Pokémon GO really is the game that keeps on giving. What have Niantic cooked up for us now? An interesting new phenomenon called Lucky Pokémon, that’s what.
Now, there’s no need to remind anyone that GO was in a bit of a shonky state when it first launched. Tracking was pretty questionable, we had bugs and glitches out the wazoo… even some hardened nostalgic fans were quickly turned off.
If you’re one of them, Niantic might well have done enough to tempt you back lately. Smaller additions like the buddy system may not have been that inspiring, but recently, we saw one of the biggest updates in the game’s two-year lifespan: the much-ballyhooed trading and friends systems were finally added.
In the wake of this big update, Pokémon GO Hub has announced another. While there’s nothing as significant as last time, this latest addition to the game brings the aforementioned Lucky Pokémon.
What does this mean? Well, as a popup in-game may have told you, Pokémon have a chance of ‘becoming’ Lucky on being traded. Lucky Pokémon are recognized by a sparkling effect on the menu, and it’s not just cosmetic (unlike shiny Pokémon). Being Lucky means that Pokémon will cost less Stardust to power up, which is a great long-term advantage with Pokémon that you want to keep around and power up along with your trainer.
This little mechanic is interesting for all kinds of reasons. Most importantly, Lucky Pokémon are an all-new concept for the series. While GO plays entirely differently to the core games, the items and ideas therein are totally faithful to the franchise. What are the lore implications of Lucky Pokémon? Will they make an appearance in the main series, or perhaps in the distinctly GO-flavoured Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee? Only time will tell.
In the interim, these special Pokémon are going to be highly sought after. If the most efficient way to get your hands on them is to spam low-Stardust trades, then that’s what players will do. Here’s an interesting tidbit that might help with that: the longer a Pokémon has been in your collection, the higher its chances to become Lucky.
Elsewhere in the update, another neat little addition was thrown in too: Gifts you send to other players now contain Stardust in small denominations, and you receive a little XP for sending them. You can also nickname people in your friends list, if that tickles your fancy.