Niantic confirms next Pokemon Go update will focus on Gyms

March 7, 2017

Following an unnatural inactivity to start 2017, Niantic dropped their biggest update for Pokemon Go last month: the release of the second-gen Pokemon. With more than 80 new monsters to track down and shove inside Pokeballs, players are once again excited to play the hit mobile game. And it looks like they will have more reasons to feel that way this year.

In an interview with German website Wired, Niantic CEO John Hanke revealed the next major update coming to Pokemon Go in 2017. According to a translation done by Pokemon Go Hub, the update will focus on reworking the Gym system, which Hanke admitted is still incomplete and doesn’t work the way they intended it to.


He said that Niantic focused more on addressing technical issues (read: servers), preventing them from truly making innovations with the Gym system. This isn’t the first time that Niantic cited technical issues as the reason behind Pokemon Go’s lackluster or non-existent features. Hanke previously said in an interview with Waypoint that initial server issues barred them from introducing trading and PVP battling early on. Both features are now on the way.


Niantic is looking to make Gym participation more rewarding, encouraging players to work with other players in a team effort to take down rival Gyms. Here’s one suggestion: provide temporary stat boosts to a group of players attacking the same Gym. That would give players a better chance at taking down a particularly well-defended Gym. Because, really, with all the Dragonites, Snorlaxes, and Blisseys these days, a group effort is necessary to usurp rival Gyms.

According to Hanke, the upcoming Gym rework will be the second of three major updates to hit Pokemon Go this year. The first was the heavily anticipated second-gen update last month, inarguably the biggest update since the game launched last July 2016. Hanke also mentioned this planned three major updates at the Mobile World Congress last week. You can check out The Silph Road’s coverage on Reddit.

Details on the third and presumably last major update weren’t provided, though. Hopefully, it has something to do with the overdue ­legendary Pokemon. Hanke did say to Wired that we’ll see more of the legendary birds, along with Mew and Mewtwo, this year. Or maybe the third update will be simply related to the aforementioned trading and PVP battling features.

The Gym rework should be welcome for players struggling to collect Pokecoins, the in-game currency, which can be had by successfully holding down Gyms for a day. But that’s assuming Niantic actually reworks the Gym system into something that makes it easier for players to take and hold down Gyms without too much grinding for stronger Pokemon. Like rewarding a small amount of Pokecoins to those who have succeeded in defeating at least one Gym defender. Is that too much to ask?

And while they’re looking into reworking the Gym system, Niantic should also consider overhauling Pokemon Go’s battle system itself, which is too simple and severely lacking in any kind of strategy. Unlike in the main games where players actually spend time devising strategies and tactics for battle.

H/T: Pokemon Go Hub

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