Pokémon Sun and Moon players didn't come close to completing the first two global missions and face an uphill battle for the third one.
The third global mission in Pokémon Sun and Moon is upon us, which raises one question: Will players actually bother to participate this time?
Global missions are a feature within Pokémon Sun/Moon‘s Festival Plaza, the game’s online hub where players go to battle, trade and do other activities with other players. Global missions involve a task that’s supposedly easy to perform, like catching Pokémon in various ways, with a global goal for all registered players to collectively hit over a set period of time. The third global mission, which launched Tuesday, tasks players with trading Pokemon through the games’ online Global Trade Station. The goal? One million Pokemon traded between Tuesday and February 14.
The first global mission, which involved catching 100 million Pokémon, fell woefully short, with players only catching around 16 million monsters during the event time. The second mission, which asked players to use the Island Scan feature and catch Pokémon that way, also failed, which can probably be at least partially blamed on the fact that Island Scan is a poorly explained featured.
But there are also several other reasons why players keep failing these missions. The global missions don’t count the progress of all players — only those who’ve registered to use the game’s online features, which some casual players likely have not. In fact, more casual Pokémon players probably aren’t even aware that a global mission is going on since the game does a poor job broadcasting it, even if you do bother to enter the Festival Plaza. If you do want to participate in the global mission, you have to check in periodically to use the Festival Plaza’s Game Sync feature, which you can only do online, and given that this is a portable game many players likely are offline the majority of the time.
On top of all that, Game Freak may simply be setting their goals too high. Yes, Pokémon Sun/Moon sold well, but the developer seems to have overestimated how many players are interested in these online competitions. Similar to secret bases, beauty contests and O-powers before it in past generations of games, the Festival Plaza probably isn’t terribly interesting to players who just want to collect a sweet team and battle the Elite Four.
Even the reward is unclear: Participating players will get either 2,000 or 4,000 Festival Coins if the mission is successful, depending on whether their account is linked to a Global Link account, or 200/400 if the mission is failed. Festival Coins (FC) are only used within Festival Plaza, so if you’re not already interested that is not a great motivation. As an added bonus this time, players who trade five or more Pokémon get a single rare candy, and if players reach 2 million collective trades — doubling the goal, which seems unlikely at this point — everyone gets a single Friend Ball.