As part of Pokémon Go Fest 2021, Niantic is adding in several special bonuses and encounters, like Meloetta and other Pokémon that will only be available during the event.
One of those bonuses is a new set of event-exclusive Special Research that will force players to make certain decisions, which will then branch off and change what rewards will be given once you finish specific tasks.
The main appeal of the Special Research, outside of grabbing a bunch of bonus items and rare encounters, is the fact both Pop Star Pikachu and Rock Star Pikachu are available as rewards. You will only be able to get one as a reward because of the branching paths, but you can still get one of the Cosplay Pikachu variants for your collection simply by playing the game.
Pop Star Pikachu gains access to Fairy-type moves like Charm, Draining Kiss, and Play Rough, while Rock Star Pikachu can use Charm and Play Rough, with the added bonus of the powerful Steel-type attack Meteor Mash. This keeps in line with Pikachu Libre, the only other Cosplay Pikachu currently in the game, which has the same moveset and Flying Press.
In order to get either Pop Star Pikachu or Rock Star Pikachu, players will need to purchase the $5 Go Fest 2021 ticket. That is the only way to access the event-exclusive research and the other content that will be locked behind the event’s paywall.
Specifically, the event ticket will be available for purchase through the in-game shop for $4.99. The ticket will then be added to your inventory. Once the event begins on July 17 you should be given access to the Special Research.
After you complete the Special Research on the chosen brand for one of the two Pikachu variants, they will appear as Snapshot Photobombs. There will also be a unique avatar pose gifted to players once they capture either Pop Star Pikachu and Rock Star Pikachu.
Pokémon Go Fest 2021 will run on July 17 and 18, with tons of bonuses and additional content.