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Pokémon GO is fast-approaching its 3rd anniversary and Niantic is ready to celebrate! Trainers from around the globe will be busy this summer, as Niantic starts the party early on Friday, June 28th. Along with new features getting added to the game, limited-time appearances of Party Hat Pikachu (and Pichu too), new research, and friends bonuses when raiding and trading, we have a cool new piece of art work to check out. 

Playing on the idea of “everything comes in threes,” there are also some “hints” as to the updates that Pokémon GO will be undergoing. Notably, the starter trio from the Unova region (Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott) are joining in on this Pokémon parade. Jirachi is making a grand appearance here, after making an exclusive Pokémon GO Fest Chicago debut, hinting at its global reveal. Lastly, if you can zoom in to the right, its looks like Team Rocket has sent out a couple of grunts to crash this anniversary… Time to prepare for trouble!

While we wait for Team Rocket’s grand reveal and their infiltration in Pokémon GO, you can start celebrating the game’s 3rd anniversary with the following new features: 

New features starting on June 28 at 1 p.m. PDT

  • Shiny Alolan Pokémon — You’ll have a chance of encountering the following Shiny Alolan Pokémon: Rattata, Sandshrew, Vulpix, Diglett, Meowth, Geodude, Grimer, and Exeggutor.
  • Team leader avatar items — Avatar items featuring the team leaders’ personal styles will be available in the Style Shop.

From June 28, 2019, at 1 p.m. PDT to July 6, 2019, at 1 p.m. PDT

  • A familiar face returns to the party! — Once per day, you might have the chance to encounter a Pikachu wearing a party hat when you take a GO Snapshot photo! Pichu wearing a party hat will also be available to hatch from 7 km eggs.

From June 28, 2019, at 1 p.m. PDT to September 2, 2019, at 1 p.m. PDT

  • Jump-Start Research — Looking to get up to speed with your research? Do you have a friend who wants to play but feels they’ve missed out on too much in Pokémon GO? Don’t worry! Trainers can complete new Special Research for helpful rewards that will jump-start their new or continuing adventures. This Special Research is only available this summer for players at level 10 or higher, so be sure to let your friends know about this opportunity to join in and get special rewards.
  • Raid bonuses — Take down Raid Bosses faster and earn extra bonus Premier Balls to catch them with when you raid with friends.
  • Decreased Stardust costs for trading — Trading Pokémon will cost ¼ less Stardust.


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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)