Pokémon GO’s gameplay will soon change based on the real world weather around you

Greg Kumparak

A bunch of new Pokémon are coming to Pokèmon Go this week – but that’s not the only big change on the way.

Pokémon Go will soon be aware of the real world weather around you, with a number of things in the game adapting accordingly.

I spoke to Niantic’s Archit Bhargava and Matt Slemon about the new system, which they refer to as “dynamic weather”.

Here’s some of what they shared:

As far as I can tell, there are at least five different types of weather in the mix:

The timing of the new weather system isn’t random: the incoming Gen III Pokémon first showed up in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire… which, as it just so happens, were also the first games in the series to feature changing weather in the in-game overworld.

And for all of us in the Bay Area finding themselves thinking about the closest snow being a few hundred miles away: it shouldn’t be an issue. Slemon tells me that Pokémon will spawn outside of their preferred weather, they’ll just be much less common.

As a funny side note: when Pokémon Go first launched, there was all sorts of folklore about what caused certain things to spawn. Driven by anecdotal evidence, folks were convinced that more ghost Pokémon spawned near graveyards (nope), or that Snorlax liked being around sweet shops (nope). There were all sorts of theories around weather – some players swore that more Dratini spawned when it was raining. Now that might actually hold true.

Beyond being a neat mechanic for an AR game, it’s a clever way for Niantic to chip away at a problem: the colder it gets, generally, the fewer people go outside and play. Now that PoGo is weather-aware, they’re able to flip the problem on its head and incentivize playing when the weather looks bleak.