Niantic’s Pokémon Go has been out in the U.S. for over a month now. While the first few weeks were all out Poké hysteria, according to SurveyMonkey daily users peaked on July 14 and have since been declining.
So, what now? How can the game recapture people’s attention? Here’s a few suggestions:
Add new Pokémon.
Most of my fatigue with the game stems from running into the same Pokémon every day with rarely any surprises. I’m sure we’re all at the point where we’ve seen so many Pidgeys and Rattatas that we can draw them perfectly from memory. Even when I run into less common Pokémon like Psyduck or Ekans, all I can think is, “God, I already have three of your evolved forms.” I’d love to see them add the next set of Pokémon introduced in the Gold and Silver games to break up the monotony. Let us run into a Furret or Hoothoot once in awhile, instead of the millionth Spearow.
Fix the tracking system.
I personally never used the tracking system in the past, but many people did, and after it was removed many were furious. Luckily, as I’m writing this, Niantic is beta testing a new tracking feature. I’ve tested it out, and it seems to work pretty well.
Create more teams and have the option to switch loyalties.
In real life sports, athletes sometimes switch teams, often causing much heartbreak and anger. There’s also dozens of teams within each league. Pokémon Go would benefit from that variety and yes, drama. Right now, it’s basically Mystic versus Valor most of the time, with Instinct caught somewhere in the middle. If given the chance, would people switch? And would they switch if there were, say, a Ghost or Fairy team? Or a down-to-earth Grass leader?
Forget about trading.
I have concerns about how trading would be implemented. If you need to be Facebook friends first, are kids going to be giving out their info to strangers? Are adults going to try to wring real money out of others for the promise of a high level Pokémon? And really, at this point, would the chance to trade really bring users back for more than a day or two?
Fix the capturing and Pokéball system.
The Pokéball system makes no sense. Why can I catch a 900 CP Pinsir with a single toss of a regular Poké ball, but a 300 CP Squirtle is able to hop out of an Ultra ball four times? I’ve also noticed that the higher my level is, the more Pokémon seem to run away or resist capture, even the 100 CP ones. That doesn’t seem logical. Shouldn’t it be easier for me to catch lower level Pokémon the higher up my own level goes?
Put a cap on how many of one Pokémon can guard a gym.
Have you ever fought a gym guarded entirely by Vaporeons or Dragonites? I have, numerous times, and it’s horrendously boring and repetitive.
Refine the gym system.
It’d be nice if you did a little more than tap your way to victory. DC’s Injustice mobile app, for example, allows for a few different moves or timed taps that help add a little variety to the battles. It’d be also great if they could make training feel like less of a slog, and battles not so heavily weighted in the attacker’s favor. In San Francisco, you’re lucky to hold a gym for an hour because it’s so easy to topple any gym when you get six Pokémon to attack with.
This game needs a Team Rocket, or some “big bad” that forces all players to occasionally work together. Maybe Team Rocket tries to take over gyms daily? Everyone could get an alert of an established base, and the only way of winning is if a bunch of players go to that location and work together. The reward for the participating users could be stardust, or Pokémon candies.
I’d rather they didn’t have them up for capture. Let’s be real, there’s nothing less magical than seeing every gym in town entirely filled with Articunos and Mews. Rather, it’d be interesting if players had to work together to keep the legendaries out of Team Rocket’s hands, or have weekly events where you can try to “spot” them in a certain area, and win stardust and experience if you do.
What updates or changes would you like to see in Pokémon Go? Sound off in the comments section!
Clara Mae is a twenty-something English major grad from UC Berkeley. Works somewhere in the San Francisco financial district. If not at work, is probably off eating ramen, petting dogs, or attempting yoga. Blogs too little and tweets too much at @ubeempress.
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