Breaking down the big reveals from Pokemon Go Fest 2022 unveiling

Niantic surprised everyone with details about Pokemon Go Fest 2022 at 6 a.m. Wednesday. It’s not like the info was leaked a day early, but if you happen to miss the news, the format for the upcoming extravaganza appears to be similar to last year’s event.

The two-day experience will be available for free to all but the ticketed experience gives players more benefits for $14.99. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 4 and 5 with a special finale on Aug. 27. Now that you have the basics, here’s the breakdown of the celebration:

Day 1 will be focused on catching with four rotating habitats: City, Plains, Rainforest and Tundra. It includes the debut of the following shiny variants:ShroomishNumelKarrablastAxewShelmet

Day 2 will zero in on raids with a surprise Pokemon making its debut in five-star challenges. Players will also have a Global Challenge Arena, in which everyone has to work together to unlock bonuses, and while they’re doing that, they can complete a short Special Research story.

WHAT TO HUNTWith that out of the way, the big news out of this free section of Pokemon Go Fest 2022 is the new shinies with Axew being the most desirable. The Tusk Pokemon is already difficult to get via eggs, so the shiny version will be the one everyone will be chasing after. Although its final evolution, Haxorus, isn’t as good as its other dragon counterparts, it’s still a spicy pick for PvP.

Players will be hunting for Axew in whatever habitat it ends ups in (Plains reportedly) and it will dominate Poke Genie when it comes to remote raids.

The other shiny debuts are also pretty good, but the standouts just based on looks are the bugs. Karrablast has greenish hue and its evolution Escavalier looks even better with a fuschia type of red. Plus, it’s also a good Great and Ultra league pick. Meanwhile, Shelmet has a yellow and pink face and its evolution Accelgor mirrors that. It’s one of the cooler-looking ones.

In addition, the mythical Pokemon attached to Pokemon Go Fest 2022 this year is Shaymin. The Gratitude Pokemon is on the poster for the event and Pikachu will be donning a Gracidea flower costume inspired by the critter. The costumed Pikachu appears to also have a chance to be shiny.

Regionals such as Tropious, which is on the poster, will be another big get though reports say that the Fruit Pokemon is part of the ticketed experience. Torkoal is another leaked regional though that creature was released at 2018’s Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago.

THE TICKETED EXPERIENCEFor those paying for the ticketed part of the event, they’ll find shinies easier to come by on Saturday and they’ll go on a Customized Special Research quest to encounter Land Forme Shaymin on Day 1. Interestingly enough, the questline will have difficulty levels with different stickers available for each one. I expect hard-core players to go for nothing less than the Master difficulty.

Meanwhile, players can pick the gameplay focus among the options of catch, explore or battle. This is a smart move for Niantic and can help players of all types enjoy Go Fest more. Not everyone is into battling or hunting for shinies.

Ticketed players will have access to shiny Unown B though that could be hard to get as previous Go Fests can attest. In addition, trainers will have a Global Challenge Arena on Saturday that can unlock bonuses for the hour.

Day 2 will give ticketed players an additional Special Research story that goes beyond what free players have. On top of that, Team Go Rocket balloons will appear more frequently and trainers will earn twice the Mysterious Components from beating up grunts. That could be part of the celebration’s overall plot or it could mean new shadow Pokemon or shadow shinies will be available.

For both days, players can earn up to nine Raid Passes most likely by spinning a stop or a gym.

While the global Go Fest will likely be a fun experience, it will be even more memorable for those who attend the in-person events that are coming to Seattle, Berlin and Sapporo, Japan, this summer. I’ve been to the one in Chicago before the pandemic, and it’s easily the best “Pokemon Go” experience I’ve had.

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