It was a banner year for Pokemon GO in 2018 and the game continues to grow, here are a few things that I think could help.
Pokemon GO is by far in a way one of my favorite pastimes. It has helped me to find reasons to get out and explore since it released in 2016, and as someone who spends a lot of time inside playing video games I feel that this is important. I have seen the game start with a boom, then fade out for a while, only to come booming back.
Despite how great the game is, there are still many things that I would like to see improved. The year 2018 saw many changes to help improve the game for players. The introduction of Community Day, trading, and player vs. player battles were all highlights of 2018. So what will 2019 hold? Here’s what I want to see:
1. Make improvements to the friends list
I think the most important thing for Niantic to do is to make improvements to social features. In its current state, the friends feature has a lot to be desired. There is no way to tell if your friends are online or not, there is no messenger system, sorting options for friends are limited, and remote battles are extremely buggy. It is a chore to challenge people you are communicating with to battles, and it is nearly impossible to do battle with someone on your friends list that you are not speaking to. These changes could help encourage players to become friends and play with one another more often.
2. Expand to more players
If Pokemon GO really wants to grow at this point, it needs to appeal to more than just urban players. While the game aims to get players out and about, cities and parks are not the only places to see in the world. Ultimately, the game should function for all players, not just those who it favors geographically. On top of this, the world is constantly growing and changing, and spawns and Pokestops need to keep up with it. Niantic is slowly rolling out Pokestop nomination, so hopefully this will help update the map and make the game more enjoyable for everyone.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – AUGUST 24: People gather outside of a major shopping mall to play Pokemon in Bangkok, Thailand August 24, 2016. Pokemon Go’s debut in Thailand has alarmed the country’s military regime, prompting the junta chief to warn youngsters against playing too much and the army to ban the game from barracks.(Photo by Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images)
3. Expand on research tasks
Finally, I would really like to see more done in the way of research tasks. Some of the most fun I have had playing this game was doing the Halloween research quests. This was in the spirit of the holiday, and it provided me with a number of unique quests to get out and about to do. The rewards were also unique and desirable, so that gave me even more of a reason to get out and do them. I believe having a good goal and a reward for meeting that goal is a great way to get people involved and playing the game.
Other than this, Niantic could use to devote some time to fixing some bugs and making small quality of life changes. I am hopeful that Pokemon GO will continue to make changes that benefit the game. Regardless of what they decide to do, I am looking forward to seeing how the game continues to progress in 2019.