Pokemon Go Announces Massive "Go Beyond" Update

Pokemon Go has announced a major new update that adds new Pokemon, increases the Level Cap for players and Pokemon, and fundamentally changes several aspects of the game. The new update, dubbed "Go Beyond" will be released over the course of the last week of November, with changes going into effect on December 1st. Not only will the update add Pokemon from the Kalos region (aka Gen 6 Pokemon), it'll also increase the Level Cap to Level 50 and add seasons to the game, which will incorporate both seasons and themes into deciding what Pokemon will be used. The Go Battle League is also getting a major overhaul, with more ranks and longer seasons. Here's everything you need to know about the "Go Beyond" update for Pokemon Go:

Kalos Pokemon

Pokemon from the Kalos region will start appearing the first week of December. The initial Pokemon species include the starter Pokemon Chespin, Froakie, and Fennekin and their respective evolutions, along with Fletchling, Litleo, and Bunnelby.

Season of Celebration

While events will still be a part of Pokemon Go, the game is adding themed "seasons" to the game. These seasons will incorporate real world weather based on hemisphere (so players in the Northern Hemisphere can expect more Ice-type Pokemon during the winter, while Southern Hemisphere can expect more Fire-type Pokemon), along with Pokemon that fit the "theme" of the season.

These seasons will also determine which Pokemon will appear more regularly in every area. So, Rattata might appear during one season of play, but then switched out for Sentret the following season.

The first season will be the "Season of Celebration" and will kick off on December 1st.

Level 41 and Beyond

Another major change is an increase to the game's Level Cap. Both players and Pokemon will be able to reach Level 50 after this new update, with high level players earning specialized avatar items and other perks in addition to having access to higher level Pokemon. These higher levels won't require a major XP grind - instead, players will need to complete difficult objectives to reach these milestones. Examples given include catching 100 Pokemon in a single day, or completing raids using only certain types of Pokemon.

As rewards for completing these high level tasks, Pokemon Go players will also get XL Candies, which can be used to level up Pokemon past their normal Level 40 max. Normal Candies (those obtained by catching and transferring Pokemon) won't be able to further power up a Pokemon past Level 40 - only XL Candies will work.

Go Battle League Overhaul

The final major change is to Go Battle League. Seasons of Go Battle League will now last three months, and the ranking system will receive a major overhaul. There are now 24 ranks for players to achieve, which will help get rid of the "Level 7 wall" that many players have faced when trying to reach the upper echelons of the game. The first Go Battle League season with the new rankings will launch November 30th.

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Pokemon Go players first got a hint that some of these changes were coming earlier this month, as a datamine revealed the increased level caps and new Pokemon. These "Go Beyond" changes, along with the recent addition of Pokemon Home integration, will provide players with a ton of new features and ways to keep playing the game throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Go Beyond update will roll out the last week of November.