There are 50 more third-gen Pokémon to collect in Pokémon Go as of its latest update, and with them comes an entirely new game mechanic. Niantic has added a dynamic weather system, which impacts the kinds of Pokémon you can find and battle buffs you’ll receive based on what the weather’s like outside.
Among the Pokémon now available are Treecko, Torchic and Mudkip, the three starter Pokémon from the third-generation games Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. They’re joined by a variety of normal- and grass-type monsters, as well as other Pokémon from the Hoenn region that will be most common during particular weather conditions.
“Fans of Ruby and Sapphire will know that Hoenn brought more than just new Pokémon,” Matt Slemon, product manager at Niantic, told Polygon. “It was the first Pokémon game that introduced weather affecting the world itself. Hoenn was heavily influenced by the world around it, [and] we took all of that as pretty hefty inspiration.”
Similar to how the mechanic worked in the Game Boy Advance games, Pokémon Go’s weather system will boost the combat power of certain Pokémon depending on if it’s raining, snowing or sunny. If you head toward a Raid Battle manned by a Charizard, for example, and it’s really sunny outside, you’ll want to be careful — fire-type monsters like Charizard get an attack boost thanks to strong sunshine. Likewise, the ice-type Snorunt is much easier to capture when it’s snowing outside, and it will come with higher combat power as well.
The way Slemon and Archit Bhargava, global product marketing lead at Niantic, described the weather system is that its impact will be most deeply felt by serious gym battlers who use the effects to “sort of min-max their teams.” But players who live in more stable, predictable climates will also be able to gain something from the update.
“Everyone is always in a steady state of whatever the local geography is,” Slemon said. “So if you have a large number of different climates, you’ll have a large number of different map states. If you have consistent weather, you’re in a region that’s going to over time develop much stronger Pokémon of those types.”
Snow is on the way, at least for those of us in colder, Northern areas, so be prepared for your ice-types to see a big boost over the next few months. The update applies not just to gen-three Pokémon, but to every monster in Pokémon Go.
And there are more updates to look forward to on the way, teased Bhargava. A big holiday update is in the works, with more details to be shared “soon.”