Pokémon Go is a mobile phenomenon at the moment, but I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone’s going to be bored of it by this time next month. It’s just not built to stand the test of time, with so few things to keep players coming back, or even to keep them engaged in the first place.
I’m here to provide Niantic Labs with some friendly suggestions that might give Pokémon Go the lasting power that it desperately needs.
Here are my suggestions, in no particular order:
- Give us the ability to add and trade with friends. Although we already know that this is in the works, it’s a vital element of the Pokémon experience, and the game is suffering from a lack of social interaction at the moment.
- Offer daily rewards for logging in. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just a Poké Ball, an Egg or maybe even a Pokemon for every seventh consecutive log in. If you want to keep players engaged, this is an easy way to do it.
- Provide a better breakdown of the Pokémon in the area and where to find them. The current system of tapping the little tab at the bottom of the screen and trying to track nearby creatures by the amount of footprints next to their picture is a joke. Having spent a solid five hours this weekend engrossed in the app, I can say without a doubt that this feature needs work.
- Let us add new landmarks. I understand why all of the landmarks were brought over from Ingress (the developer’s first GPS-based smartphone game), but one of my local watering holes is filled with nerds who would love for the bar to be a Poké Stop. Even if it’s on a limited basis, allow some users to expand the world of Pokémon Go.
- Fix the navigation. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I try to swipe on the screen to change my view of the map, I feel like I’m causing an earthquake in the Pokémon Go world. Just make rotating the map a little smoother, and it’ll improve the experience immensely.
- Add a minigame allowing players to play with or feed their Pokémon. No one would ever turn the damn thing off if it doubled as a Tamagotchi app. Seriously, could you imagine if you could actually interact with your collection of 250 Pokémon? And better yet, if you could actually play with them in augmented reality, having them sitting on your bed or desk right next to you? This is a no-brainer.
These are the first things that came to mind when I started thinking about what I’d want to see in future updates for the app that has taken over the world. What do you want to see in Pokémon Go as it grows and evolves?