Pokémon Go will soon begin to change in accordance with the seasons, an update that will affect which Pokémon players see in the mobile game. Seasons in Pokémon Go will also have an impact on the mobile game’s competitive player-versus-player mode, Go Battle League.
Developer Niantic announced Wednesday that with each season, different Pokémon will appear more often in the wild, in eggs, and in raids in Pokémon Go. Some Pokémon, Niantic says, “will be more difficult to find depending on the Season, so catch them while you can!”
In practice, that means for Pokémon Go’s first season, Pokémon related to winter will appear in the wild in the northern hemisphere, while Pokémon related to summer (e.g. Burmy, Darumaka) will appear in the wild in the southern hemisphere. That seasonal change extends to the Pokémon Deerling, which made its Pokémon Go debut in the fall, but will soon change its appearance to match the upcoming season.
Niantic says that in-game events will also be themed based on seasons and will be regularly updated with additional features.
Pokémon Go’s new seasonal structure will also affect Go Battle League, extending league seasons from two months to three. Go Battle League will also get all-new ranks, transitioning from 10 ranks to 24 — and the top four ranks (Ace, Veteran, Expert, Legend) will have their own special badges. Niantic also promises a new reward structure for Go Battle League, with “more opportunities to earn exclusive rewards through ranking up.”
Pokémon Go’s first season, the Season of Celebration, will kick off Dec. 1 at 8 a.m. local time. The season will feature a series of in-game events highlighting Pokémon discovered in in the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos regions. Niantic teases that the Season of Celebration will culminate with “a brand-new global event experience.”