According to a poll ran on Twitter yesterday, 78% of players expressed their dislike for the Nanab Berry, argumenting their choices in the replies section.
There were 3,232 recorded votes at the time of writing this article, making this a small, but still significant sample size.
Another inquiry on Twitter, asking Trainers to tell us which items they remove once they hit Bag limit. Once again, Nanab Berry rose to the occasion, standing side by side with Potions and regular Pokeballs in the “most disliked Bag item” competition.
Nanab Berry was added along with the new Generation 2 items and, unfortunately, was quickly overshadowed by the more popular Pinap Berry.
It’s not hard to understand why, as Nanab Berry doesn’t reward any in-game currency and it’s usage is rare, at best. This begs the question, why did Niantic implement the Nanab Berry in the first place?
The Nanab safety net
When planning game features, or changing existing mechanics, it’s always important not to alienate your existing player base, especially the ones with specific needs.
Pokemon GO is played by 65 million players each month and we tend to forget that not all of those players are gamers, nor enjoy gaming mechanics in the traditional sense. For most Trainers, harder, more challenging encounters are “better”, but for some they’re not!
In other words, a significant portion of the player base enjoys the calm encounter behaviour, with wild Pokemon not moving or attacking.
We reached out to few older Pokemon Trainers and their response was straightforward: Nanab Berry helps them bring back the “pre Gen 2” encounters, with less movement and attacks. It may seem strange at first, but for them the game was more enjoyable when encounters were less dynamic.
With that in mind, the conclusion is evident – the main role of Nanab Berry is not to advance challenging gameplay or to reward dedicated Candy farmers. The role of Nanab Berries is to make the game more accessible for the player base that enjoys the more relaxed style of gameplay.