The introduction of the Research System gave us much needed content in Pokémon GO. Aside from catching Pokémon and putting Pokémon in gyms, there’s nothing else to do. Once you hit level 40, and complete the Pokédex, what’s next? Though Niantic announced a lot of new content, and Raid Battles, Weather, and Research add more excitement to the game, all of those features get pretty repetitive as time pass by. So, what’s next?
In Pokemon GO, there’s really no story and no world to explore but our own, but it makes sense why. The game wants us to make friends, make memories, and make our very own adventure; our own story. Still, Niantic should still add more features to Pokémon GO besides the ones announced. Let’s go back to the main series games to see which additional feature made the game more exciting. Who knows, we might find something that might be implemented in the future.
Pokémon Contests / Super Contests / Musical
Pokémon Contests are introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. To simply put, they are Pokémon Beauty Pageants that made Pokémon highlight certain conditions or stat like, Coolness, Cuteness, Toughness, Smarts, and Beauty. All of the moves have been categorized by each aspect, like Flamethrower being a Beauty move while Ember being a Cute move. Moves can also have certain effects that are different from their effects in battle. You choose a contest among the 5 conditions, and you have 5 rounds to appeal the judge, with each round giving you a chance to use a move to appeal to that certain condition. For example, on a Beauty Contest, you can use Flamethrower to increase your appeal, but Ember will do less appeal because it is a Cute move.
Pokémon Super Contest are the same but with added rounds, one of which is dressing up your Pokémon with costumes. Pokémon Musicals is sort of an upgrade of the Super Contest, removing the need to use moves altogether.
I actually think there’s a very low chance that Pokémon Contests are added in this game, especially with the current setup of the moves. I don’t, however, think it’s impossible. With smartphones, you can do much more than just pressing a button. Pokémon Contest in Pokémon GO may mean doing certain swipe commands, like pinching and rotation, to do appeals.
In the end, it’s still a hard one to pull off. For me, the chance they would add this is around 5%
Introduced in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Pokéathlon is like Pokémon Olympics. Much like Contests, you also have new 5 stats, Speed, Power, Skill, Stamina, and Jump. Each sporting event consider some of these stats when playing the game. For example, in the Hurdle Dash event, your Jump will determine the length of your jump, your Speed will determine your movement speed, while your Skill will determine your acceleration rate.
These stats are different based on each species, much like regular stats, and unlike Contest conditions where every Pokémon starts out with 0 on all stats. Pokémon like Jumpluff and Aerodactly both have high Speed and high Jump, so both are good in Hurdle Jump. Of course, they might suffer on other events.
These events are like mini-games so implementing it would not be that hard. Plus, it was released on the Nintendo DS so the touch screen of phones would not be hard to translate. I still think this has a low chance of implementation. It’s more probable than Contests, but overall, Pokéathlon conflicts with the goal of Pokémon GO, which is Pokémon in real life.
Niantic wants us to enjoy outside and not just stuck in our phones. Pokéathlon will make us stuck to the phone even more. Even though it has a low chance to be implemented, if Niantic is running out of ways to make people enjoy the game, I don’t blame them if they add this, but just as a last-ditch effort to add more players.
Overall, the chance they would add this is around 15%.
Pokémon Amie / Pokémon Refresh
Pokémon Amie, introduced in Generation VI, allows the player to develop stronger bonds with their Pokémon by using the touch screen to allow players to pet, feed, and play with Pokémon. Players interact with their Pokémon by petting or feeding them via the touchscreen or mimicking their movements using the camera. Pokémon Refresh is almost the same as Amie but with the addition of cleaning your Pokémon up after a battle.
This is one of the best feature Niantic can add that is still in tune with its goal, yet will add something that Pokémon GO still lacks: bonding with your Pokémon. In the main series games, you can bond with your Pokémon thru battling trainers. With Pokémon GO, you can only battle thru gyms and raids, and the Buddy System is just too simple. You don’t even see your Pokémon walking with you. You can only see it on the bottom of the screen, and you can only see its face.
Pokémon Amie will make you bond with your Pokémon. Niantic can add rewards for bonding with Pokémon, like candy or dust. Niantic already has access to your camera, so they can add the mimicking feature. I think if they would add this, they should first do other stuff like trading before they even consider this feature.
Overall, the chance they would add this is 85%. The chance they would add this within the next year is sadly around 5%.
Bug Catching Contest – In Pokémon Gold and Silver, they introduced this contest where you have 20 mins to catch the best Bug type Pokémon you can see in the park. The park will be filled with only Bug Pokémon. This is too similar to Community Day, especially if Niantic ever chose a Bug type Pokemon for Community Day.
Fishing – In main series game, you can fish for Pokémon. There is a very low chance to get rare Pokémon on this method, and some Pokémon are even exclusively seen by fishing. Sadly, this is similar already to Incenses and Lure Modules, and it’s very dependent on type and geography.
Secret Bases – You can make bases from trees and bushes. Again, this falls into the “real world” trap. Niantic would likely want you to do secret bases in the real world rather than in-game.
Pokémon League – Collecting 8 gym badges will allow you to challenge the Elite Four. With the game as it is, this is not probable, and not even practical. Besides, the gym rework and Raid Battles made the gym metagame very engaging, and it won’t need any more upgrades. Venasto1se’s article Single Player Endgame Idea: Gym Challenges has some great ideas regarding this topic that you should check.
PS: This article was an article I written in my personal blog last year. Before my stint as a writer here, I wrote some topics in that blog where I suggested stuff Niantic can do to fix the game. The original post is here, and pardon for my bad web design.