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Pokémon Go: The new Gen 2 update explained

Pokémon Go has just undergone a big update, introducing Gen 2 Pokémon from the Johto region seen in the Nintendo Pokémon Gold and Silver video games among other things. Here is what's new.

Pokémon Go fans will be very happy to know the latest update, 1.27.2 on iOS and 0.57.2 on Android, brings with it more than 80 new Pokémon to collect, all of which come from the Johto region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver.

By now you should have been prompted to update the game. If not, head to the App Store or Google Play to see if it is available and install. Done it? Let's get on with what has changed.

Pokemon Go Gen 2: What is new?

We will go into more detail about what is new in a second, but it is worth knowing what Niantic has changed from an official, bullet-pointed perspective.

  • More than 80 new 'Gen 2' Pokémon from the Johto region have been added
  • Gender-specific variations of Pokémon can now be caught
  • Added new encounter mechanics
  • Added Poke Ball and Berry selection carousels to the encounter screen
  • Added two new berries
  • Added new avatar customisation options
  • Added new night-mode map and encounter music
  • Added bonus Candies for catching Evolved Pokémon
  • Implemented Apple Watch stability improvement
  • Various bug fixes
  • Minor text fixes

1) New Avatar clothing

Yes, you can finally change out of that stinky stuff you have been wearing since Pokémon Go first arrived. The options are Hats, Glasses, Tops, Bags, Gloves, Bottoms, Socks and Footwear, with a few of the clothing items free but the majority requiring you to spend Gold, which can be bought with real money.

2) Key 'Evolution' items

To evolve certain Pokémon Go creatures, you will need to locate the relevant key item, which can be a Sun Stone, King's Rock, Metal Coat, Dragon Scale and Up-Grade. All are found at a Pokestop randomly, so there is no need to buy them.

To save you going through every Pokémon in the Pokédex, the stones are used for the following: Gloom (Sun Stone), Poliwhirl and Slowpoke (King's Rock), Onix and Scyther (Metal Coat), Seadra (Dragonscale) and Porygon (Up-Grade).

3) Shiny Pokémon incoming?

Although this is yet to be confirmed, more code has been added to the update that suggests shiny versions of Pokémon are on the way. Anyone who remembers the card game will appreciate the nostalgia associated with those rare 'shinies'.

4) New music klaxen

The music was muted long ago for us, as well as the sound effects (except during an evolution obviously). But those who still like it can enjoy different music for day, night and encounters with wild Pokémon.

5) A new event is coming

It is unclear what the event is celebrating, but the code calls it 'Anniversary' and that would suggest the first birthday of Pokémon Go. To save you looking that up, the UK launch was on the 14th of July, 2016. So expect something to happen leading up to or on that date in 2017.

6) New Eevee evolutions

Eevee is one of the easier evolutions providing you hatch an Eevee or two from an egg or live near a spawn point that favours them. Espeon and Umbreon are the two new Gen 2 evolutions – head this way for our short but sweet guide on how to get them.

Previous update history

For previous update information, keep on scrolling.

Valentine's Day event

From the 7th to the 15th of February, 2017, a Valentine's Day event will be going on. The associated update adds the ability to catch more of the pink Pokémon (Clefairy, Slowbro etc) as well as new baby Pokémon from eggs (Igglybuff, Cleffa). Full details can be found here.

Update 1.1

Pokémon Go has had its first major update and as a result a few things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. Here is what exactly is new and what to do if your character has seemingly been reset to level 1.

Before we get to that, here's the official list of changes in the the Pokémon Go version 1.1 update (known as 0.31.0 on Android), which went live on the 30th of July of 2016 and is currently being rolled out on Android and iOS.

  • Trainer avatars can now be re-customised from the profile screen
  • Adjusted some Pokémon battle move damage battles
  • Refined certain Gym animations
  • Improved memory issues
  • Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
  • Adjusted battle damage calculation
  • Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encouter
  • Updated Pokémon details UI
  • Updated achievement medals art
  • Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
  • Minor text fixes

1) Where is the 'Transfer' button?

Fear not, the Pidgey XP trick will still work as well as ever and there's no need to upgrade your Pokémon storage amount because the Transfer button is still around. It now lives within a new menu located at the bottom right of the Pokémon page. Panic over.

2) Where is the step tracker?

Pokémon Go developer Niantic had already adjusted the step tracker when it set all distances to three feet. Now the feature has been removed entirely, with no step count displayed at all. This is a bit of a pain, but it does mean you can still wander around to try and track a particular down.

How? By walking until the Pokémon disappears. If it does, try walking back on yourself until it reappears and then try a new direction. It was claimed the top left Pokémon in the tracker was the closest to you – perhaps that is still the case and can be used accordingly.

3) Changes to scanning radius

This part of the new Pokémon Go update brings good and bad news. Bad because the distance you can 'see' a Pokémon on the tracker is now 70 metres instead of 100 metres, which means more walking to find something good. The good news is that the spawn rate has been increased to 300 metres, meaning the area you can catch nearby Pokémon within is now much bigger than before.

4) Pokémon Go warns you more often

A few people have been driving while playing Pokémon Go and ending up in dangerous places or trespassing. Hence why Niantic has added a few helpful warnings for those of us who lack common sense.

5) Where is battery saver?

Swimming with the Magikarp. Dead as a Doduo. Niantic has removed the battery saver option from Pokémon Go on iOS but not Android. It is unclear if the feature now just works automatically on iOS or is simply no longer available. Looks like those exterior battery packs could still be an essential purchase for the truly dedicated Pokémon players out there, then.

6) Customise your character whenever you want

One of the better additions to the 1.1 update is the fact you can customise your character whenever you want. You just have to go into your character (the bottom left icon with your character's face and current level) and then hit another one of those new option buttons. Hey presto, you can swap your hat, clothing and all the other bits you decided on when you first started playing Pokémon Go. There's nothing new here, but maybe in the future Niantic will add more (purchasable) options.

7) Battle damage adjustments?

Niantic has adjusted the damage values for some Pokémon to balance them out. That means your overpowered Vaporeon hits less hard than before the 1.1 update. Clever people on Reddit have ascertained that element damage is now more important and that special and charge moves do significantly more damage, so it may be worth using them instead of spamming the basic move as quickly as possible. There is also said to be a same type attack bonus, which means a water Pokémon using a water move will do more damage. Pro tip: Kabutops with Stone Edge is a force to be reckoned with, but Dragonite is still king.

8) Favouriting protects your Pokémon

Those mass transfer days to build up candy should never end up with you transferring your best catch because favouriting a Pokémon now means you can't transfer it until you de-favourite. The only problem is if you forget to favourite your favourite Pokémon in the first place.

9) My character has gone!

Wipe away the tears, Pokémon trainer. There have been reports of people losing their progress and logging to find themselves at level 1. Luckily it seems the issue stems from players who "may have inadvertently created another Pokémon Go account by logging in with a different Google email address than the one originally used for the game," Niantic said in a statement. "Please be assured that your gameplay progress has NOT been lost. It remains safe and intact," it added. That is, of course, no consolation for those who deleted their account out of anger.

10) Pokémon trackers will no longer work

Arguably the biggest loss in Pokémon Go is the removal of trackers such as Pokevision. It seems Niantic has locked them out, meaning no using tracking websites to find that elusive Dratini. Whether this is because Niantic dislikes them or wants to release its own version is unclear. Maybe it plans to create a monetised item that does a similar job in-game? Whatever the reason, it is a shame and one that is causing a fair few players to give up on Pokémon Go entirely.

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