Everything the Returning Pokémon Trainer Needs To Know

This hasn’t been updated since it was posted. I plan on updating it in some manner in the future.

I’ve seen the question of ‘whats changed’ in Pokémon GO come up from time to time. I thought it would be helpful to write it down in an enjoyable manner. I’m going to touch base with all the changes to get you excited about this new Pokemon World.

You are a returning Trainer looking to find out whats changed in the vast world of Pokémon GO. The weather has gotten warmer (in the northern hemisphere) and you want to get back on track to catching them all. Welcome back.

New Pokémon - Generation 2

Generation 2

From left to right: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Umbreon, Marill, Bellossom, Hoppip, Espeon, and Totodile.

Over 80 new Pokémon have been added to discover and catch. Baby Pokémon like Pichu, Cleffa, and Igglybuff can only be obtained by hatching. Gyms have increased in diversity. Slowpoke, Poliwag, and more have new evolutions with the help of special evolution items.

What Pokemon is this? A Natu? Looks rare.

Buddy Pokémon

Buddy Pokemon

Left to right: Your trainer profile, the buddy distance screen, and your buddy next to your avatar.

You can now choose a Pokemon to make your buddy and stand aside you. You earn candy if you walk with your selected mon for a certain distance. Some Pokemon take longer distances to earn candy like Dratini.

The Pikachu could use the exercise. He thinks everyday is a party.

New Berries and the Rare Candy

New Berries

From left to right and top to bottom: Nanab Berry, Golden Razz Berry, Rare Candy, Razz Berry, and Pinap Berry

The Nanab and Pinap berries have been added to the game. The Nanab berry (looks like tiny bananas) prevents a Pokemon from jumping around. The Pinap berry (looks like a pineapple) double the number of candies you get from a Pokemon upon capture.

The Gym Update has also added two new items, the Golden Razz Berry and the Rare Candy. The Golden Razz Berry can be thought of as a better Razz Berry, greatly increasing your chance of catching an encountered Pokemon. The Rare Candy provides candy of the species of Pokemon you feed it to. You can think of it as a ‘wild card’ candy’ For example, feeding a Pikachu a rare candy yields a Pichu candy. Both these items can only be obtained in the new Raid system.

Berries are now used to upkeep your Pokemon in gyms. In order to keep your Pokemon’s motivation up and have it in tip top shape, you need to occasionally give it a treat. Not doing so lowers their CP and their chances of staying in the gym.

I only feed my Nanab berries to wild Aipons.

Daily Bonuses

Daily Streaks

Left to right: One day streaks and seven day streaks.

You are now rewarded for playing daily. Your first catch of the day nets you a bonus of 500 XP and 600 Stardust. If you manage to catch a Pokemon everyday for seven days, you’ll instead gain a bonus of 2500 XP and 3000 Stardust. Your first Pokestop spin grants you 500 XP and a few extra items. Your seventh daily Pokestop gives you 2500 XP, a lot more extra items, and an evolution item.

Rain isn’t going to stop me from getting my seven day streak.

Evolution Items

Daily Streaks

From left to right and top to bottom: Metal Coat, Kings Rock, Sun Stone, Dragon Scale, and Upgrade.

There are new evolution items required to take your Pokemon to the next level. Some examples are Upgrade to evolve Porygon to Porygon 2, Metal Coat to evolve Onix to Steelix, and Kings Rock to evolve Slowpoke to Slowking. Evolution items can be obtained from Pokestops. They are extremely rare but you are guaranteed one from your seven day streak.

You’ve received yet ANOTHER Kings Rock from your seven day streak. Fortunately you need it for your Politoed army.

Shiny Pokemon

Daily Streaks

A shiny Magikarp

Shiny Pokemon are now obtainable in the game. Shiny Pokemon feature an distinct color palette. Currently Pokemon that have shiny varients at the moment are Magikarp, Gyarados, Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu. They are extremely rare and so they are quite a trophy. Look forward to more being added to the game in the future.

A wild Magikarp? You know what that means? SHINY CHECK!

Move Rerolling - TMs

Daily Streaks

From left to right: Fast TM and Charged TM

Technical Machines, or more commonly called ‘TMs’, have been added to the game. These Raid exclusive items allow you to reroll moves on a Pokemon. The items will randomly reroll either a fast or charge move. If you’re looking to teach an old Pokemon new tricks, this is your chance.

Goodbye Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hyper Beam.
Hello Dragonite with Steel Wing and Hurricane.

Gym Update and Pokemon Raids


The new gyms equipped with stellar banners and a glimpse at a Raid.

Gyms got a makeover and now you get gym badges! The new gyms feature 6 unique Pokemon from the controlling team. Doing battle with their Pokemon drops their motivation and when their motivation reaches zero in battle, they’re booted. If they prove to be too tough, they will also drop in motivation over time if they aren’t fed berries. Learn more about gyms here.

Raids are a new cooperative feature where you battle alongside fellow trainers against a massively buffed Pokemon. They are random events that occur at gyms and the Pokemon you face range from basic to LEGENDARY. You can read more about raids here.

My very first raid boss is… a Magikarp?

And Some Smaller Details

First Throw Bonus - You now get a bonus 50 XP if you catch a Pokemon in the first throw. Don’t miss.

Spin Those Gyms - You can now collect items from Gyms. This also includes a single raid pass required to gain access to a raid. Use it wisely, you only get one.

New Tracking - There is now two forms of tracking: Nearby and Sightings. Nearby tells you about Pokemon near the Pokestops in the area. If you don’t have many Pokestops near you, you’ll have ‘Sightings’ to tell you what Pokemon are around you.

Medal Catch Bonus - Your bronze, silver, and gold medals for catching certain types of Pokemon grant you a small catch bonus. You’ll have a easier time to catch those Pidgeys and Magikarp.

More Candy - Evolutions like Pidgeotto caught in the wild now grant more candy.

Genders - Pokemon have genders now. You’ll notice subtle changes like a female Pikachu having a heartshaped tail.

Egg Changes - All the Pokemon have been swapped around! You can find out about the new changes here.

New Regionals - Two new Pokemon can only be found in certain parts of the world. Heracross can only be found in South American and Corsola is between a certain latitude (where coral reefs are). You can find the regional map here.

Pokemon Go still has lots of surprises I didn’t cover but I hope this was informative and got you up to speed.

Leek Duck

Leek Duck

Hey, I'm LeekDuck. I create Pokémon GO graphics and share Pokémon GO news. You can find them on my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook Page. You can also find me on YouTube but I haven't gotten around to that.