Now that the hype has started to die down and game developer Niantic seems to have server stability under control, it's time to talk about the future of Pokemon Go. Despite already being one of the most engaging mobile games ever made, it still has a lot of room for growth. And while the updates Niantic has planned for the game look great, there's so much more I'd like to see. Here are the 10 things I want most in Pokemon Go.
A big part of leveling in Pokemon Go revolves around getting XP by evolving Pokemon. But to evolve things, you need candies, which you get by catching Pokemon, hatching Pokemon or transferring Pokemon back to the Professor. After going on an extended hunt for Pokemon, transferring them one by one can get pretty tedious, and a mass-transfer feature would be one of the best quality-of-life improvements Niantic could add to the game.
Mass transfer mock-up courtesy of user D2Vital on Imgur.
On handhelds, Pokemon's turn-based battles involve strategic use of four abilities to take down opponents. However, the frantic battles in Pokemon Go are just the opposite, as you're often just smashing your fingers into the screen as fast as possible. Yeah, there's dodging, but that doesn't add much complexity. We'd like to see a more in-depth battle system that does a better job of capturing the original game's battle system.
A Pokedex is supposed to be a digital encyclopedia for everything Pokemon and an invaluable tool for Pokemon Trainers. But in Pokemon Go, what you actually get is a glorified checklist that provides you with a tiny snippet of flavor text about Pokemon you've already caught. We'd love to see the Pokedex include more helpful tools, such as stats about earlier gym battles, a weakness chart to help trainers decide which type of Pokemon to choose for a specific battle, and enhanced mapping and information on previously sighted/caught Pokemon (which is already in the game, just in a different place).
Speaking of gym battles, there are few things as frustrating in Pokemon Go as spending 10 or 20 minutes taking down a gym, only for some passerby to snipe the newly vacant location while you fumble about in the menus. Trainers who participated in taking down a gym should get priority over new jacks when filling up a recently vacated gym.
Visiting 2,000 PokeStops or hatching 100 eggs are pretty big achievements, and while a badge is nice, in-game rewards would be even better. It could be small, like 10 or 25 PokeCoins depending on the achievement, but even that much would encourage people to keep on hunting and fuel more gratifying play sessions. A daily login bonus would also keep more players invested in Pokemon Go, and as someone who wants to see this game thrive for a long time, this seems like a no brainer.
Somewhere in the process of bringing Pokemon from consoles to phones, something got lost in translation. Consider Eevee's three evolutions: Vaporeon, Flareon and Jolteon. Vaporeon is borderline overpowered, while Flareon and Jolteon are mediocre at best. Or how about Onyx, whose max combat points are so low that this Pokemon is pretty much unusable in gym battles.
One of the major complaints about Pokemon Go is that trainers in rural areas can't seem to find any Pokemon. Huh? Shouldn't deep forests and open plains be where Pokemon roam in great numbers? I can see the logistic issues of finding good PokeStops in the suburbs, but Niantic needs to do a better job of putting more Pokemon in less populated areas. You could even tie it into the game and call those areas Safari Zones.