It looks like it could be a second summer of Pokémon GO, as the world’s favourite app prepares to add new multiplayer features.
If you haven’t turned on Pokémon GO in a while then today would be a good time to give it another go, because the app is getting newly revamped gyms that will set-up a new co-operative multiplayer mode coming later this summer.
It’s not clear exactly when the update will go live in the UK, but the original version of the gyms have been down for refurbishment for a few days now.
The update is free, and is intended to make gym ownership more collaborative. Before there wasn’t much point visiting them if you didn’t have super powerful pokémon, but now you can get unique items at friendly gym – just like you do at a PokéStop.
Trainers will also receive gym badges that they can level up, in order to earn better rewards and bonus items.
The new gyms will now have six permanent slots that can be filled by any friendly player, while opposing teams will have to battle the defending pokémon in the order they were assigned to the gym.
Defending pokémon don’t remain static though, and they’ll lose combat power (CP) the more times they lose. Although you can give them berries to keep them motivated.
It’s Raid Battles which sound like the most substantial upgrade though, as they take the first step towards giving the game some proper multiplayer options.
Raid Battles are co-operative rather than competitive, and allow you to team up with other nearby players and try and defeat extra powerful pokémon known as raid bosses.
These are timed events that will temporarily take over a gym, and allow everyone there to join in and earn special items – and catch the pokémon.
You’ll also be able to create private raid groups and invite your friends to that via a customisable code system.