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Pokémon Go’s level cap is increasing from 40 to 50

Niantic is changing how leveling works for veteran players

A trainer encounters a Gyarados in artwork from Pokémon Go Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Pokémon Go’s level cap, which currently maxes out at 40, is being raised to 50, developer Niantic announced Wednesday. And leveling up beyond the previous level cap will be a bit different; players will need to do more than just earn vast amounts of XP, they’ll also need to complete a series of challenges to unlock each new level.

The good news for players who have been playing Pokémon Go and earning experience over the past four years is that any XP that you’ve earned since hitting level 40 will carry over toward future progress. That will help make a dent in the hefty XP requirements needed to reach levels 41 through 50. (According to a screenshot provided by Niantic, just leveling up from 45 to 46 will require a whopping 15.5 million XP.)

But players will also need to accomplish tasks called Level-Up Research to reach new levels, some of which sound rather time consuming. The types of tasks players would need to complete to advance beyond level 40 include:

  • Completing all Eevee evolutions (sorry, your existing Eeveelutions won’t count toward this particular task)
  • Earning a gold medal for your trainer (fortunately, existing medal progress will count toward this task)
  • Winning 30 raids
  • Making 50 excellent throws
  • Catching 200 Pokémon in a single day
  • Powering up a Legendary Pokémon 20 times
Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company
Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company

While level 40 players will have new tasks and new levels to aspire to, those some players will be rewarded with cosmetic bonuses if they’ve already reached the cap by Dec. 31, 2020, including a Gyarados hat and a special Legacy 40 medal.

Players who are still grinding their way to level 40 will get some assistance with that starting today, Nov. 18. Niantic is offering double XP for catching Pokémon through Dec. 31. And starting Nov. 30, players will earn more XP from catching Pokémon, evolving Pokémon, hatching eggs, registering new Pokédex entries, and other activities.

In addition to raising their trainer levels to 50, players will also be able to further level up their Pokémon beyond their current CP maximums. Doing so will require a new consumable called Candy XL, which can be earned in a variety of ways, including catching Pokémon and converting existing Pokémon Candy into Candy XL.

Pokémon Go’s new level cap is part of a larger update that Niantic is calling “Go Beyond.” The update will also add all-new Pokémon from the Kalos region, seasons, and changes to Pokémon Go Battle League.

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