Pokémon Go trainers have been waiting months for an update from Niantic regarding the exclusive raid battles, known as EX raids. Similar to standard raid battles, in which groups of trainers take on a raid boss at a Gym to defeat and capture the Pokémon, the EX raids were touted by Niantic as an invite-only feature that would house extremely rare creatures. The current boss since the early September launch has been Generation I Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo, making the special raid a must for every trainer hoping to complete their Pokédex. While EX passes have been distributed to many players, the community quickly realized the flaws of the system, including the unknown means to receive a pass, the 24-hour wait time to participate, and the constant canceling of EX raids by Niantic with no warning. Trainers, rejoice! Niantic has made some needed changes.
Thankfully, after feedback was given, the developer revealed changes to the EX raids have been integrated into the game and even gave tips on how to receive an in-game pass. According to Niantic’s post, EX raids will now mainly occur at Gyms found in parks and sponsored areas, like Sprint and Starbucks stores. Trainers with a Gym badge at these areas, as well as those who compete in standard raids often, will also get a higher chance of receiving a pass, as it flags Niantic that the player is committed and deserves the opportunity to take on Mewtwo.
While the system seems to be relatively the same, Niantic has made huge steps forward in detailing how trainers can increase their chances, instead of leaving it to random guessing from the community. Previously, trainers learned there was a hidden time slot at certain Gyms that triggered EX raid passes, meaning even trainers that battle consistently could miss out just because they didn’t pick the right hour to participate. To make matters worse, many players reported their EX raids being canceled when they arrived at the Gym at the given time, with no word from Niantic. It seems trainers will receive an in-game notification from now on if a raid is canceled, and as a bonus, they will earn Stardust and extra raid passes for the trouble.
Surprisingly, the EX raid wasn’t the only feature to get a change in the post. Normal raid battles now have consistent reward possibilities upon completion. On top of Stardust offered in every battle, Golden Razz Berries will be a permanent reward moving forward, and level three raids and above will have a higher chance of dropping Technical Machines. Perhaps the most exciting change is the return of Magikarp as a raid boss, though. When Niantic recently changed the raid boss options in the game, players were dumbfounded over the decision to swap out Magikarp for Metapod. Magikarp’s evolution takes 400 candy to trigger and should be a more accessible Pokémon for trainers, while Metapod is a fairly standard creature that doesn’t hold much power.
While the more balanced version of EX raids will get players out and battling more than ever, the current in-game Pokémon Go Travel event has been keeping the community busy. As part of a weeklong challenge, trainers must collectively catch three billion Pokémon to unlock some amazing goodies, including the limited-time global availability of region-exclusive Pokémon Farfetch’d.
Pokémon Go is available for iOS and Android.