Here’s What We Know About Pokemon GO

Here’s What We Know About Pokemon GO

Just before GDC, Niantic announced that they were scrapping their Pokemon GO panel in favour of holding a Japanese field test instead. That’s been running for about a day now, and as you’d expect fans have been data mining the game to the moon and back.

First of all, let’s start with some footage of Pokemon GO from the field test. This could get taken down at any moment or shifted to another host for bandwidth purposes, but for now let’s enjoy a couple of minutes of Pokemon GO in the wild.

The video is mostly from the customisation screen and the live map, and if you pay attention you’ll notice one very important exclusion.

For those who didn’t watch, didn’t see it or if the video was taken down, there was no indication that you will be given a starting Pokemon. It’s a huge break in the franchise, but it’s a necessary one since — at this stage — interactions with wild Pokemon are largely centred around capturing, rather than battling.

But we’ll get into that in a moment. Here’s the information that Pokemon GO fans have been able to confirm, courtesy of leakers and some digging through the Android .apk files that were made available for a while.

The game will only feature the 151 Pokemon from the first generation, while there are seven nature types including Champion, Sentry, Raider, Assassin, Stoic, Guardian and Protector.

People have also discovered the range of things that Pokemon GO monitors, including how many eggs have hatched and the distance a player has walked. That’s largely keeping in line with what Ingress already monitors, and it makes sense that a lot of those features would be re-implemented for Pokemon GO (or at least re-branded to make sense for the Pokemon universe).

A package containing some of the music and sound effects has been posted online, including what appears to be the encounter music, effects for swiping from one menu to another, selecting options and more.

The loading screen also has a rather cute reminder, from a Gyrados of all things, that you probably shouldn’t walk and Pokemon. Or battle. Or something.

Gyms work slightly differently, too. According to reports from those in the field test, you’ll get the option to join one of three gyms once you reach a high enough level. This is pretty similar to Ingress as well, which splits players into one of two factions upon starting their game.

After joining a gym, you’ll then be able to deploy or train your Pokemon at a friendly gym provided they’re at full health. Training earns you gym points (GP — a bit like XM from Ingress, presumably) and experience. Gyms can improve in level as well, enabling them to store more Pokemon and simultaneously offering greater rewards for those who can defeat them.

This screenshot also shows off a variety of what appears to be classic Pokemon moves, including Hyper Beam, Flamethrower, Brine, Bone Club and Stone Edge, although it’s not 100% clear as of yet how it all shakes out in the wild. I haven’t been able to see any live footage of these moves in action either, and they may just be things that are patched into the game at a later date.

The data mining also uncovered the three Pokemon classes — normal, legendary and mythic — as well as something called forts, camera angles, badges, items (pokeballs, food, utilities, boosts and medicine), the Pokemon types, something involving trading, and various screen names.

Right now, the trainer cap also appears to be 50. There’s an item cap of 1000 for your items, with a limit of 500 for eggs and Pokemon. There’s also a day and night phase in the game, confirmed by screenshots and various entries found through data mining. Someone’s also posted an image of the source code which appears to confirm suggestions that Pokemon GO is built on Unity.

If you want to stay in touch, keep following this thread and this thread. It’s going to be a fun few days.


  • I downloaded the recent VC release of Gameboy Pokemon Red on a lark during some travel last month, and I have not been able to put it down.

    I never cottoned on to the future generations as they released, so I suppose I’m a purist for those 151 little blighters.

    Catching them is not the be all and end all. Cultivating and training, making the team YOURS, that’s the special sauce.

    I could imagine a niche group of users who only take photos of them ‘in the wild’ and never catch them, though.

    On the other hand this might also spawn an honest-to-god actual real force of petty urban terrorists to haunt players :O

  • Not looking forward to the release of this….means I’ll have to buy a new phone. My current one is 6yrs old and still going.

    • perfect time to upgrade. you could get a phone 1 gen back and save huge amounts for an awesome piece of kit.
      if you are an android user, you can definitely snag yourself a bargain for some high end tech.

      • Current is iPhone 4…the first and last piece of apple technology I’ll ever buy. Pretty good it’s lasted 6yrs so far though, longest lasting phone I’ve ever had.

        There’s a lot of things I’d rather spend cash on than a new phone though…

          • I got my current one on a plan too. Was $50 a month and now I pay $20 a month….definitely a difference in how much I’d be spending there.

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