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New Pokemon Go update features code hinting that raids are coming soon

Published May 10th, 2017 12:07PM EDT
Pokemon Go update datamine
Image: Niantic

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Pokemon Go

developer Niantic revealed on Tuesday evening that it was in the process of updating the game to version 0.63.1 for Android and 1.33.1 for iOS devices. The update won’t add much to the game, but a datamine of the APK reveals that some interesting new features are being worked on behind the scenes. It appears that the long-awaited overhaul to gym battles is right around the corner.

First and foremost, the release notes for the update reveal that the update brings Brazilian Portuguese language support and will allow players to tap on medals to show their progress to the next tier.

It’s one of the least substantive updates for Pokemon Go in recent memory, but The Silph Road mined the APK and found a ton of new code hinting at improvements and features that could soon make their way to the game. Unfortunately, the most exciting bits of code are also the most unintelligible.

Here are the three lines of code that appear to be related to the upcoming gym raids:


Any code prefaced by ACTIVITY refers to an event in which experience is gained, so this code suggests that players will be able to gain experience by defeating a “raid Pokemon” (which The Silph Road assumes is a Pokemon that attacks a gym where you have a Pokemon defending), feeding a berry to either the raid Pokemon or your defending Pokemon and a mysterious search function.

In other words, it’s still unclear how the raid system will work and how it will affect gym battles, but the assumption is that players will have to take a more active role when it comes to both defending gyms and attacking gyms in the future. An additional line of code also suggests that Pokemon Go will soon limit the number of Pokemon of the same species that can be stationed at a single gym.

While the gym raids are the most anticipated addition hinted at in the code of the latest update, there are some other interesting clues sprinkled throughout the APK as well. For example, push notifications are being overhauled to allow for more active collaboration in the future, so that even if you’re not standing at a gym, you still might be able to participate in a battle when you receive an alert.

Niantic also appears to be implementing a new form a memory management that should help the game run smoother, and other pieces of code indicate that the company is going to continue to fight cheaters by banning players who warp to locations to capture Pokemon from anywhere in the world.

There’s no telling when these features will arrive, but with the one-year anniversary of Pokemon Go swiftly approaching, expect some big news from Niantic in the coming weeks and months.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.