Not long after dedicated Pokémon Go players received their first Sinnoh Stones, new reports suggest that Niantic has already changed the reward parameters. Instead of giving the special evolutionary item away as a guaranteed weekly prize, The Silph Road fan community is finding that Sinnoh Stones appear to be part of the random reward pool.
Sinnoh Stones came to Pokémon Go earlier this month, alongside an event encouraging players to hatch as many Eggs as possible. The Stones are the only way for players to evolve certain Pokémon into their newly added fourth-generation forms. When the company announced that it would introduce these special items into the game, it also detailed how players would be able to collect it: as an award for those who completed a full seven days’ worth of daily research tasks. (Polygon news editor and resident Pokémon Go phenom Michael McWhertor received a Sinnoh Stone on Monday as a result of his weeklong research breakthrough accomplishment, for example.)
But that no longer seems to be the case, according to several players who received their seven-day breakthrough reward Tuesday. Instead of getting the promised Sinnoh Stone, players shared that their loot included stardust, experience and Poké Balls. A select group of others report that they are receiving their Sinnoh Stones as expected, leading the community to believe that they are now randomly allotted as opposed to guaranteed.
Pokémon Go first got Sinnoh-region monsters in October, and Niantic has slowly introduced more of them since then. Doling out a single Sinnoh Stone per week already makes it hard to unlock of these new, exclusive evolutions; if you’re diligent, it would take three months to get them all. Reducing the odds of earning that item on a weekly basis means it’s even harder.
Players suspect that this is an accidental change, and hopefully just a temporary one.
“Is it possible Niantic just rolls back to the previous version of the game master, causing these issues to happen again?” wrote Redditor starg09. Out of recent memory: The Sinnoh Stone was added to the weekly research rewards right as the hatching event started. When said event ended, it unexpectedly got removed.”
We’ve reached out to Niantic to confirm that this was not an intentional change, or if players should expect Sinnoh Stones to be much harder to obtain going forward. We’ll update when we hear back. In the meantime, maybe be careful before opening the research breakthrough gift box you receive — it may not have the Sinnoh Stone you hope for, and that could ruin your day.