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Pokémon Go adds facemasks, Verizon-exclusive event

Verizon subscribers will also get an exclusive mask

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A trainer wears a white facemask in a photo of Pokémon Go on an iPhone Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Months after changing Pokémon Go to make the game more playable during the coronavirus pandemic — and subsequently walking some of those changes back — developer Niantic is giving players the option of wearing a protective mask in-game, as they should be doing in real life while playing in public. Facemasks are now available, for free, from Pokémon Go’s in-game style shop.

Facemasks are a relatively unimportant cosmetic addition to the game, but their release coincides with a perk for Verizon mobile customers. Verizon subscribers can download an exclusive outfit, which includes a black-and-red facemask, from the mobile provider’s website.

More relevant to Pokémon Go players is an upcoming weekend event, which will be exclusive to Verizon customers in the United States. On Saturday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, players will be able take part in a timed research event with the following features, as outlined on the Pokémon Go blog:

  • Complete the event Timed Research to earn XP, Stardust, three Incense, a Star Piece, and 100 Charizard Mega Energy, as well as encounters with Chansey, Spoink, Absol, Bronzor, Gible, and Sewaddle.
  • The following Pokémon will be attracted to Incense during the event: Bulbasaur, Charizard, Squirtle, Pikachu, Unown V, Unown Z, Sableye, Patrat, Minccino, and Ferroseed. Shiny Ferroseed will be available to catch.
  • Incense activated during the event will last for one hour.

To get a ticket for that special weekend event, Verizon mobile subscribers will need to secure a ticket by signing into the company’s Verizon Up app by Nov. 7. Players are limited to one ticket per Trainer account. More details are available at the Pokémon Go blog.