‘Pokémon Go’ gets spooky this week with Halloween-themed event

Niantic’s wildly successful augmented reality mobile app Pokémon Go is getting a free update just in time for Halloween, and players can expect to encounter rare Pokémon more frequently as the holiday approaches.

In the days leading up to Halloween, Pokémon Go will also dole out increased candy rewards, which players can use to boost the stats of their collected critters.

Released for iOS and Android devices earlier this year, Pokémon Go is a free app that allows players to hunt down and capture virtual creatures using an augmented reality framework. Over the course of gameplay, players scour real-world locations for hidden Pokémon that they can then capture and add to a personalized database.

Collected Pokémon can also be deployed to capture Gyms, which are often located at local businesses or hot spots. Gym leaders shouldn’t rest easy, however, as rival Pokémon trainers can reclaim captured territory by engaging in battle with stationed creatures. In the months after Pokémon Go‘s launch, many Gyms remain hotly contested among veteran players, especially in largely populated areas or businesses with a significant degree of foot traffic.

Players who still need to fill out their Pokédexes will encounter many little-seen critters with greater frequency in the week before Halloween. After installing this week’s update, Pokémon trainers can expect to see first-generation Pokémon like Haunter, Gastly, Gengar, Zubat, Golbat, Drowzee, and Hypno pop up during their daily rounds.

Collecting every available creature in Pokémon Go is a difficult process, as many Pokémon only appear at night or in very specific real-world locations. This week’s update will make it easier for players to track down Ghost-type Pokémon before nightfall, making it a much safer and convenient process than usual.

While players can capture the Pokémon they encounter within the Pokémon Go app itself, publisher Nintendo recently produced a Bluetooth accessory that eases the process for experienced players. The Pokémon Go Plus is a wrist-worn device that vibrates when Pokémon are detected in its vicinity, and players can press a button on the face of the device to attempt to catch nearby creatures automatically.

Pokémon Go‘s free Halloween update is out now, and bonuses will remain active through November 1.

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