Five Ways Pokemon Go Can Win Players Back
Pokemon Go has suffered a major decline in its user base over recent weeks, dropping by nearly 25% if SurveyMonkey's estimates are to be believed. It was inevitable that Pokemon Go would drop in popularity from its earliest days, but many are worried that the game's decline is being quickened by a fanbase unhappy with what many perceive to be an incomplete game.
Luckily, Niantic Labs has already made clear that they're working on new features for Pokemon Go, which could convince lapsed players to give the game another shot. We've seen that Pokemon Go is working on some new items, a trading feature, and a "buddy Pokemon" system, but here are five other ways the game could win fans back:
A Functional Tracking System
Probably the biggest blow to Pokemon Go was the loss of the game's tracking system. Fans loved using the tracking system to hunt for Pokemon in their neighborhood and were livid when the tracker went buggy and was eventually removed. While third party apps like PokeVision sprung up to replace the trackers, Niantic had the maps shut down as they were hampering the game's already unsteady servers.
Niantic has promised they were working on a revised tracker for Pokemon Go, with players in San Francisco acting as beta testers. However, fans might wind up disappointed in the new tracker system. From what we've seen, the new tracker points players in the direction of PokeStops, while Pokemon lurking in the wild stay frustratingly hidden.
Frankly, a more functional tracking system needs to be Pokemon Go's top priority. The lack of a good tracker seems to be the number one complaint among most fans and hampers the exploratory spirit that players originally felt playing Pokemon Go.prevnext
When Pokemon fans saw the first trailer for Pokemon Go, they assumed that the game would have some sort of traditional 1 v. 1 trainer battles, just like they do in the game. Instead, Niantic introduced Pokemon gyms, which teams built up, defended, and attacked. Unfortunately, botters and legitimately strong players have made battling at many gyms next to impossible for more casual players.
Considering that battling is half of what Pokemon is about, Pokemon Go really needs to institute some sort of PvP battle system. Battling's not exactly complicated in Pokemon Go, but furiously tapping your Pokemon to will them to victory against your spouse, child, or co-worker would probably get fans to dust off their games and give the game another shot.
It might be hard to convince Niantic to let players battle wherever they like, but perhaps players could go to the nearest gym and engage in a little bit of friendly competition instead.prevnext
A Home Base
If you don't live in a dense urban neighborhood, you've probably discovered that playing Pokemon Go has some serious limitations. There aren't any PokeStops or Pokemon Gyms in many rural and suburban areas and Pokemon are often hard to come by. Many rural players feel that Pokemon Go is unfairly weighted towards living in the city and some resort to botting and GPS spoofing to help bolster their PokeDex number.
A great way to keep rural players happy is to add an option to create a home base. A home base would act as a personal PokeStop for players, visible on only their accounts. Players could pick the location to plant their home base and use it to get items or attract Pokemon via a lure module.
Adding home bases to Pokemon Go would give everyone a chance to have a PokeStop nearby and help even out the disparity between rural and urban players.prevnext
Niantic has told fans from the start that they're planning events revolving around the Legendary Birds, Mewtwo, Mew, and Ditto. These will probably be massive "group events" that involve traveling to a city and working together with other trainers and/or teams to battle and capture rare Pokemon.
The Legendary events will probably be cool, but Niantic should look at implementing some sort of weekend event system to keep fans interested in the game. Weekend events are pretty common in other free to play mobile games, usually to give players something to do in between major updates.
Weekend events wouldn't necessarily involve rare Pokemon, only provide some sort of extra incentive or goal for players to obtain. Maybe players can earn a badge for catching 50 Pokemon in a weekend, or maybe there can be a "double XP" day to help players level up a little quicker. Heck, maybe Niantic can just up Pokemon spawn rates over the weekend so there's more Pokemon to catch.
It's possible that Niantic has looked into weekend events already. Players reported a sizable uptick in rare Pokemon spawns last weekend, which seemed to die down on Monday. Could this become a regular occurrence? We'll have to wait and see.prevnext
It made sense for Pokemon Go to limit the amount of Pokemon initially in the game. Most people, even the ones who haven't played a Pokemon game since they were kids, remember the original 151 Pokemon. And it's a lot easier to model and program 151 Pokemon into the game instead of 721 different Pokemon. But Pokemon Go players are running into the same problem many kids had when playing the original two Pokemon video games: there's just not enough Pokemon to keep things interesting.
Thanks to Niantic's "biome" system, certain Pokemon only appear in certain environments. While this a pretty cool concept in theory, it typically limits the amount of Pokemon a player will encounter in their neighborhoods. Because of these limitations, most players who have played Pokemon Go since July will have captured just about every Pokemon their surroundings have to offer.
Luckily, there's five (soon to be six) more Generations of Pokemon to bring into Pokemon Go. Adding the next generation Pokemon to Pokemon Go soon would keep players from feeling like they've accomplished everything and add more variety to the Pokemon players encounter on a daily basis.prev