In-Depth Stories

[Updated] 100 bugs and counting: The Troubles of GO in New Zealand

Glitches have included late starts to time-limited events, game crashes and region-wide server issues.

Update: The blog information for the 2024 April Fools event was unavailable for several hours. This brings us to 148 bugs.

The beta testers. The guinea pigs. The unpaid interns. There’s been a few names jokingly used for Pokémon GO players in New Zealand and countries within similar time zones. The reason for these nicknames is because these players have been affected by bugs related to events that first started in these parts of the world.

Often events in Pokémon GO start based on a set local time (e.g. 10 a.m. local time), so as the first country to the west of the International Date Line with a significant enough playerbase, players around the world wait to hear on reports from others living in New Zealand (ignoring spoofers, of course). However, being the first to experience the event doesn’t always work out – because if Niantic forgets to set up an event properly in time, they are left waiting for a fix. Sometimes it is due to server strain, such as for Community “Day” events (initially three hour, then six hour, and once again three hour long events) in the first year or two of their debut. This would be due to too many players overloading the servers, who want a rare and useful Pokémon suddenly available en masse, and with their Shiny form to boot. And sometimes, it seems it was just a matter of an event bonus being forgotten about until players complain.

The consequence, then, is that New Zealand players experience an issue, have it fixed (usually with no compensation, such as extra time for their event), and the rest of the world’s players benefit with a fully working event. Sadly, by our count – and it could be higher, given an imperfect search function – there’s been now at least 100 instances of New Zealand GO players being affected by bugs.

2022 has been the worst year so far.

We have listed these cases below, with links to each report made on The Silph Road subreddit. A couple are arguably beneficial, and others, such as an incorrect time or date displayed, are fairly mundane. The majority however are significant bugs or issues that hamper gameplay, result in late starts for time-limited events, or outright crash the game. We also note that these do not include many issues that have affected players worldwide, such as the week-long removal of the Shiny chance for Galarian Ponyta shortly after its release.

  1. While the 2024 April Fools event featuring Excellent Throws was well done, the blog entry linked to in-game, which explained the event, was unavailable for several hours (1st April 2024)
  2. The Rocket event started late in New Zealand for several hours (27th March 2024)
  3. The Kyogre Raid event had issues in Australian and Japan time zones. While the rest of the world got an extension to the event by 2 hours, New Zealand players did not (17th March 2024)
  4. Raid Hour started early for New Zealand and parts of Australia (6th March 2024)
  5. Sandshrew Spotlight Hour started out as Pikachu instead (27th February 2024)
  6. Enamorus was able to be added to Gyms for a few hours (14th February 2024)
  7. GO Battle Research did not appear for a few hours. This includes bonus Stardust bonus being delayed (10th February 2024)
  8. Kyurem was the Raid Boss rather than an Ultra Beast when Rowlet Community “Day” ended (6th January 2024)
  9. Using the Egg widget for the first 3 eggs of the New Year event was supposed to give a 1/4 distance reduction. However, this initially didn’t work for players who used it before, and then later when fixed stacked with a 1/2 distance reduction despite no mention of effects stacking (1st January 2024)
  10. Shadow Psyduck was available initially from Rocket Grunts during Part 2 of the Christmas event, meaning you could get a costumed Shadow Psyduck. Niantic soon removed it from the Rocket Grunt pool however (25th December 2023)
  11. Special Research started late for the Along the Routes event (4th December 2023)
  12. The game server crashed during the event for Australian and Japanese players, and caused issues prior for New Zealand players, causing some players to lose Raid Passes or even Shinies (3rd December 2023)
    1. Niantic extended the event by an hour for everyone, bar New Zealand players, and only announced it on Twitter (not in-game) partway through the first time zone to get the event extension
  13. The Raid Boss did not change to Virizion on schedule for a few hours (9th November 2023)
  14. The double Transfer Candy bonus for the Dia de Muertos 2023 event was meant to only apply in part of the world, but players in New Zealand also enjoyed the bonus for the first few hours (1st November 2023)
  15. For the Skorupi Incense event, initially Skorupi spawns were only female or genderless, instead of female and male (21st October 2023)
  16. Kyurem appeared as the Raid Boss rather than Guzzlord at the end of Community “Day” for Timburr (15th October 2023)
  17. Nihilego appeared in Raids instead of Guzzlord (6th October 2023)
    1. An unintended bonus for a few lucky players was that its Shiny was available too for the first time
  18. The bonus EXP for catching a Pokémon with a Curveball was not applied for several hours (20th September 2023)
  19. The 2x Catch Stardust bonus was not properly applied to certain species during the Oddish Research “Day” event (17th September 2023)
  20. The 4x Stardust bonus was turned off for Mankey Spotlight Hour (12th September 2023)
  21. Scatterbug were still under a 2x Catch Candy effect a few hours after the Noxious Swamp event had ended – a minor but beneficial bug, until it was fixed (22nd August 2023)
  22. Poliwhirl Raids at the end of the Poliwag Community “Day” event regular hours were expected, but instead Psyduck Raids appeared (30th July 2023)
  23. An event intended for Korea only also started in New Zealand, letting some players enjoy unique Pikachu spawns and the regional Farfetch’d… until it was fixed within the hour (28th July 2023)
    1. The unique forms caught by New Zealand players were reverted the next day. Even a rare positive bug can’t be enjoyed for long.
  24. Shiny Tyranitar’s debut was delayed by nearly seven hours after its Mega Raids started (25th July 2023)
  25. Squirtle was the Showcase Pokémon for New Zealand, when it should have been Snorlax (15th July 2023)
  26. Raid Hour also failed to start in New Zealand (21st June 2023)
  27. Shiny Shadow Aipom’s release was delayed – while that is now fixed, it took over 24 hours for Shiny Shadow Geodude to be found (21st June 2023)
  28. New Team Rocket Special Research failed to appear for over 10 hours in earlier time zones (21st June 2023)
  29. No extra Raid Passes were given to New Zealand players as promised for the previous Raid event issues (13th June 2023)
  30. No double Candy bonus for part of the Spotlight hour in New Zealand (12th June 2023)
  31. The Candy and XL Candy bonuses unlocked during the global challenge ended witth the Water event for earlier timezones, despite the fact they should have lasted for several hours afterward (12th June 2023)
  32. After a make-up Raid event involving the Lake Trio, Raids failed to spawn for a few hours (11th June 2023)
  33. Raid Hour did not start until 50 minutes past the hour in New Zealand – and skipped Samoa entirely (7th June 2023)
  34. The debut of Shadow Sawk (and presumably Throh) in Shadow Raids was bugged multiple ways: no Catch Rate, does not have Frustration, and could not be purified (5th June 2023, fixed a few hours later)
  35. Nihilego incorrectly appeared as a Raid Boss in New Zealand (24th May 2023)
  36. Less than a week later, Mega Scizor again was present instead of Mega Pinsir (17th May 2023)
  37. Mega Scizor remained the Raid Boss when Mega Pinsir was meant to debut (11th May 2023; acknowledged a few hours later and fixed shortly after)
  38. Genesect had its Shiny turned off for its ‘debut’ with the Shock Drive form (1st May 2023)
  39. While its Shiny form was fixed a few hours later, it took slightly longer for it to be caught with the Techno blast move (1st May 2023)
  40. The Event tag for Field Research tasks for the Stunfisk event was missing for the first few hours (23rd April 2023)
  41. The Special Research involving a new Ribbon form for Lapras was not available at the start of the Blanche event (13th April 2023)
  42. Elite Raids for Regieleki had issues for New Zealand players joining after the first lobby had formed (9th March 2023)
  43. The daily limit for Go Battle Day sets was the usual 5, rather than a higher limit for the day (24th March 2023)
  44. The make-up Elite Raids for Regidrago in New Zealand were bugged (11th March 2023)
  45. The Elite Raids for Regidrago initially had a broken catch circle (10th March 2023). While most players in New Zealand suffered from broken Elite Raids and issues with the Timed Research not appearing, this proved to be problems that affected some other time zones as well.
  46. The 2x Catch Candy bonus selected by some players during the Valentine’s event was removed during the Woobat Spotlight Hour (14th February 2023)
  47. Mega Gardevoir was not able to be Shiny for four hours after its debut (8th February 2023)
  48. The Season bonus of extra Candy per trade was temporarily turned off during Noibat Community “Day” (5th February 2023)
  49. The Twinkling Fantasy event started with no Shiny Dedenne or Mega Salamence for a few hours (10th January 2023). Both only appeared 6.5 and 4.5 hours after their intended release respectively.
  50. Community “Day” for Chespin starts without the change in its base catch rate from the usual 20% to 40%, fixed within an hour (7th January 2023)
  51. Following this, event bonuses such as Chespin spawns after Quilladin Raids and Frenzy Plant on evolution had effectively ended for players at 7 p.m., rather than 10 p.m. – this was fixed half an hour later.
  52. In addition, the Season bonus of extra Candy per trade was temporarily turned off.
  53. On New Year’s Day, times were incorrectly set for New Zealand and Australian states with Daylight Savings (1st January 2023)
  54. December Community “Day” brought two bugs; the first was no double XP as promised as one of the bonuses (17th Dec 2022)
  55. The second bug was the removal of the season bonus of Trade Candy XL for each trade
  56. Ultra Wormholes for Ultra Beast Raids appeared instead of Elite Raid Eggs (9th December 2022)
  57. An update to Pokémon spawns in New Zealand and Australia had detrimental effects for several areas (6th December 2022), fixed a couple days later
  58. Instead of Hoothoot, Teddiursa was the Spotlight Hour Pokémon for the first 20 minutes, possibly as Teddiursa had been the Community “Day” Pokémon that same month (29th November 2022)
  59. Shadow Machop and Sableye from two Team Rocket Admins could not be Shiny for several hours for the new Rocket event (14th November 2022)
  60. Battle “Day” rewards for Miltank encounters were inaccessible for several timezones (6th November 2022)
  61. The Día de Muertos event spawns started 22 minutes late in New Zealand (1st November 2022)
  62. Zorua were advertised to spawn between 6:00 to 6:05 p..m. and 6:55 to 7:00 p.m. (the first and last five minutes of Shuppet Spotlight Hour). However, New Zealand players never got the last set of spawns, and players in later timezones had no Zorua spawns at all (25th October 2022)
  63. Elite Raids appeared without warning, and for some areas due to their long 24 hour hatch time either prevented other Raids (including the Community “Day” Lampent Raids), or had to be removed temporarily due to blocking Raids, or otherwise not spawn until presumably after the Community “Day” events (15th October 2022)
  64. Meanwhile, multiple reports of no Litwick spawns, and other difficulties, with the Lampent Raids. Fixed a few hours later.
  65. Mega Gyarados Raid “Day” event started at 11 a.m. rather than 2 p.m. in New Zealand (8th October 2022)
  66. The Mega Raid Energy rewards were also bugged.
  67. Mega Alakazam became the Mega Raid boss instead of Mega Aggron as advertised after the conclusion of the Test your Mettle event (22nd September 2022)
  68. Mega Alakazam Raids did not appear in New Zealand, an hour after the Psychic Spectacular event started as expected (6th September 2022; fixed over 2 more hours later)
  69. It was then raised that no Shiny Alakazam had been sighted, with this only fixed a further 4 hours later.
  70. A delay was also seen with the replacement of the regular boxes in the in-game store. The replacement boxes went live a few hours after the event started.
  71. No Galarian Zigzagoon spawns occurred after players defeated a Galarian Linoone Raid as advertised for some New Zealand and Australian players (13th August 2022)
  72. On top of this, the Stardust bonus ended early for some players.
  73. Starly Community “Day” spawns extended beyond the advertised three hours (17th July 2022, fixed a few hours later)
  74. Zweilous did not spawn during the make-up Deino Community “Day” in New Zealand (16th July 2022)
  75. Mega Blastoise Raids return without their difficulty correctly adjusted to an easier version (T5 rather than T4) for over two hours (10th May 2022)
  76. Shadow Venonat (and Omanyte) from Team Rocket Grunt battles could be Shiny, but this was reportedly reverted 5-6 hours afterward (3rd May 2022; report of change in lineup)
  77. On the same day, Togekiss which debuted in Raids initially had a 1% catch rate (half that of Legendaries), fixed afterward to a much nicer 20% (3rd May 2022; adjusted rates report)
  78. The Kangaskhan Mega Raid event went poorly with four bugs for all players in time zones before GMT+8 (1st May 2022). The raid difficulty was set to a Tier 5 level, as opposed to T4. This was only fixed for players in time zones of GMT+8 or later.
  79. These more difficult raids lasted from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rather than the advertised 2 p.m. This was not the case for Raids with the correct difficulty, so players stuck with the harder Raids couldn’t do any others.
  80. The free Raid Passes in bugged time zones were not available past 2 p.m., despite advertising stating they could be earned up to two hours after the event.
  81. Finally, once those Raids did end, no other Raid Eggs spawned until 6:45 p.m. (2.5 hours without any Raids).
    • Niantic issues 5 Premium Passes and a Lucky Egg to players in the affected time zones a few days later.
  82. Exeggcute was the featured Pokémon of a 3 hour long Field Research event, yet for Oceania and east Asia (including Japan), its Shiny rate was seemingly unboosted, while later time zones had it adjusted (16th April 2022; follow-up thread; note something similar happened for a Feebas Field Research event for European players years earlier)
  83. A reward during stage 3 of a new Team Rocket themed Special Research starting at midnight contained 15 Rocket Radars! It was adjusted to one Rocket Rader a few hours later (3rd April 2022)
  84. Advertised increase of Cottonee spawns during the weekend of the Lush Jungle event is delayed by over an hour (26th March 2022)
    • Despite the increase many players reporting the spawn count is still fairly low even in parks.
  85. Mega Aerodactyl remains the Mega Raid Boss instead of Houndoom when the Lunar New Year event started (1st February 2022)
  86. Cubchoo Spotlight Hour starts without the costume it has outside of event hours – a benefit for many, until it got “fixed” halfway through (28th December 2021)
  87. Trade Candy XL bonus was temporarily removed during the December Community “Day” event (17th December 2021)
  88. Dragonspiral Descent event starts an hour late, meaning no new spawns or Raid bosses until later (7th December 2021; Raid boss delay)
  89. Following this, it is announced by Niantic Support that the Shiny form for Druddigon was unavailable for the first four hours (7th December 2021)
  90. Advertised Double Catch Candy bonus for Spotlight Hour not applied (30th November 2021)
  91. The Community “Day” box for Duskull, and the typical 30 free Ultra Balls, took several hours to be available to players (9th October 2021)
  92. A rare Monday Legendary Raid Hour became a Mega Raid hour instead, featuring Pidgeot (30th August 2021)
  93. Regi trio set as Great Battle League reward instead of new Raid Boss Zacian (20th August 2021)
  94. Double Catch Candy bonus during Spotlight Hour instead gives quadruple Candy – a rare beneficial bug for players (fixed within the hour; 18th August 2021)
  95. Lures only last for 30 minutes instead of 3 hours during the first part of Tepig Community “Day” (3rd July 2021)
  96. 3 p.m. Rocket Balloon crashes game (18th May 2021)
  97. Heatran incorrectly set as Great Battle League (GBL) reward (17th May 2021)
  98. Finneon, XP bonus Spotlight Hour starts 20 minutes late (27th April 2021)
  99. Lack of stops, spawns appearing at start of Snivy Community “Day” for New Zealand (10th April 2021)
    • Caused by removal of Mega Lopunny from event
  100. Shellos, Basculin dominating spawns after previous event ends (13th March 2021)
  101. Thundurus raids start late (10th March 2021)
  102. Legends event spawns disappear early on (8th March 2021)
  103. Rocket Balloons not spawning as expected during event (27th February 2021)
  104. Catch rate for Roselia during its Community “Day” not increased when the event starts (6th February 2021)
  105. Rayquaza caught during event without advertised move Hurricane (19th January 2021)
  106. Unova event starts late (4th January 2021)
  107. Incorrect dates displayed (1st January 2021)
  108. Snover Spotlight Hour never happens with Snover spawns (29th December 2020)
  109. Less XP given out during Raid event than advertised (21st December 2020)
  110. Incense time limited, no event spawns as originally advertised (17th December 2020)
  111. Pikachu Spotlight Hour continues beyond end time [a positive bug for some] (17th December 2020)
  112. Overlap of two events (11th December 2020)
  113. XL Candy disabled during Spotlight Hour [one of the few times XL Candy can be viably farmed] (8th December 2020)
  114. Double transfer Candy disabled midway through Barboach Spotlight Hour (24th November 2020)
  115. Barboach also did not spawn from Incense (see this thread)
  116. Catch rate of Charmander not increased for Community “Day” until later, unlike other events (16th October 2020)
  117. Birthday event starts 47 minutes late (3rd October 2020)
  118. Daylight Savings time not updated in-game on time (26th September 2020)
  119. Make-up event for GoFest does not spawn any Shiny Unown as advertised (16th August 2020)
    • As documented here, it took days to get official acknowledgement of the issue after players were informed they were in the wrong. The initial acknowledgement only came via a subreddit thread comment, for an event intended to make up for a previous event error.)
  120. Kyogre Raids start an hour early [another beneficial bug] (24th July 2020)
  121. No Double Catch Candy bonus for Kricketot Spotlight Hour (30th June 2020)
  122. Clefairy spawns poor for first half of its Spotlight Hour (23rd June 2020)
  123. Many other spawns than the focus Patrat for Spotlight Hour (9th June 2020)
  124. Late start to Buddy benefits for Community “Day” (23rd May 2020)
  125. Carvanha Shiny rates lower than for rest of world for vast majority of event (17th May 2020)
    • Australia also affected for over half of the six hour event
  126. Only one post-event hour granted to NZ players for Abra Community “Day” evolution (24th April 2020)
  127. The Special Research for Abra appeared late for NZ players too (thread)
  128. Wobbuffet Spotlight Hour starts 15 minutes late (21st April 2020)
  129. Bad spawns for Magnemite Spotlight Hour (14th April 2020)
  130. Shiny Broken-heart Spinda not activated (13th February 2020)
  131. No Piplup Raids as advertised for Piplup Community “Day” (19th January 2020)
  132. Lag and server issues for Chimchar Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific (16th November 2019)
  133. Rocket Leaders absent during morning hours (8th November 2019)
  134. Originally an issue the day before as well (7th November 2019)
  135. Late start to Raid Hour (25th September 2019)
  136. Trapinch dominates spawns (18th September 2019)
  137. Mewtwo Raid event doesn’t start (18th September 2019, second thread)
  138. Lag and server issues for Mudkip Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific (8th July 2019)
  139. No free Raid Passes given out (29th June 2019)
  140. Blaze Kick for Blaziken unavailable following Torchic’s Community “Day” (19th May 2019)
  141. Compensation given in the form of Charge TMs to some players – intended to be only 10, but sometimes 50 given instead.
  142. Major downtime and server issues for Bagon Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific, event extended (16th April 2019)
  143. Major downtime and server issues for Cyndaquil Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific, event extended (10th November 2018)
  144. Major downtime and server issues for Beldum Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific, event rescheduled (21st October 2018)
  145. Moltres day results in server issues for Asia-Pacific (8th September 2018)
  146. Some issues for Squirtle Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific (8th July 2018)
  147. Major downtime and server issues for Larvitar Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific, event extended (16th June 2018)
  148. Major downtime and server issues for Dratini Community “Day” for Asia-Pacific (25th February 2018)

It’s a staggering number, and to see it continue this year is disappointing. Some of these had as detailed affected players in other countries – this writer counted amongst those in Australia. Surely it is past time to see a better track record implemented for players in these parts of the world. But right now, the only special attention Niantic are planning to give New Zealand players is the opportunity to trial the removal of gameplay bonuses before most other countries, in a widely unpopular announcement prompting petitions to keep said bonuses in.

Coloured by how beneficial (usually not) a bug may be for players, oldest to the left.
The start and end of the year has been the worst – as well as the month of May.
Tuesdays (usually Spotlight Hour issues) and Saturdays (usually Community “Day” and other one-day only events) dominate.
No trends in date, beyond the first and middle of the month bringing the most bugs.

As pointed out by u/Froggo14, New Zealand players do not have any time to react to, and prepare for, new events. If there’s an event with details not clearly explained beforehand, or an unexpected Shiny rate to discover, it is up to the players in earlier time zones to discover,. Those in Europe or America have half to nearly a full day to adjust and prepare.

Such issues could be helped by having Niantic employ more beta testers, rather than use the playerbase for this job – it would at least reflect better on the game and the company itself if this was adopted. Some of these issues caused by server issues could also be helped if Pokémon GO had less spoofers, which would often go to New Zealand to get the perks of events first.

Do you know of any other Pokémon GO issues that have affected New Zealand players? Let us know so we can update the list.

Edited by Rabinov, ranko and Sheep.
Thanks to u/littleheaven70 for pointing out a few of these incidents.