Team Rocket, Shadow Pokémon, and Gen 5 coming to GO

Birthday celebrations are about to start, and some bonuses will last over two months!

A host of anniversary events have been announced by Niantic on the official Pokémon GO website – but there’s more they haven’t said revealed by dataminers.

To start with, a host of birthday bonuses will begin on the 28th of June at 1 p.m. PDT. These include Shiny Alolan Pokémon, new avatar items, a new Special Research set of tasks, and Raid Bonuses.

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.

The official image (see above) also includes the generation five Starter Pokémon: Tepig, Oshawott, and Snivy! It surely means a new release of Pokémon is expected later this year. A few other notable Pokémon can be seen, such as the not-yet-released Mime Jr., and the previous EX Raid Boss, Mewtwo. Meanwhile, it is possible that another Special Research down the track will feature Jirachi.

However, that’s only part of the fun! In a real curveball, Shadow Pokémon will be added to the game. You seem to obtain them after defeating special Team Rocket NPCs assigned to Poké Stops. You then have to purify them, much like how you did in the classic Nintendo GameCube games Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Dataminer Chrales has summarised the major findings as usual.

What are you most looking forward to as part of the anniversary celebrations?