Pokemon GO Announces New Water Festival Event With Increased Gyarados, Lapras Spawns

Pokemon GO Announces New Water Festival Event With Increased Gyarados, Lapras Spawns

Well it’s been about a month since Gen 2 was released, so that means it’s time for another event to get Pokémon GO players logging in again. Yesterday, the game was patched to make evolution items a guaranteed drop for weekly streaks (at long freaking last), and today Niantic has announced a new made-up event that does not correspond with an actual holiday.

They’re calling it the “Water Festival,” and while that is a Southeast Asian New Year holiday, that isn’t for another month, so I don’t think it’s meant to correspond to that. What that means for Pokémon GO is that there are going to be a lot more water Pokémon around. (Update: This is actually meant to correspond with World Water Day, which was started by the UN to bring attention to the worldwide clean water crisis. Slightly odd this wasn’t mentioned in the announcement, but okay)

The specifics? The event kicks off at 1 p.m. PDT today and runs until March 29. The announcement has a few details on what players might find during that time.

  • The three main Pokémon spotlighted are Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile and their evolutions, meaning Gyarados, Wartortle, Blastoise, Croconaw and Feraligatr.
  • Lapras is also hinted at by name as having increased spawn potential. It’s normally thought of as an ice Pokémon, but it’s also part water.
  • The event also promises that if you’re where “water type Pokémon normally appear,” i.e. by water in real life, you might see more spawns of Gen 2 Johto water Pokémon. That may include Chinchou, Lanturn, Marill, Azumarill, Politoed, Wooper, Quagsire, Sloking, Qwilfish, Corosola, Remoraid, Octillery, Mantine, Kingdra and probably not Suicune because it’s legendary. None of those have been mentioned by name, but those are all the Gen 2 water or part water types.
  • There’s a Magikarp hat you can buy for Pokécoins.


I wondered when Pokémon GO would just say screw it and do a more original event not based on a major holiday like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Valentine’s. Eventually they were going to run out of major holidays, and I think this was probably the right call rather than doing some “catch green Pokémon on St. Patrick’s Day!” thing instead.

These events usually fill a niche for players who are missing X Pokémon even after a lot of play. In this case, this has the potential to get players a Gyarados, Lapras, Blastoise or Feraligatr at last, along with all the other Gen 2 water types they may not have yet.

What’s interesting about this event is that there are no bonuses or sales attached to it. No double XP, Stardust or candy, no increased lure time. No bundles of items in the store, it seems. Usually events have some modifier like that as a way to encourage microtransaction purchases, but if there is anything like that coming later today, it hasn’t been mentioned in the announcement. A bit odd, though I suppose now with Pinap berries, players are able to get double candy more easily than before.

This is enough to get me playing again because Gyarados remains one of the last Gen 1 Pokémon I don’t have, and I’m certainly not going to turn down a shot at a Feraligatr either. I’ll get to playing later today and report my findings. Stay tuned for a full list of which Pokémon are spawning more frequently, and what other secrets this event might hold.

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