Since its launch back in 2016 Pokémon GO has gone through a number of evolutions – none of which has thankfully involved using a Sun Stone, or a Kings Rock or a Dragon Scale or anything like that. Throughout the lifespan of the augmented reality (AR) supporting title, however, Niantic Labs have moved to keep things fresh with semi-regular content drops, large scale events (such as next month’s Pokémon GO Fest taking place in Chicago) and other innovations.
Their latest update looks set to finally bring some more social elements into what is, by any definition, a very social videogame.
First up is the ability to actually add fellow Pokémon GO trainers to a friends list. Done by trading Trainer IDs and limited to 200 slots. This will then give you updates on their activities. Their current status, which Pokemon they have recently caught, and so on. Knowing the latter could be particularly useful in your efforts to catch them all, as trading is being added to the title. So, you’ll soon be able to arrange between you and a friend – so long as you’re in relatively close proximity to you and they are at least at a level ten. Trades are powered by the stardust currency, but transactions can be affected by both the Pokémon being traded and the strength of your friendship with the other Trainer.
One way you can increase your Friendship Level is through spinning a Photo Disc, as these will now give you a chance of acquiring a gift. The trick with these is that you cannot open them yourself, but you can send them to your friends. Adding a degree of protection and preventing groups from simply sharing out one player’s high-level Pokémon to battle gyms – or someone stealing all your best Pokémon after they ‘borrow’ your phone. Legendary Pokémon, Shiny Pokémon, or Pokémon not currently in a player’s Pokédex are only available to trade once a day using a ‘Special Trade’.