If it is still playing Pokémon Go more than four years after he first set mobile gaming records (and Close-up of revenue numbers in July suggest there are many who are out there), he has said that we have probably reached the game’s experience cap of level 40 for him now. If so, you’ll be happy to hear that the level cap will be increased for the first time ever, to level 50, as part of an upcoming update feature. Pokémon Go Beyond.
“Progress is one of the most important and meaningful aspects of the game,” said Niantic Product Manager Philip La during a press release. “Reaching the current cap of 40 is a ‘badge of honor’ that other coaches will know. Some have reached it many times. Now is the right time (to increase the cap). Many a dedicated player who has achieved many milestones and (is) looking for new challenges.”
While Niantic hasn’t talked about a specific time frame for the level cap update (beyond “soon”), the company says that trainers who currently hit level 40 by midnight on December 31 will receive the “Legacy 40 Trainer” badge and additional “game exclusion.” That seems to suggest that the 40-pass level will be in early 2021, if not as soon as the year is over. 40 lucky players in Australia will get to do it new level cap testing in the coming weeks.
If you haven’t reached level 40 yet, Niantic will do what it can to help you get there. Starting November 30, pretty much every action in the game will be “balanced” to give you more XP than you did before. And starting on November 18 through the end of the year, catching Pokémon will be worth double the normal XP. During the “12 Days of Friendship” event, starting November 18, you will be able to unlock more gifts every day and increase your Friendship level faster for each gift opened.
If you’ve already hit level 40, any extra experience you’ve accumulated since hitting the cap will instantly count towards new high levels. But XP alone won’t be enough to get past level 40 – subsequent levels will also require players to complete new level-up research tasks, such as making “excellent” throws or rolling all the variants of Eevee , for instance.
Once you hit (level) 40, the ‘final’ experience should feel like a whole new game,” said Senior Game Designer Matt Ein in a press Q&A. “You need more than XP. You need to be a well-rounded trainer.”
Higher trainer levels also mean the ability to power up your top Pokémon to even higher levels. But doing so will require a new “Candy XL” item, which can be purchased by catching Pokémon or by “switching and combining” standard candy. Trainers who haven’t gotten to level 40 yet will also see new, advanced buttons for powering up their Pokémon.
A sign of the times
Besides the new level cap, the “Beyond” update will also see the removal of new Pokémon from the Kalos region, first seen in 2013 Pokemon X we had Y. The update will also introduce a new calendar-feeling “seasons” system, where different Pokémon become more or less common based on the exact time in the outside world. This system will reflect regional differences, so Pokémon that are common in the Northern winter may be more common during the Southern summer.
The updated version “Beyond” comes as Pokémon Go is struggling to be profitable as more and more people stay home and avoid group gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020, Niantic has rolled out a number of updates that “specialize…Pokémon Go features and experiences you can enjoy in individual settings…based on the current global health situation.”
“2020 has been rough on everyone in different ways,” said Niantic Product Marketing Manager Veronica Saron. “Our team has a set of plans coming into this year that we are very excited about, but when the world changes in 2020 we have to step up. Over the course of last year, we came together as a team to meet our fans where they are. We ensure that we can continue to bring the best experiences to educators around the world, regardless of the seasons.”
Image listing by Niantic