Critical Catch And Other Changes To ‘Pokemon GO’ As Of Latest Update

Niantic may have skimped on the patch notes for the latest Pokemon GO update, but those at The Silph Road may have discovered some more information you’d might want to hear.

As the new year dawns on us, a new update, too, rolls out for Pokemon GO. My Nintendo News reports that Niantic is rolling out the second patch to Pokemon GO this year to address some software issues such as startup load time and connectivity issues with the Pokemon GO Plus. Announced at the official Pokemon GO blog, the information about the latest update are detailed below:

Pokémon GO updated to version 0.55.0 for Android and 1.25.0 for iOS


Pokémon GO is in the process of being updated to version 0.55.0 for Android and 1.25.0 for iOS devices. Below are some release notes and comments from our development team.

-Reduced the starting load time on Android devices
-Resolved Android connectivity issues for the Pokémon GO Plus accessory.
-Integrated iOS wheelchair support for use with Apple Watch.
-Minor text fixes.

On surface level, it looks like the new Pokemon GO update is just a bunch of fixes and bug cleanup. But what we are not aware of is that Niantic may have slipped some new features and data into the latest patch that they’re getting ready to announce in the coming days. Sneaky sneaky, Niantic, but those at The Silph Road may have already uncovered your secret plan, Daily Star reports.

Android connectivity with Pokemon GO Plus fixed with new update [Image by COO7 / Shutterstock, Inc.]

As soon as the Pokemon GO update started rolling out, Silph’s “Executive Dronpes” already announced via The Silph Road at Reddit that they’re already sniffing around the new APK patch:

Hey travelers,

I have to be up in 5 hours for real world obligations, but we’re going to do our best to give you a read on the new APK.

Stay tuned – and pour a Dr Pepper out for us.

– Executive Dronpes –

This, of course, has got a lot of Pokemon GO trainers excited, since Niantic’s post about the new update was just a bunch of blah and boring. True enough, just short of two hours after the post by Dronpes, he’s already datamined a couple of new things hidden in the APK update. His full initial findings are as follows:

Hey travelers,

I’m afraid I’m falling asleep at the keyboard, so this one’ll have to be short and simple!

This APK update came sooner than expected, but didn’t bring anything too crazy. There were a few good concrete fixes and improvements, and a few things that are a bit too ambiguous to confidently nail down, but we’ll do our best to share our analysis anyway:


Possible RAM Optimizations

We’re seeing a number of updates that appear to target more efficient memory usage/garbage collection (e.g. optimizing music and ‘fog’).

Pokemon GO+ Device Fixes

Nothing ambiguous this time, there’s some new code for the GO+ device that aligns well with the patch notes. This should help a lot of travelers connect easier and re-connect easier.


Critical Catch

Along with the elemental badges that appear during wild Pokemon encounters, a new term has appeared called the critical catch. No other code appears to support this, so we don’t believe this to be anything big – but something new is (or will soon be) going on with wild encounters. Keep an eye out for what this could mean!

An Encounter Item?

This could be nothing (as all these ‘Ambiguous’ findings could be this round) but something was either re-written or added in regards to wild encounter items. It may be as simple as a backend restructure of the screen where you select a berry/ball, or it may hint to future additional functionality in wild encounters.

New Item Type: Candy Award

The code has seen (and we’ve all used) item types that boost XP (lucky eggs) and item types called ‘inventory upgrade’ – and most recently we’ve seen an ‘evolution requirement’ item appear.

This time, however, a new item type has appeared called ‘candy award.’

This leads us to believe a whole new class of items may be on the way that award (not boost) candy for something, perhaps relating to buddy achievements…. Exciting stuff either way!

Unown Badge

A new badge has appeared in the code! This time just for Unown – which makes a ton of sense, if you ask us, as there’s a ton of them!

More Weird Sponsor Types

This time, we got:

  • HOOD

Your guess is as good as ours, travelers.

Well, laptop battery’s dying, travelers, and I’ve got to be up in 4 hours. Hope this helps illuminate what might be on deck in coming weeks.

Can’t wait to start seeing these things appear! (And can’t wait to get my GO+ working again!)

Travel safe,

– Executive Dronpes –

First, he has separated his findings into two categories: concrete ones and ambiguous ones. Concrete ones are just what Niantic has outlined, basically Pokemon GO software and Pokemon GO Plus device pairing updates. These optimizations have been a welcome upgrade by many Pokemon GO users, as some are already reporting that the RAM optimization and decreased load times have made playing so much better better and easier already.

Another great new fix that came with the new Pokemon GO update for the Android is that apparently, opening Pokemon GO would no longer pause any music that’s playing on the background. Confirmed also at The Silph Road over at Reddit, Pokemon GO now only lowers your device’s music player’s music and would play the game’s ambient music alongside any music that you’re playing via your music player (this has been the case for the iPhone version of Pokemon GO but is now only resolved for the Android version).

In terms of the Ambiguous findings by Dronpes, one of the most controversial elements that Pokemon GO trainers are debating about is the Critical Catch. For those who are not as Pokemon-savvy, a critical catch or critical capture is a type of capture since Gen V, where a PokeBall will pause just slightly in mid-air when it’s thrown, shudder before it drops to the ground, shake only once, and then the Pokemon is caught. Critical catches are fairly rare and the probability of doing one on a Pokemon depends on the number of unique Pokemon that has been caught in the Pokedex.

Critical catch in Pokemon GO has never been confirmed, albeit older reports suggest that they’ve been randomly encountering critical catches on Pokemon GO before.

Can you now critical catch a Psyduck by hitting it with a PokeBall on the beak? [Image by Matthew Corley / Shutterstock, Inc.]

Candy Award is also still a bit ambiguous at this point, but a comment by Splodeface regarding his own datamining suggests that the Candy Award could be related to the new Encounter Items. In his words, “Probably like using a berry but gives bonus candies for the particular encountered Pokemon,” based on the datamined data such as “get_BonusCandyCaptureReward,” “set_BonusCandyCaptureReward,” “get_BonusStardustCaptureReward,” and “set_BonusStardustCaptureReward.”

The Unown Badge can’t only come sooner, too, since in the last datamine of v0.53.1, The Silph Road was also able to locate data pertaining to all Unown alphabets from Unown A to Unown Z, Unown Question Mark, and Unown Exclamation Point. A lot of Pokemon GO trainers then believe that the Unown Badge datamined in the latest Pokemon GO update could possibly be a badge for collecting all Unown characters.

Now, it’s all just a matter of time before Niantic officially unlocks these new features and changes to Pokemon GO.

[Featured Image by KeongDaGreat/Shutterstock, Inc.]