Just the Bad and the Ugly: Pokémon GO Avatar update

Despite feedback from early test rollouts and the insistance from bot accounts on how great it is, the new Avatar system is anything but.

Update: It has been revealed that despite weeks of feedback on the new avatar system from beta testers, it was ignored for full launch.

On the 17th of April 2024, Niantic decided to push a new avatar system in Pokémon GO. This had been hyped up on the official website. “Express yourself like never before with a range of new avatar customization options in Pokémon GO!” The game was adding adjustable body weights, skin tones, hairstyles, and more. Yet the promo image already had some worried about it.

What is going on around/below the pelvis area…?

Part of the issue was the track record Niantic had with avatar changes. They had in 2022 suddenly changed how the Team Leaders looked, which was thankfully reverted after a while. But they were truly hideous.

Furthermore, the new system went live early for some parts of the world, and it sadly appeared to be more of the same. Some hope was still had that the full rollout would be less… ugly… but given the recent history of features released by Niantic, these hopes were pretty optimistic. In fact, beta testers gave feedback that was apparently ignored.

And so it proved come the official launch. Off-colour skin tones, glitched clothing, temporarily absent poses, misshapen faces, limited hairstyles, and misplaced Buddy Pokémon are among the visual sins. It’s also impacted game performance, with players reporting crashes in PvP and Raid battles. There’s not much else to say that images can’t show better for the actual avatars, so here is a gallery instead.

And to top it off, there seems to have been some bot accounts supporting the new system on Niantic’s social media – note the different messages from the same account in the image below, for instance.

How has your Pokémon GO avatar fared? Do share the outcome – maybe we should embrace it and try to make as ugly an avatar as possible. Enjoy some horribly compressed datamined music for the upcoming GO Fest event while you’re checking your new avatar.

Edited by Sheep and Zach.

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