Pokemon Go's Team Leaders Finally Get a Purpose

After hunting high and low, you've finally caught that first Pikachu in Pokémon Go. But is it any good? In the latest update to the game, team leaders Candela, Spark and Blanche will be able to take a look at your creatures and tell you which ones are most suited for combat in Pokémon gyms.

The update, version 0.35.0 on Android and 1.5.0 on iOS, is still rolling out as of this writing. It's the first time the team leaders in the game actually served any purpose other than being fodder for fan fiction.

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While no one on the Tom's Guide staff has the update yet, plenty of screenshots of the new feature are floating around the internet (trainers are eager to show off their Pokémon, after all). An "appraise" option is now in the sandwich menu for each monster between options to mark them as favorites or transfer them to Professor Willow.

Here's Reddit user u/mutabila's Gastly being analyzed by Team Mystic leader Blanche:

And here's Team Instinct's Spark taking a look at u/thenudedude's Lapras:

Until now, Pokémon Go players have been trying to calculate a hidden statistic called IV's to find out how strong a Pokémon would actually be. Some fans used services they had to sign into, prompting bans, while others use calculators like Poké Assistant. We'll have to wait until the update rolls out to the most hardcore players to see if the in-game leaders can replace those tools.

The update is the latest feature being added to a game that, despite it's mind-blowingly popular start, is in a slight decline. Niantic will have to roll out new and desired features fast to keep the mainstream interested.

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