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When to log on for Pokémon Go Fest’s rewards this weekend

You don’t have to be in Chicago

Pokémon Go Fest art Niantic/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go Fest is at the top of Chicago-based fans’ to-do lists this weekend, but players outside of Illinois also have a good reason to play the game during the event. There are specific timeframes during which trainers around the world can either help out Pokémon Go Fest attendees or rack up some cool exclusives for themselves.

Below, we’ve charted when you’ll want to go outside and play some Pokémon Go in your neighborhood — and what you’ll be playing to win at that time. Consider this page your reference guide for the Saturday, July 22 event. It kicks off at 10 a.m. CT, so we’ll be listing all times in accordance to that timezone.

Phase one: catch challenge

The first phase of Pokémon Go Fest tasks players with catching as many Pokémon as possible. There are three separate “challenge windows” in which the number of Pokémon caught collectively will unlock special rewards for every Pokémon Go player, not just those at the actual event.

Each challenge window runs for thirty minutes, with the first beginning at 11 a.m. CT, followed by the second at 1 p.m. CT and the final timeslot starting at 3 p.m. Once the windows close up, rewards will be doled out to on-location players and those around the world.

While the rewards vary based on Pokémon type for everyone in Chicago, everyone else will compete to unlock the bronze, silver or gold rewards. The bronze tier increases all bonus durations by 24 hours; the silver, by 48 hours; and the gold unlocks a special mystery challenge.

Phase two: mystery challenge

Players at home will have to sit this one out, unfortunately. Assuming everyone else around the world manages to unlock the gold reward for catching enough monsters during the challenge windows, everyone at Pokémon Go Fest will get to compete in a big mystery challenge from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

We know now what that mystery challenge is, and it’s a big one: Pokémon Go’s first legendary Raid Battle. Everyone at the event will work together to take down a legendary Pokémon, and if they do, they’ll unlock the third and final phase of the festivities.

Phase three: global reward

Starting July 23, everyone around the globe will be able to compete in the same sort of mystery challenge that Pokémon Go Fest attendees got to check out. The legendary Pokémon that first descended upon Chicago will then spread to gyms everywhere. Pokémon Go’s blog suggests that this will only last through July 24, so it’s best to check in with Pokémon Go as much as possible throughout the weekend.

Bonus round: watch online

Niantic will stream from Pokémon Go Fest live starting at 10 a.m. CT on July 22. The Pokémon Go Twitch channel will host the stream, but we’re still unsure of what to expect from it. Maybe we’ll get some hints of what the legendary Pokémon will be? Who knows. Tune in to find out.

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