Today marks the anniversary of video gaming’s most unexpected and viral mobile hits, and even one year later millions are still trying to ‘catch ’em all’ around the world.
To celebrate the game’s first birthday, Niantic has announced the game’s first Anniversary Event. While it’s surprisingly limited in scope, this may be due to the fact that the Pokemon GO Fest is taking place later this month in Chicago. So expect more festivities all month—and all summer—long.
Let’s take a look at everything announced so far for the Pokemon GO Anniversary Event, starting with…
What’s Not Happening
Let’s get the bad news out of the way right off the bat. Unless Niantic is keeping information from us, there will be no Legendary Pokemon unleashed upon the world during the Anniversary Event. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Legendaries may indeed be revealed during the Chicago festival later this month instead. As Paul Tassi points out, if they aren’t revealed by then “this “summer” Legendary launch is skipping about two full months of this summer, which seems ill-advised.”
When Does The Anniversary Event Take Place?
The one-year Pokemon GO Anniversary Event begins today, July 6th at 1pm PDT and runs until July 24th at 1pm PDT. That means it runs directly up until the Chicago event begins (on July 22nd) and then over that weekend until the following Monday. That’s a total of 18 days.
What can Trainers do during the Anniversary Event?
The event is comprised of two main elements (though more surprises may lie in wait.) The firsts is the appearance of ‘Ash Hat Pikachu’ and the second is the sale of Anniversary Boxes.
Ash Hat Pikachu
We’ve all seen Pikachu wearing Ash Ketchum’s iconic baseball cap in the Pokémonanimate series. Now you can catch this version of Pikachu out in the wild.
This is the third hat-wearing Pikachu to be added to the game. We’ve also seen Santa Hat and Party Hat Pikachu.
Some important notes about Ash Hat Pikachu:
Perhaps most importantly, Ash Hat Pikachu will keep his hat when evolved to Raichu, so be sure to catch at least two Ash Hat Pikachu during the event—one to evolve and one to keep.
As with previous special hat Pikachu, there will almost certainly be more to capture this time around and in places you haven’t spotted them before.
The hat is only a cosmetic. Ash Hat Pikachu will have the same stats as regular Pikachu, just with an adorable hat.
Anniversary Boxes are basically loot crates you can buy to get discounted in-game items. Here’s what’s included with each box:
These are available for a ‘limited time’ only, though it’s not clear if that’s just during the Anniversary Event.
Is That It?
Yes, actually, that’s all Niantic has announced so far for the Anniversary Event.
It’s slim-pickings for the game’s first birthday, though Niantic does say we should all stay tuned for “more exciting news over the coming weeks, including additional information on Pokemon GO Fest Chicago this July, events hosted at select Unibail-Rodamco locations this August and September in Europe, and Pokemon GO events at the Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama, Japan, this August!” So maybe there’s more good news to come and maybe we’ll get those Legendaries later this month.
Niantic is also referring to its recent Gym overhaul and introduction of Raids as part of the one-year anniversary, so that might help explain why there isn’t more being offered now. If that’s all part of the anniversary than that’s actually quite a bit of content, though it’s being rolled out in such a way that many won’t see it as that. Oh well. Happy hunting!