Pokemon Go: New Update Suggests Legendary Raids Are Coming

Niantic Pokemon Go is available for iOS and Android devices.

After the release of a new Pokemon Go update, there is now even more evidence that legendaries will be added to the game very soon.

In a mine of Version 0.69.0 for Android, players at The Silph Road have noticed a few notable changes in the game’s code. For one, there’s a whole lot of instances of the word “legendary” in the code, including a new attribute, “IsLegendaryOrMythic.” There is also a new warning message to appear if players try to transfer a legendary Pokemon, as well as an error if they try to deploy a legendary in a gym. And there’s a new check prior to Raid Battles called “get_IsEventLegendary” as well.

Then there’s a new icon that will signify when a Raid Battle is legendary, and a banner that will appear over gyms that have had legendary raid battles successfully completed.

Plus, there’s something called an “exclusive raid.” These have their own raid passes and invites. Technically, we don’t know whether these will be for legendary raids or not; it could be that the exclusive raids have to do with local events and that the Pokemon involved will not be legendary. But it had already been rumored that legendary Pokemon will release via level five Raid Battles, and this just adds fuel to that fire.

Here’s what the new exclusive Raid Passes will look like via The Silph Road:

It’s pretty clear, then, that Niantic is getting ready to release legendaries, most likely through Raid Battles. The only question is when this will happen. It had previously been speculated that the first legendary Raid Battle will happen at Pokemon Go Fest Chicago, and considering all of this about legendaries came in the update immediately before this event is a pretty strong indication that this Saturday is indeed when legendary Pokemon will finally drop.

So how will the legendaries be released, exactly? Well, at Pokemon Go Fest Chicago, there will be “challenge windows” throughout the day, during which players from outside of Chicago must try to catch as many Pokemon as possible. If they catch enough Pokemon, a “mystery challenge” will be unlocked for those in Chicago (although it’s hard to believe that the challenge won’t be unlocked either way). Once Chicago completes this challenge, this will unlock “an extra-special bonus across the globe.” It seems likely, then, that the “mystery challenge” is a legendary Raid Battle, and if Chicago completes it, legendary Raid Battles – or at least Raid Battles featuring the particular legendary that was in Chicago – will become available worldwide.

Of course, this latest update does not exist in a vacuum, and it comes after there has been quite a bit of evidence that legendaries will be added soon. Just recently, an ad promoting the release of legendary Pokemon was spotted in the App Store in India. Plus, tier five Raid Battles recently started appearing as tests for some players, and Niantic Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Mathieu de Fayet said in an interview with O Globo last month that the goal was to release legendaries this summer. Plus, as further evidence that legendaries will be released through Raid Battles, just take a look back at one of the game’s original trailers, which featured players gathering together to capture Mewtwo in a New York City raid.

We’ll find out if all of this speculation turns out to be accurate this Saturday at Pokemon Go Fest Chicago.

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