The Pokemon GO Christmas events have arrived, and as the plural form suggests, there are actually two events, and not just one. But while this should be good news for gamers looking to make the most out of the holidays, there are also a few catches for those who may have been expecting something more similar to the Halloween and Thanksgiving events.
It’s been a roller coaster ride of sorts for a lot of Pokemon GO players this month. Earlier in December, Niantic Labs rolled out an update that was poorly-received by many gamers, particularly those who hoped that it would include the 100 new Generation 2 Pokemon. The update came with just seven baby Pokemon eggs available to hatch, with their equivalents unavailable in the wild, and the inclusion of a Santa hat Pikachu was deemed as insulting or severely lacking to those who expected a whole lot more. The long wait for a Pokemon GO Christmas event didn’t help either, as the event didn’t roll out earlier in the week as gamers had hoped.
A report from The Mary Sue summed up what players had generally felt upon receiving the major December update but not getting a Christmas event when they had expected.
“Officially, Pokemon GO‘s holiday promotion was kind of a letdown for some players after the larger in-game bonuses brought by Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. A Pikachu in a Santa hat is cute, but it’s hardly on the same level as extra candy and XP to help players advance.”
Fortunately, it looks like Niantic has delivered after all, and has just kicked off the first of two Pokemon GO Christmas events. A report from Forbes explained the mechanics of each event, starting with the first one, which runs from December 25 through January 3.
The first event, which kicked off on Christmas morning, appears to be very much centered on eggs and their incubation. While the baby Pokemon (Igglybuff, Pichu, Smoochum, etc.) weren’t as common as hoped when they arrived earlier this month, the event will temporarily give gamers a greater chance of getting them when hatching 2km, 5km, and 10km eggs. And since egg incubators cost PokeCoins, and usually real-life money to buy those PokeCoins, Niantic will be giving away single-use incubators through Pokemon GO‘s PokeStops once a day while the event is still active.
The second Pokemon GO Christmas event is actually more like a New Year’s event, and it runs from December 30 through January 8. During those dates, original starters Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander and their evolutions will become far more common, regardless where in the world you’re located. This should be a godsend for players still struggling to get their first Blastoise, Venusaur, or Charizard (the final evolutions for each of the starters) with the game now in its sixth month.
That’s a lot of good news for Pokemon GO players, and the first event should be especially helpful to gamers who have been playing for free ever since the game’s release. Unless you buy incubators at the shop, all you get is one free incubator with unlimited uses, but the first event would essentially allow you to hatch ten eggs for free. Having a better chance at hatching baby Pokemon may also make the limited Gen 2 rollout worth it, as Forbes added.
However, neither of the two events reduce walking distances for buddy Pokemon, nor reward players with double the candy and/or XP. These were the most appealing features of the Halloween and Thanksgiving events, and not having them around for the Christmas event may disappoint some players. Still, the new Pokemon GO Christmas events appear to be more than adequate for the most part, even if a lot of the old rumors have turned out to be inaccurate all along.
[Featured Image by Robert Cianfione/Getty Images]