After a rocky launch for Pokémon Go’s big new Mega Evolution feature, developer Niantic has promised to address widespread fan criticism of its implementation.
At present, Mega Evolution is temporary (as it is in Pokémon’s main series games) but requires a consumable resource named Mega Energy to unlock and continue using. This is primarily obtained from Go’s new tier of Pokémon raids.
Fans have said Mega Energy is being doled out too sparingly, which means a large number of raids are required to unlock each Mega Evolution. The rewards from each raid (a non-Mega Pokémon without its best moveset) and the requirement to battle it with as many people as possible to earn more Mega Energy have also been criticised.
Once you have a Mega Evolution, it is only available for four hours, or until you Mega Evolve something else. Fans have said this isn’t long enough, and that there isn’t enough to do with these Mega Pokémon other than see them ticked off in their collection – decentivising the grind to unlock them in the first place.
Finally, there are broader questions for how Mega Evolutions will work over time as more are released – such as how specific species’ Mega Energy will be acquired when their Mega Raids rotate out of the game.
Trainers, we are excited that we were able to introduce Mega Evolutions into the world of #PokemonGO. We are actively listening to your feedback and look forward to sharing more about how this feature will grow in the future.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 28, 2020
Last Friday, Niantic said it was “actively listening” to the community’s concerns about Mega Evolution, and called for more feedback via top Pokémon Go reddit The Silph Road.
“Thanks for all the feedback that you’ve all shared on Mega Raids,” Niantic staff member Indigo wrote on reddit. “A lot of it has been seen by our teams, and we’re happy to hear about the parts you’ve enjoyed!
“We also hear your feedback loud and clear that the first Mega Evolution takes a large amount of energy, the time limit to Mega Evolution does not feel worth the resources used to collect the Mega Energy required, you’d like other ways to gain Mega Energy, the feature feels that you have to pay to Mega Evolve your Pokémon.
“So, please know that we’re discussing how we can address these concerns, though we’re in the very early stages and it might be some time before you see changes implemented in-game. We do have some changes in the pipeline already, but again we don’t have a set schedule just yet.”
In the meantime, Pokémon Go has already begun the first of three Mega Evolution-themed event weeks. This features Mega Charizard, Venusaur and Blastoise energy available from field research tasks – though these tasks appear rare to find and only offer 5 Mega Energy, a fraction of the cost available from Mega Raids.
This week’s challenges will culminate in the release of Mega Pidgeot, while next week’s Mega Evolution battle event will unlock Mega Houndoom (and also see Shiny Ledyba release in the wild). A third week of challenges will see you unlock Mega Gengar at Halloween (and also see the launch of Shiny Doduo). There’s more on all of that over on the Pokémon Go blog.