The creators of Pokemon Go have described the game as currently having only about a tenth of the features they want it to have. It’s an ever-evolving experience, with updates constantly on the way that fundamentally alter the experience. So when should players expect these new updates to hit the app stores, and what features are on the way?
John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, recently confirmed that the company’s goal is to release one update every two weeks. For the most part, they have been sticking to this goal over the past few months, and the latest update was released on Friday, September 23rd. If they stick with their goal, based on the last few release dates, here’s when we should expect each new update to hit app stores for the remainder of the year:
- September 23rd
- October 7th
- October 21st
- November 4th
- November 18th
- December 2nd
- December 16th
- December 30th
That being said, the updates usually take a few extra days in order to be rolled out to the majority of players’ phones, and chances are you don’t have the most recent September 23rd update yet. What Niantic does is release their updates in phases, with some groups of phones getting it before others. This isn’t based on location, so you might have a friend in your same town get the update before you do. It’s mostly random.
The biweekly updates tend to be the most major ones, i.e. the updates that include new features or make significant alterations to the game. Sometimes Niantic releases less significant updates in between. On Friday, September 16th, for instance, an update hit the app stores outside of the regular schedule, but this basically just included some minor Pokemon Go Plus fixes and didn’t really do much for the average player. Because it was a smaller one, this hit the app stores all at once and was not rolled out in phases.
The major, biweekly updates have tended to include at least on addition to the game and one major fix of some sort of glitch. The September 23rd update, for instance, allows players to see where a specific Pokemon was captured (although the app only narrows it down to the city). At this time, it’s not totally clear what fixes were made, but we’ll find that out over the next few days.
So what important additions should we expect in the next few updates? One that we know is coming is a player-vs-player mode, which will allow trainers to challenge their friends to a battle. At the moment, battles only take place in gyms. But in a recent interview with Tech Crunch, CEO John Hanke implied that the company is not actively working on this at the moment, so it’s probably not something we should expect in 2016.
We also know that new Pokemon are coming to the game, such as future generations in addition to the rare and legendary creatures. Finally, at some point we’ll hopefully be getting the new tracking system, which was supposedly being tested out several weeks ago but that has still not been released for anyone outside of San Francisco.