Niantic has implemented several requested changes to Pokémon Go’s Raid Battles, the developer announced late Tuesday night. Alongside the list of improvements are, for the first time, “developer comments,” in which Niantic explains the reason for the tweaks point by point.
The biggest gameplay changes come to EX Raid Battles, the special version of the co-op multiplayer system that requires an invite to participate. The following features and updates have been implemented:
EX Raid Battles will take place most commonly at Gyms found in parks and sponsored locations.
Trainers with a high-level Gym Badge are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at that Gym.
Trainers who have completed a larger number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles.
EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at that Gym.
Trainers invited to EX Raid Battles will receive an in-game notification if the EX Raid Battle is canceled.
Trainers will receive Stardust and Premium Raid Passes when an EX Raid Battle is canceled.
Niantic explained that beta tester feedback from the EX Raid Battle’s private field test influenced these changes. The limited locations that these battles could take place in left many trainers cold, as did the seemingly random invitation system — meaning that many qualified players were not actually able to join these battles.
As the only part of the game where legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo are obtainable, that quickly became an issue. Niantic promised that fixes were on the way back in late October, hinting at major improvements based on player feedback.
“By taking Gym Badge level and total Raid Battles completed into account, we’re able to give Trainers who actively engage with the Gym where the EX Raid Battle is taking place and those who have invested more time into the Raid Battle feature a better chance of being invited to participate,” Niantic said about broadening the feature to more players.
These updates will also mark the official launch of the EX Raid Battle system, Niantic said, concluding its field test. Meanwhile, the more widely available standard-issue Raid Battles are also receiving updates.
Trainers will now receive Golden Razz Berries for completing Raid Battles.
The numbers of Potions and Revives awarded to Trainers for completing a Raid Battle will decrease slightly, but the quality of Potions will increase.
The likelihood of receiving Fast and Charged Technical Machines for completing a Tier 3 or higher Raid Battle has increased.
Trainers will now receive Stardust for participating in a Raid Battle, whether they win or lose.
Magikarp will make a triumphant return to Tier 1 Raid Battles.
Niantic pointed out the updated rewards as the most crucial and requested among these updates.
“We want Trainers to walk away from Raid Battles feeling like they’ve earned some amazing rewards, even if the Raid Boss flees,” the developer said. “To help make this more of a reality, we’ve made adjustments to the quality of items Trainers receive after defeating a Raid Boss.”
Getting higher-quality items may entice players who feel burned by Raid Battles that disconnect early. Overall, it seems that Niantic is working to get more players to commit to Pokémon Go’s multiplayer system, which has both its fans and detractors.