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Pokemon Go, the AR game that had everyone talking – and exploring and duelling – three years ago, has released a number of new features in recent months. This Pokemon Day (27 February), we look at some of our favourite features that continue to make the Pokemon Go app one of the most used on our phones!
Remember when you had only reached level five and everyone around you was already on level 35 so you couldn't take part in any battles? Now you can get in on the battle action by teaming up with other players to take down super powerful Pokemon, known as Raid Bosses, during a defined period.
You can also fight other trainers in a league. The trainers can be from anywhere in the world. You fight in sets of five battles and to earn the battles you either need to walk a set amount or spend Pokecoins. You can earn Pokecoins if you have a Pokemon guarding a gym or you can buy them in the Shop. To make it even easier to keep track of how much you're spending on Pokecoins, you can link your Google Play or iTunes account to your Vodacom one, so you get only one bill each month.
Much like we used to do back in the day, you can trade Pokemon – except this time it's all done on the app. To do this, you have to be on level 10 or above, be friends with the person with whom you wish to trade and be within 100 metres of the person in real life.
Proving that the online world can and does intersect with our day-to-day lives, events are real-life get-togethers for Pokemon Go players. You can follow Pokemon Go South Africa on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming events, where you'll be able to hunt for Pokemon and trade with your friends.
There are also Community Days, on which a specific Pokemon will mass spawn so you are basically guaranteed to catch one. A special move that allows you to fully evolve that Pokemon is also made available on that day.
Each player has a favourite Pokemon who travels with them, but last year, Pokemon Go made this relationship even more interactive. Now you are encouraged to complete specific activities to increase your and your buddy's friendship level to access certain benefits. Activities include walking a few kilometres each day, visiting new places and doing battles together.
The game is a lot more complex now, with weekly research tasks ensuring that capturing Pokemon and battling with them are not the only aims. If you complete the research tasks, you could receive a super-rare Pokemon. On special occasions, such as Valentine's Day and Halloween, additional research tasks are set up.
New generations of Pokemon have been released over the years, with the most recent being some from the Unova region. The Unova region did not introduce any evolutions for existing Pokemon, but it did come with the Unova Stone, a special item that allows you to evolve Gen 5 Pokemon.
If you haven't gotten in on the action yet, check out our review of Pokemon Go as well as data-saving tips here.