Out of the many games and gaming companies that have faced challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, Pokemon GO and Niantic Labs have overcome some unique hurdles. It's hard to move forward with a game centered around social activity when social activity is so dangerous. However, Niantic has persevered and now the studio is ready to grow Pokemon GO in new ways by going beyond. Specifically, Niantic's mobile phenomenon is ready to GO Beyond.
GO Beyond is the title of the next major Pokemon GO update and it promises to be the game's biggest one to date. First and foremost, those who may feel like they've hit the game's ceiling can now begin to go further thanks to an increased level cap. The new level cap is now 50 and those who already hit Level 40 previously will receive special rewards, which include a new Gyarados Hat for your trainer. However, leveling up after 40 will not be a simple, straightforward process of earning XP. Players will have to complete a set of challenges in addition to earning the needed XP in order to level up past 40.
There will be plenty of Pokemon to help players reach that new cap. Wednesday, December 2 will mark the date that the Kalos region Pokemon make their way into Pokemon GO. For the unfamiliar, the Kalos region is the setting for Pokemon X & Y and include such Pokemon as Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie (and its popular final evolution, Greninja), and others. In an effort to get players started on collecting this whole new Pokemon generation, a new Special Celebration Event will run from December 2 at 10AM PT through Tuesday, December 8 at 10PM PT.
The GO Beyond update will also usher in a new Seasons feature. Not to be confused with the seasons for the GO Battle League (though that will expand from 10 to 24 ranks), Seasons are three-month periods in which Pokemon migrate to different parts of the world. Some Pokemon will become much more common in specific areas during a season and others will become harder to find. In-game events will unfold as usual, but they'll now be thematically closer to the current Season. The first Pokemon GO Season will be the Season of Celebration, which kicks off at Tuesday, December 1 at 8AM PT.
In addition to the above, Pokemon GO players can expect to see new quality-of-life improvements. While these improvements aren't specified, players can expect Pokemon encounters, Pokemon capturing, Adventure Sync, Buddy Adventure, Field Research, and Gifts to be among the items addressed.
The Pokemon GO: GO Beyond update will launch on Monday, November 30. In the meantime, players can prepare for the big update by taking part in the 12 Days of Friendship event. Friendship levels will increase faster when engaging with various friend activities, like exchanging gifts and taking part in raids. You'll also receive increased XP from completing raids and can open more Gifts each day during the event. The 12 Days of Friendship event kicks off today at 1PM PT and runs until Monday, November 30 at 1PM PT.