This week’s sweeping changes to the most maligned part of Pokémon Go — exclusive, legendary gym battles — were the result of a “bug,” Niantic said. Although the developer intends to make multiple updates to the EX Raid battle system, several of those updates have not yet been properly implemented, resulting in widespread confusion among players.
“With the latest batch of EX Raid Battle invites, we implemented a few changes to improve Trainer and Gym selection,” Niantic wrote in a blog post. “Unfortunately, a bug was introduced when these changes were made, and, as a result, some Trainers were invited to participate in an EX Raid Battle at a Gym they may not have visited in several months.”
Pokémon Go players reported receiving passes for the next wave of EX Raid battles, set for this weekend, under strange circumstances. While these limited-basis fights (against the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo) are typically held in a small number of familiar and easily accessible locations, this weekend’s battles were predominantly set to take place in far-flung areas. As a result, some trainers received invitations to participate at gyms that they may have only visited once on vacation — potentially hundreds or even thousands of miles away from them.
Niantic said that this issue has been fixed, with the next set of invitations to accurately reflect how the studio has changed up the EX Raid battle system.
There are two key tweaks coming soon to the EX Raid battle selection process, as detailed in the blog post.
“First, we’ve made changes to the ways Gyms are selected,” wrote Niantic. “While EX Raid Battles will continue to take place in parks and at sponsored locations, the number of Gyms that meet the necessary criteria for an EX Raid Battle will increase. Additionally, the average number of Trainers invited per Gym will also rise, as we’ve made a few tweaks to the way they are selected.”
Niantic is still keeping players in the dark on the particular requirements for a gym to hold an EX Raid battle, but at least it’s offering more details on the types of players who may have a high chance of receiving an elusive invitation. Niantic will now prioritize giving passes to players with high-level gym badges; it will also consider how many Raid battles players have successfully completed in the week prior to the EX Raid battle.
There remains no guarantee that hardcore fans of Pokémon Go who meet these qualifications will receive entry into an EX Raid, however, which means they may continue to be shut out of their one chance to fight and capture Mewtwo. The obscure nature of the exclusive battle feature continues to be a big sticking point for players, especially those who have dedicated countless hours into the mobile game.