rd to November 1st, bringing Trainers not only new Ghost and Dark-type Pokémon, but a 2x Catch Candy Bonus as well.

Link to original release notes

Featured Pokémon

With a new event comes new featured Pokémon and their spawns. This time around, we were introduced to new Generation IV Ghost and Dark-type Pokémon such as Drifloon and Stunky. Besides this we also saw the return of former Ghost and Dark-type, all coming together to celebrate.

Featured Ghost-type Pokémon
Gastly Misdreavus Shuppet
Duskull Drifloon  

Although the Ghost-type Pokémon are the stars of the show, Dark-type Pokémon didn’t hold anything back.

Featured Dark-type Pokémon
Murkrow Sneasel Houndour
Poochyena Sableye Stunky

Link to original release notes

Image result for pokemon go spiritomb
Spiritomb in Pokémon GO


To inspire Trainers to really get into the Halloween mood, brand new Field Research would be available, although Trainers were happy to catch some Ghost-types because of it, the star of the show was Spiritomb’s Special Research, titled “A Spooky Message” which was the first occasion where the featured Reward for completing the entire Research was just candy and Stardust.

Link to original article

Raid Battles

If things weren’t already spooky with the presence of Spiritomb, Giratina decided to make an appearance. Accompanying Giratina came some former Ghost-type Raid Bosses . Though Giratina first appeared with the start of the event, its departure would not be until much later.

Link to original article

New Avatar Items

What better way to show your holiday spirit than by dressing up? To commemorate such an event, Niantic released brand new Style Items based on some of the more popular Ghost-type Pokémon such as Gengar, the currently unreleased Mismagius, Spiritomb, and the Drifloon family.

Link to original release tweet

Image result for pokemon go shiny drifloon
Shiny Drifloon in Pokémon GO

Bonus Features

To get Trainers excited, Niantic released Generation IV’s second Shiny; Drifloon. Talking about shinies, Niantic also brought back Halloween hat Pikachu and Pichu available from eggs (which were available in shiny forms). Along with this, a few days after the start of the event, Niantic re-released the Lavender Town Remix Soundtrack to play in-game at night.

Link to original video upload

Final Score

In order to tally up which event was (in an unbiased opinion and grade) the best, we are going to grade different game features and points that were available throughout all previous events, and awarding extra points to each event based on their own additions and criteria.

Halloween Event 2018
Section Description Score
Event Duration This was the second longest event out of the three 20/25 Points
Candy Bonuses Easily the weakest Candy Bonus we have seen 5/25 Points
Featured Pokémon Largest and best Spawn Pool yet 25/25 Points
Bonus Features Introduced one new shiny, and brought back the Lavender Town music, although only a few days before the end of the event 15/25 Points
Extra Points Took full advantage of the Raid and Research System and brought a full wardrobe of Halloween clothing 15 Extra Points
Final Rating Weakest candy amounts, greatest spawn pool, a few extra features, full use of raids and research 80/100 Points

Pokémon GO took full advantage of the current gameplay options when planning this Halloween event, however when it comes to making Trainers feel like it’s Halloween, they came a bit short, giving Trainers a weak candy bonus, and lacked in doing anything new with the build of the game, making this event feel like any other event, instead of the grand and highly anticipated, Halloween Event.

Halloween Event 2017

“Halloween treats coming to Pokémon GO!”

Pokémon GO Halloween 2017


This Halloween event came and went from October 20th to November 2nd, introducing brand new Ghost-type Pokémon from Generation III and giving Trainers a 2x Catch, Hatch, and Transfer Candy Bonus, along with a 2x Buddy Candy Find.

Link to original article

Featured Pokémon

This event primarily featured Ghost-type Pokémon but also saw the presence of a few Dark-type Pokémon and a few unexpected appearances. It is important to note that the evolved forms of all the Pokémon below had a high appearance in the event.

Featured Ghost-type Pokémon
Gastly Misdreavus Shuppet

If you were tired of Ghost-types and wanted something just a little bit different, then it was time to go after the Dark-type Pokémon.

Featured Dark-type Pokémon
Murkrow Houndour Sableye

For those that were done with the usual Ghost and Dark-type Spawns, there was a small silver lining. Although they didn’t appear in such high of a frequency as the previous Pokémon, these other additions were a nice break.

Other featured Pokémon
Cubone Zubat Drowzee

Link to original release notes

Mimikyu Hat

New Avatar Item

Even though it was only a single item, it became a fan-favorite, with some users (like myself) still having it on their Avatars today. This new Item would be the Mimikyu hat, a free hat for Trainers to show off their Halloween desire to dress up.

Link to original article

Bonus Features

From the entire event, this is what Trainers remember. As the event went on, Niantic released Shiny variations of many of the new Ghost-type Pokémon every single day. Of course, Halloween hat Pikachu and Pichu appeared with more frequency.

Next, Niantic introduced Trainers to the very lovely Lavender Town Remix Soundtrack, taking the game by storm at night, and finally, Niantic added a brand new startup screen featuring some of the new Generation III Pokémon.

New Shiny Variations
Shiny Sableye Shiny Shuppet Shiny Duskull

Link to original article

Final Score

It is a bit easier to be a bit more strict on grading this event considering that a lot of the ways the game runs today are similar to how they were at this point in time, nonetheless, this event still held up even to those standards.

Halloween Event 2017
Section Description Score
Event Duration The longest event yet 25/25 Points
Candy Bonuses Best Candy Bonus we have seen with the availability of Pinap Berries 25/25 Points
Featured Pokémon Very big Spawn pool but it included a few useless Pokémon 15/25 Points
Bonus Features Easily the best, brought three new shinies, introduced the Lavender Town music, added a new background, and more 25/25 Points
Extra Points Gave Trainers a free Mimikuy Hat in the style shop 5 Extra Points
Final Rating Longest Event, Candy hoarding, great spawns, and a full Halloween themed game with music, backgrounds, and shinies 95/100 Points

This event truly did the accomplish making Trainers get into the Halloween spirit, not only in having a long event, the BEST candy bonuses, and great spawns, but in bringing something new to the table, making the event feel unique and special and rare, it had a sense of desire to play the game before the event ended, and that is a bit more difficult to come-by today.

Halloween Event 2016

“Halloween is approaching…”

Image result for Pokemon go halloween 2016


This very first Halloween event went on since October 26th to November 1st, being the shortest of all the events, although this was the case, it is important to remember that this was Pokémon GO’s first event of any kind. This event brought a 2x Catch, Hatch, and Transfer Candy Bonus, along with a 4x Buddy Candy Find.

Link to original article

Featured Pokémon

Back when we were in the dark when it came to featured Pokémon and their spawns, Niantic brought out the only choices they had, while they may seem like nothing now, at the time these Pokémon were used as a “light at the end of the tunnel” when it came to Pokémon GO and its playerbase. Spawns at this time were separated roughly into the main featured spawns, and the secondary ones, of course, their evolutions also made appearances.

Primary featured Pokémon
Gastly Zubat Drowzee

Even though these were the Pokémon that were shown in the announcement video and release notes, Trainers also saw quite the appearance of a few other Pokémon and their evolutions.

Other featured Pokémon
Cubone Meowth

Link to original video announcement

Bonus FeaturesImage result for Pokemon go halloween background

Before Niantic started to become a bit more clever when it came to features and designs, the only real bonus feature we found in-game was the new Halloween Background that Trainers saw upon starting up their games.

Although this may seem like nothing, this was the first time that Niantic changed the startup background, and although it was a minor detail, it was more than enough to make Trainers blink twice and crack a smile.

Link to original article

Final Score

It is understandable that this event would not be able to provide as much content or creativity as the ones that came after it, but it is important to see how it stacks up at the time of its release, it may have intrigued us then, but now? I think we realize we had low standards.

Halloween Event 2016
Section Description Score
Event Duration Shortest event of them all 10/25 Points
Candy Bonuses Second best bonuses considering the absence of the Pinap Berry 20/25 Points
Featured Pokémon Smallest spawn pool ever, although great at the time 10/25 Points
Bonus Features First change to the startup background 5/25 Points
Extra Points Pokémon GO’s first event, paved the way for future events, and made the best of what was available at the moment 10 Extra Points
Final Rating Shortest event, great candy bonuses, small but understandable spawn pool, and being “the first” 55/100 Points

The only thing that this event really has going for it is that it was the first event, both in the sense of being the first Halloween event, and in being Pokémon GO’s first large scale event. Event though that is its greatest feature, it did not lack in finally getting Trainers back into the game, with an amazing Candy bonus and rarer spawns.

Final Notes

Every single Halloween event has truly been a treat for Trainer, with each one being unique and different from the other for their own reasons, whether that be spawns, bonuses, new additions, new features, or anything in between, the Halloween event is something that every Trainer has to look forward to every single year.

Final Score

Halloween Events
Section Scores
2018 2017 2016
Event Duration 20/25 Points 25/25 Points 10/25 Points
Candy Bonuses 5/25 Points 25/25 Points 20/25 Points
Featured Pokémon 25/25 Points 15/25 Points 10/25 Points
Bonus Features 15/25 Points 25/25 Points 5/25 Points
Extra Points 15 Extra Points 5 Extra Points 10 Extra Points
Final Ratings 80/100 Points 95/100 Points 55/100 Points

Final Verdict

When it comes to the scoring, there is one clear winner, the Halloween Event from 2017. Not only did it do an exceptional job in improving what Trainers loved from the event of the previous year, but also brought relevancy to its time and new additions that Trainers absolutely loved, getting a perfect score in three of the four different graded areas, and even getting a few extra points as well.

Which Halloween Event was your favorite and why? Do you think we scored the events fairly? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Have fun and stay safe, Trainers! And of course, Happy Halloween!

Author & tags

Josh Provines
Josh Provines
So I hear you like Pokémon GO... me too! Want some gifts from México? Add me @1474-8846-2207! I make Presentations and translate English and Spanish, want to hire me for a job? @https://www.upwork.com/fl/joshprovines

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