Niantic is updating the Raid Battle feature as their field-testing comes to a close, according to a recent blog post.
The development team has been collecting feedback over the past few months and will be making changes accordingly. The changes won’t require you to update the app, but they will have an impact on gameplay.
“We think each of these changes will have a positive impact on Trainers around the world,” Niantic said. “With the implementation of these features, we’ll be removing the field-test label and considering this the official launch of the EX Raid Battle feature.”
Niantic confirmed that EX Raid Battles will take place mostly at Gyms found in parks and sponsored locations like Starbucks, as was discovered by players before. They also said that players with a high-level Gym Badge are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at the corresponding Gym and players who have completed a larger number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles in general. EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at Gyms, so don’t worry about Raids taking place in the dead of night or during work. If the EX Raid Battle is cancelled, players will receive an in-game notification as well as Stardust and Premium Raid Passes as consolation.
As for regular Raid Battles, trainers will now receive Golden Razz Berries for completing Raid Battles. The number of Potions and Revives will decrease slightly but the quality of Potions will increase. The chance of receiving Fast and Charged TMs for finishing a Tier 3 or higher Raid Battle has increased and players will receive Stardust for participating whether they win or lose. Magikarp will return to Tier 1 Raid Battles.
The post also shared some insight from the developers regarding the changes. They said that the feedback they received during the EX Raid Battle field test focused on how players are chosen to participate in EX Raid Battles. In the beginning, the system randomly selected a set of Trainers who were eligible for the EX Raid Battle. But by using Gym Badge level and total Raid Battles completed, they are able to give players active with Raid Battles a better chance of being invited to participate. They also said they wanted to ensure that players are able to make it to EX Raid Battles easily so that’s why they’re holding it at parks and sponsored locations as well as taking into account popular Raid Battle times. They’ll experiment with holding EX Raid Battles at more locations but they want to make sure those locations are also easily accessible.
They also said that they wanted players to feel properly rewarded from Raid Battles even if the Raid Boss flees. The Stardust award in particular is meant to help players strengthen their Pokemon so they can take on tougher Raid Bosses.
They’ll continue to monitor feedback and make improvements as needed. They have not said when the changes are coming.
EX Raid Passes started appearing as early as September 5 for the field test, according to our previous report. In EX Raid Battles, you work together with other trainers to take down and capture the Raid Boss. To get a EX Raid Pass, you need to complete a Raid Battle within the past few weeks at the gym where the EX Raid will take place. Advance warning of when the EX Raid will take place is included in the invitation, allowing you to coordinate with other players. To access regular Raids, all you need to do is visit a Gym once a day for a free Raid Pass or spend 100 PokeCoins in the in-game shop.
Niantic released an update for the game to version 0.83.1 for Android and 1.53.2 for iOS. Here are the details from the blog post:
Niantic announced the beginning of the Global Catch Challenge on November 19. Meeting Pokemon catching milestones grants perks to all players, including double XP, double Stardust, Lure Modules lasting six hours, and the East Asia exclusive Farfetch’d being available worldwide while Australia exclusive Kangaskhan becomes available in East Asia. Three billion Pokemon need to be captured to grant players all the perks. Players have already caught the 500 million Pokemon needed to unlock double XP and extended Lure Module duration, according to Niantic.