The code of the Pokemon Go app reveals upcoming Pokemon Go features.
There is a major Pokemon Go update looming that is going to take the game play to the next level. Programmers analyzing the Pokemon Go app source code have spotted evidence of new features Niantic is working on. The company has hinted at future features that are aimed to take Pokemon Go beyond collecting Pokemon, hatch eggs and fight at Gyms.
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The latest feature that has been discovered are Buddy Pokemon. In the Pokemon Go Protocol buffers (Protos), found in the latest release, are definitions for BUDDY_MEDIUM, BUDDY_SHOULDER, BUDDY_BIG, BUDDY_FLYING, km_buddy_distance, and buddy_candy_awarded. The definitions mean that trainers can pick a Pokemon to walk with them collecting candy and likely evolve during the time together.
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It will be interesting to see how Niantic is implementing the Buddy Pokemon feature. Will the buddy Pokemon only be shown in the map or also in the augmented reality mode?
Pokemon Go in VR
Niantic is working on a virtual reality mode for Pokemon Go. Evidence for VR has been found in form of a folder named VR in the Pokemon Go app install. There are references to the Google Cardboard VR headset. As you cannot walk around wearing a mobile virtual reality headset without hurting yourself badly, it is not clear for what trainers can use VR. One possiblity is that they can switch to VR mode at Gyms for battles.
Pokemon Go only makes sense with augmented reality glasses, like in this proof of concept.
The ability to trade Pokemon is an inherit part of the legacy of Pokemon, but it is controversial. Trainers will be able to trade Pokemon to complete their Pokedex. The rules and mechanics around the Pokemon Go trading are not known yet. I new thread on the Silph Road sub-reddit raises the argument that trading Pokemon might be actually bad for the game.
A Pro trainer at level 24 argues that trading would take away his main motivation of the game. With trading he could have completed his Pokedex by now. Doing it the hard way by hatching eggs and trying to spot the missing Pokemon in his area.
Niantic will have to roll out trading along with other new features to keep the game intact and interesting for new trainers and for the experience trainers that are at it since day one.
Niantic is testing an in-app nearby Pokemon Go tracker in the San Francisco area. It is still not clear when Niantic is rolling out the new nearby tracker to all users. An obvious deadline is September 30. This is the date when the Pokemon Go Plus Bluetooth wearable goes on sale. The nearby tracker is essential for it to work. Pokemon Go Plus is available for Pre-order in select European countries. The US pre-order did not start yet.
As long as Niantic is not rolling out the Pokemon tracker feature in the app to all trainers, here is a list of available Pokemon Go maps, trackers and notifiers. Using any 3rd party Pokemon Go software can get your account permanently banned.
Make also sure to check out the Pokemon Go Nest Atlas to find locations where rare Pokemon spawn in high numbers.
Major Pokemon Go Update Release
A major Pokemon Go update is likely coming in September. The release schedule of the Pokemon Go Plus is a good indicator. Obviously if Niantic's developers have spent too much time on banning bots and keeping the servers running, there could be a delay of the new features into October. It appears that all major new features will be released at the same time and not bit by bit.