Niantic does a lot of testing to ensure that new mechanics added to Pokémon Go operate as intended and can be improved with actual player feedback. And in a new rollout to limited markets, several features previously discovered in datamines of the game are finally making an appearance.
The main feature Pokémon Go fans will care about is the ability to “power up” a PokéStop or Gym. This will let players use a scanner feature in the app to scan PokéStop or Gym to boost the location for a set period of time, this can also be stacked as more players scan the PokéStop or Gym.
Powering up a PokéStop or Gym will give players who spin them a better chance at receiving rarer items. The higher the level of the location, the better and longer the potential benefits will last for all players.
Additionally, Niantic is testing a handful of other features in New Zealand, which is usually where these rollout tests happen. No details were shared, but here is the “sneak peek” list of features that could be coming to the game in the future.
- Nickname suggestions for new Trainers
- Does not specify what this means, but likely refers to offering new players name options when creating a Trainer rather than the ability to suggest names for NPC Trainers in-game.
- Expanded set of Trainer Tips
- More new PokéStop functionalities
- Updates to Eggs, including the ability to skip hatching animations
- A new Special Research story that helps introduce new players to the game
“We continually strive to improve the Pokémon Go experience,” Niantic said. “As such, we want to ensure the changes we make are beneficial to—and make a strong, positive impact on—the greater community, as well as each individual Trainer’s experience, before we launch them globally. We appreciate the community’s support, particularly within these regions, as we test variations of these features to understand what works best!”
More details about these features will be officially shared when these features are expanded upon and potentially released globally.