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New storyline gives lapsed ‘Pokémon Go’ players a reason to reinstall

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Pokémon Go craze has definitely fizzled out over the last year or so, with several key promised features still not released yet, but lapsed trainers now have a reason to reinstall the game again. This week, new “field research” quests add narrative to what has largely been a player-driven multiplayer experience thus far.

“A series of mysterious happenings is occurring all over the world, and Professor Willow is seeking trainers to help him found out if this is connected to the mythical Pokémon Mew,” Niantic said in an update post. “These research tasks will become available to trailers around the world later this week!”

There will be two different categories of research during the event: “Field research” and “special research.” The former type can be triggered by visiting Pokéstops, and will task trainers with completing raids or gym battles or catching a certain type of Pokémon. Special research missions are longer, with trainers having to complete several tasks in a row after being given the mission directly by Professor Willow.

As a reward for completing your field research tasks, you’ll be given stamps, and after collecting seven of them, you’ll take part in a “research breakthrough.” These offer stardust as well as mystery items and the appearance of new Pokémon, including legendary monsters. You’re only able to earn one stamp per day, so the breakthroughs will be weekly if you play every day.

Earlier this month, the legendary Pokémon Lugia returned to Pokémon Go, with trainers able to challenge her in raid battles until April 2. The creature first appeared in Pokémon Silver for the Game Boy Color, and is both psychic-type and flying-type. In February, Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza were all available in raid battles. The monsters were first seen in the third-generation games — Kyogre was the mascot of Sapphire, while Groudon was the mascot of Ruby and Rayquaza was the mascot of Emerald.

But Pokémon Go still hasn’t added the ability to trade monsters with other trainers, nor can you directly battle each other. Given that Niantic is also developing a similar AR game based on Harry Potter, we hope the studio doesn’t forget about the promises it made to Pokémon fans.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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