After months of waiting, the Pokemon GO Gen 2 update finally arrived earlier this week. And if you’ve been away from the game for a while and are looking forward to catching the 80-plus new Pokemon that have been added, Niantic appears to have made it easy to add these creatures to your PokeDex, at least for the most part.
Although Pokemon GO was a tremendous hit when it was released by Niantic Labs in July 2016, it didn’t take long for the game’s popularity to take a massive hit. As early as August, reports such as this one from The Verge had suggested that players were beginning to tune out in droves, and while several holiday-themed events were launched in hopes of recapturing interest from gamers, many players felt that only one thing would help bring them back to the fold – a Pokemon GO Gen 2 update.
Expectations were high that the release of about a hundred new Pokemon representing the so-called “Generation 2” would come in December, right in time for the holidays, but Niantic instead rolled out a series of two holiday events that had actually kicked off after Christmas. The company had also introduced seven Gen 2 “baby” Pokemon, as well as a holiday-themed Pikachu, but as the Inquisitr reported in December, reception to these new Pokemon was largely frosty for a lot of gamers.
Now that the new Pokemon GO Gen 2 update is out, what can you expect when playing the game and, to be specific, hunting for the newly-added Pokemon? According to a report from Forbes’ gaming writer Paul Tassi, the good news is that most of the post-update sightings appear to be Gen 2 sightings. This is contrary to what one would normally expect – with more than 80 new additions to the 160 or so previously available, that would have hinted at a 33 percent chance of finding Gen 2 Pokemon.
“Niantic realized that people wouldn’t be terribly excited for Gen 2 if loads of Gen 1 kept showing up, so they skewed the numbers a bit. It’s too early to have scientific data on this, but from the hours I’ve played so far, I would say it would not be an exaggeration to say that roughly 70-80 percent of spawns are Gen 2 right now, which means they’re being weighted very heavily by Niantic.”
The new mechanics introduced with the new update make it more rewarding to catch these new and interesting creatures. The Pokemon GO Gen 2 update introduced “Critical Captures,” which are similar to scoring critical hits in RPGs or fighting games – you can now capture a Pokemon instantly on your first try, and get a 50 XP bonus if this happens. There’s also a candy bonus that comes when you catch an evolved Pokemon. For example, you may only get one candy for catching a Squirtle, but catching a Wartortle (second evolution) gets you five candies, and catching a Blastoise (third evolution) gets you ten.
If you’ve been saving up Eevee candy in previous weeks in preparation for the Pokemon GO Gen 2 update’s arrival, there’s an easy way to ensure that you get the new evolutions available on Gen 2 — Espeon and Umbreon. The Inquisitr reported earlier today that this is done first by renaming Eevee to Sakura (to get Espeon) or Tamao (to get Umbreon). Once you’ve renamed your Eevee, tap on the Evolve button and you’re set — this is similar to what players had to do to get previous evolutions Flareon, Jolteon, and Vaporeon.
The Forbes report noted a few other interesting mechanics that have been introduced with the new update. Niantic now has added some subtle differences to all Pokemon, suggesting that the creatures now can be male or female. This could hint at the introduction of breeding in a subsequent update, though details on this potential feature are still speculative at best. The Razz Berry, which makes Pokemon easier to catch, has also been joined by two other types of berries, one which slows down creatures’ movement, and another that rewards players with double candy. The latter should help anyone hoping to evolve their creatures, especially the new Pokemon, faster.
Of course, there’s the additional challenge of collecting specific evolution items, which would be required if you’re trying to evolve Pokemon such as Scyther, Golbat, and Slowbro. But aside from that, Niantic’s Pokemon GO Gen 2 update appears to be well worth the wait, and just might be what the company needs to lure those “lapsed” players back.
[Featured Image by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]