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Mega evolution update brings massive changes to raids in Pokémon Go

Mega evolutions have finally arrived on Pokémon Go, and with them come several important changes that fundamentally alter the raid experience of the game.

Two- and four-star raids are gone, which product lead Matt Slemon chalked up to their unpopularity with players and the lack of a clear incentive. The rewards for two- and four-star raids will be folded into one- and three-star raids.

Before today’s update, completing a raid gave a bonus for being on the team with the most participants. Slemon said the development team felt this unfairly penalized members of the other team. Replacing this bonus will be a reward for speed, meaning the faster you defeat the raid boss, the more bonuses you’ll receive at the end of the battle.

The mega-evolutionary path first introduced in the Pokémon X and Y games for the Nintendo 3DS comes to Go via mega raids, which are of the five-star variety. That means players will need to team up with other teammates to take the defending Pokémon down. A crew of around six strong Pokémon can pull off these kinds of raids, but ten or more competitors is recommended. Defeating the mega-evolved Pokémon will net you mega energy, the resource required to mega evolve Pokémon in your party. The faster you beat the raid boss, the more energy you collect.

Like candy, mega energy is specific to each Pokémon. You can only mega evolve one Pokémon at a time, but mega evolutions require less energy with each subsequent use on a particular Pokémon. While in the lore of the core series, dozens of Pokémon can mega evolve, so far only Venusuar, Blastoise, Charizard, and Beedrill have the ability in Pokémon Go.

With the update also comes new mega-themed items for players’ avatars, as well as special research tasks that can be completed for Professor Willow to receive mega energy in bulk. September will also be a mega event month, which means activities involving the new evolutionary type will take place over the next few weeks.

Developer Niantic has been able to adapt to the changing conditions of the world, and made the game more friendly to playing at home. The game is as popular, if not more so, than ever, and with mega evolutions being a heavily requested expansion, it seems that popularity isn’t going to lose steam anytime soon.

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