Pokemon GO saw a lot of updates in 2022, but 2023 is going to be an even bigger year for the title, according to the latest datamined information. A lot of content seems to be in the works and is expected to come out at various points over the next 10 months.
Closely evaluating the official news and leaks suggests the game is going to take its Augmented Reality to the next level. Below listed are some interesting changes expected to arrive in the game, as suggested by datamined information.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer's opinions.
New Buddy rewards and other content Pokemon GO could get in 2023
1) Gimmeghoul Mystery Box
As per leaked information, the Paldean Pokedex is officially included in Pokemon GO’s codes, accompanied by the Gimmighoul family line. This means the national Pokedex number has exceeded one thousand.
As for the Mystery Box, its code is quite similar to the Meltan Mystery Box, through which Pokemon GO trainers will also be able to unlock a special incense, which is called "Sparkly Incense," as per leaks. This item can either summon different Pokemon, or just the Gimmighoul that was seen on Community Day.
2) Pokemon contest
According to datamined information, Pokemon contests from the main series games may soon be introduced in the game. It is likely that Pokestops or gyms will spawn these events, allowing players to submit entities to compete in them and earn rewards based on the challenge.
The Pokemon GO contests are believed to be based on the aesthetic stats of Pocket Monsters and other features such as height and weight. The theory is that players will submit a Pokemon for a contest (e.g., The Heaviest Pikachu), and other trainers will also do the same. Then, when the timer runs out, the individual with the heaviest Pikachu will win this competition and claim their reward. However, it is unclear what the bonuses in these contests will be, as this is all speculation.
3) More Buddy rewards and haptic feedback
Rumor has it that Buddy Pokemon will be able to access anything from the loot table, meaning that gamers can get usable items from them and not just gifts and souvenirs. There is not much information regarding this. However, the idea of buddies being more diverse and offering various items to different Pokemon is appealing.
Haptic feedback has also been added to the game’s codes, which will apply to petting and catching Pokemon. The device you're playing the game on will vibrate when petting or throwing Pokeballs, but the feature could spark concerns about battery life.
However, the introduction of petting and catching haptics could be a step towards a more immersive AR experience, particularly when players are using Augmented Reality-supported glasses. This theory is based on Niantic's recent addition of haptic feedback into the game's code and its future AR plans.
4) AR hand tracking
Augmented Reality-based hand tracking is expected to make its way to Pokemon GO soon and may not be limited to just phones. In fact, they could be implemented in AR headsets. The hand-tracking inclusion may feel awkward when it's being used on the phone, but in conjunction with haptic feedback, it could be perfect for AR headsets.
In this regard, Apple has been developing a headset that could be revealed in 2023, in a similar fashion to the Apple Watch and the Egg Widget for Pokemon GO.
Although the title may not be a full AR game for Augmented Reality-enabled glasses, it is possible that AR headset users will be able to use the technology on the Buddy screen. Niantic's goal is to create immersive AR games, so the use of AR technology utilized in Pokemon GO is expected to improve.
5) Photo Safari contest - Visual Positioning System (VPS)
Pokemon GO dataminers have found information regarding a new Visual Positioning System (VPS) that will be used for the Hoenn Tour. This potential inclusion called the Photo Safari in leaks, will likely create a unique player experience during the event.
The in-game appearance of the Photo Safari is still unknown, but it is believed that Pokemon caught during these special events will have special backgrounds or location cards. Niantic may be having difficulty coming up with a name for this new feature, as seen in the data, so it is unclear if it will be included in the Hoenn Tour.