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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

87: How to Improve Pokemon Go

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Howdy! I played Pokemon Go, from the day it dropped in like 2016, until early 2018ish. There were a ton of Pokestops on my daily walking commute, and I took full advantage of that. However, during that time, there was no trading nor battling. Those additions came while I was on my break, and it wasn't until late 2022 that I picked the game up anew, mostly so I'm more patient with my dogs on walks. It's easier to stand for over a minute while they sniff a mailbox, if I have something holding my interest too.

I was never a fan of the battle mechanics, but I get that we need to be able to battle without paying much attention to the screen, hence the over-simplicity. It makes sense. Trading anything of value, meaning shinies, Pokemon not yet in a player's Pokedex, Shadow Pokemon, Legendaries, and those from events, cost an insane amount of stardust. It's frustrating but if the game didn't make it hard to expand the Pokedex, nobody would play for more than a year, and certainly not daily. So that's fine.

But it's not very fun. Pokemon Go is fine to kill time on a walk. But I wish there was more to do in between walks, or for those of us who don't have a ton of gyms nearby, and not nearly enough players in the area to knock out raids. For instance, what about bringing back secret bases from Sapphire/Ruby? Those were fun and they allowed players to not just be creative, but to show their friends their creativity. They don't need a physical location. Just an icon on a screen. Treat it like the Camps in Sword/Shield. I'm always looking for more ways for players to voluntarily make a game more social, without making it so the player needs friends in order to beat the game.

Speaking of Sword/Shield style camps, we should be able to play with our Pokemon in different ways. Right now, we rub them and they sparkle and that counts as playing? Why not make the feather cat toy something we can earn and use with our Buddy? It really feels like the creators of Pokemon Go haven't played any of the console games, because why wouldn't they implement these fun changes? Laziness? The more fun the game is, the more of us play it for longer, the more money they get. Even if Secret Bases were their own app that linked to Pokemon Go. Surely Gamefreak wouldn't say no to their cut.

It's also insane that the Pokemon Go Avatars haven't been expanded since 2016. Girls still can't have short hair? Kids aren't supposed to be wandering off on their own, unsupervised anyway, so I don't see liability as why we can't change more than our skin/hair/eye colors and outfit. Like, maybe I want to look shorter, not quite as skinny. Why can't Niantic give us more of a Mii style Avatar creator like on the Wii?

I like exchanging gifts with friends but I hate that the Postcards, necessary for gathering Scatterbug, must be saved, and eventually deleted from a Postcard book that keeps filling up. Pokemon Go needs to implement a "Delete All" button because even selected several at once, is very slow going.

In the beginning, when everyone and their mom was playing, making Raids hard made sense. However , now, most players bothering to raid are doing so remotely. I get that Pokemon Go is profiting off those willing to drop a dollar for every raid, but they're also losing those of us who won't and simply miss out on whoever can only be caught via raid. I've spent some money on this game, but a year from now, will I still be playing, when raids are pay-to-play? Probably not. A solution would be for the raiding Pokemon to base it's CP & HP off of the amount of trainers it's battling. Anyone outside of a city is playing Pokemon Go on hard mode. But successfully fighting a legendary or mega raid in a rural place? Impossible without spending money. And there are already so many limitations that cost money, where making that aspect pay-to-play is especially insulting. Alternatively, to not cut into Pokemon Go's bottom line too much, friends could participate in one free remote raid per day, only if invited. I've been invited to raids before, spend the damn dollar, only to arrive and by the only trainer, or one of two trainers, in a raid that's obviously a lost cause. Now, I don't spend money on raids. Half the time, the game takes too long to load opening after I get the invite notification, for me to have joined in, anyway. My husband doesn't play Pokemon Go anymore, but he still has an account on our Ipad. I trade between my account and his daily, and trust me, Pokemon Go friend notifications are ridiculously slow to show up.

Also, for easy low level raids, the player shouldn't have to wait to battle. When I'm out walking my dogs, they aren't super amenable to me standing around, for four minutes, trying to battle something they can't see. When on the go, waiting is impractical.

The Buddy Pokemon doesn't do much. Sometime it provides gifts and eventually it finds candy. However, I propose having the buddy Pokemon expand the radius of the player when the Buddy walks along side them. There is a Pokestop inside a gated community in my neighborhood. I cannot reach it. However, the ring around my buddy Pokemon touches it on our walks. Shame that currently, that ring serves no purpose.

To recap, the things I'd like Pokemon Go to change are:

  1. Implement Sapphire/Ruby style secret bases, that are not tied to a physical location. Tis can be it's own linked app, but must be visible to friends, if only by invite.

  2. Implement more means of bonding/playing with the buddy Pokemon, like bringing in the cat toy from Sword/Shield.

  3. Allow more customization of Avatars. Think the Mii's from the Wii.

  4. The Postard Book needs a "Delete All" option.

  5. Raiding pokemon should base their CP & HP off the number of trainers battling. Alternatively, allow friends one free remote raid per day, if invited.

  6. Low tier raids shouldn't have a wait since players can knock those out alone.

  7. When the buddy Pokemon is walking, expand the players interactive radius by that of the buddy Pokemon.

What sucks is that if Pokemon Go had included trading and trainer battles from the get-go, you know, putting a game in their pedometer, I think the fan base wouldn't stuck by for much longer. Anyway, I drop a new blog post every Monday. Thanks for stopping by! Toodles!

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