Big Changes Are Coming To Pokémon Go’s Battle System

Pokemon Go

Niantic is about ready to roll out a series of game-changing adjustments to Pokémon Go‘s combat systems. Addressing fans over the weekend in a blog post, the developer outlines several key areas it’s looking to address which, it says, are not only intended to make gameplay feel smoother and more intuitive but more accessible for newcomers. There’s a wealth of information to unpack here so let’s get started with the aforementioned combat system updates.

Due to arrive within the “next couple of weeks” are the following tweaks:

  • The timing for damage dealt and energy charged has been improved, the reasons for which can be found below.

We understand this issue provided a possible knowledge gap that players could learn to work around, giving them an edge in battle. We chose to adjust this since we think it was fundamentally unintuitive that damage and energy changes always ran one move late. Unlike with quickly switching before a predicted Charged Attack, we don’t think the particularities of our refresh rate make for interesting gameplay decisions.

  • Pokémon health bars will no briefly pulse to indicate when it’s receiving incoming damage.

Is that everything? Not even close. In addition to the above, several key abilities will receive buffs to their potency, availability and utility, including Bubble Beam, Power-Up Punch, Snarl and Psychic. That last one, in particular, will be a welcome sight for many Trainers struggling with Gym and Raid battles, as the super-powerful attack will not only now deal more damage, but be usable much earlier in any given fight.

Last but by no means least, two previously unavailable moves will soon make their way in-game. As always, only a select few ‘Mons will be able to learn these attacks and you can check ahead of time to see if you’re already the proud owner of any.

  • Thunder Fang – Electric-type move learned by Arcanine, Steelix, Mightyena and Hippowdon
  • Ice Fang – Ice-type move learned by Suicune, Mightyena, Mawile, Hippowdon and Drapion

Our advice? Given the obvious overlap, your best bet in adding both moves to your arsenal will be to obtain a Mightyena and/or Hippowdown and pump their bellies full of Candy for a quick-track path to success.

There’s been no word yet, from Niantic in regards to specific release windows for Pokémon Go‘s next bumper update but we’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned.