Returning Player's Guide to Pokemon Go 2018


Recently, I’ve observed a huge number of players who’ve just returned to the game after many months of layoff or hiatus. Indeed, the second half of 2017 was heavy in terms of updates making Pokemon Go a “new game” to some of you. In short, there’s too much to catch up. Therefore, I’ve written this guide to summarize on what’ve changed over the past six months.
As I am aware that a similarly written guide was published six months ago (17/6/17), consider this guide to be a sequel so if there’s anything I’ve left out, do refer to the first guide.

Written on 8th January 2018.
Updated on 13th January 2018.


  1. Real-time weather affects Pokemon spawns, move damage, wild Pokemon level and stardust gain.
  2. Over 70 new Pokemon to catch (160+ new Pokemon including Gen 2) and more regional Pokemon
  3. Drastic changes to eggs obtained after 25th December 2017.
  4. New raid bosses.
  5. New lottery system introduced known as ex-raids which requires the player to win any raid at a park or sponsored gym to be in the ballot for one. Allows the player to battle Mewtwo (for now).
  6. New gym system.
  7. New feature known as raids. Requires players to band together and defeat the raid boss on time to capture it.
  8. Additional 50 Pokemon storage for free.
  9. AR+ Mode available (available only for iOS 11 with ARKit at the time of writing.).
  10. Lots of new shiny Pokemon.
  11. Ace Trainer badge is now defunct (for display only).
  12. Pokemon Go will require a minimum of iOS 11 to operate starting 28th February.


A new game mechanic which was introduced in conjunction with the release of some Gen 3 Pokemon. Weather takes the game to a whole new level as it affects certain aspects of the gameplay below:
a) Certain species of Pokemon tend to spawn more frequently under certain weather conditions. For example, Slakoth tends to spawn more commonly under partly cloudy weather than other weathers.
b) Weather do affect wild Pokemon’s CP which causes some Pokemon to be reportedly caught at Level 35 CP.
c) It also causes high IV Pokémon (60+ IV) to spawn frequently.
d) Raid bosses can be caught at Level 25 CP depending on the weather when they were raided.
e) Boosts damage of certain move types by 20%.
f) Increases stardust amount by 25% if the Pokemon was caught under the right weather conditions. Be wary that it does not stack with first-catch bonuses.

Below here is a great chart created by LeekDuck for Pokemon types that spawn more frequently, gain damage boost and provide more stardust.

So if your environment happened to be Sunny but it’s raining in game, it’s because Pokemon Go derives data from Accuweather.


Introduced in conjunction with weather, Niantic have taken a different approach to the release of Gen 3 Pokemon. Unlike Gen 2, which was released in a bulk (save for Delibird and Smeargle), they decided to release them gradually starting from the Halloween event with 5 Ghost-types. The Pokemon which are currently available at the time of writing are shown below. Credits to ZeChrales and LeekDuck for the chart.

NOTE 1: Gen 3 consists of 135 Pokemon including 8 legendary Pokemon(so far Groudon was released) and 2 mythical Pokemon. Also bear in mind that there are still 50 more non-legendary Pokemon which was still unreleased by Niantic at the time of writing. Stay tuned for news from them.

NOTE 2: Feebas’ evolution method is unique as it requires you to walk it as a buddy for 20 km and 100 candies to evolve it.

NOTE 3: Absol and Mawile are only available through Tier 4 and Tier 2 raids respectively.

With the release of Gen 3, a few new regionals were added into the mix which are Zangoose, Seviper, Plusle, Minun and Relicanth. Also an unannounced regional swap happened on the 5th January causing Seviper and Zangoose to swap regions respectively. The following map shows the locations on where these species were located.


With Generation 3 Pokemon also added into the mix, the egg chart had changed drastically. The following table shows the possible hatches from eggs obtained starting on 23rd December.

2 km Egg Pokemon
Nidoran ♂, Nidoran ♀, Oddish, Diglett, Abra, Machop, Geodude, Slowpoke, Gastly, Krabby, Exeggcute, Spinarak, Pichu, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Togepi, Aipom, Misdreavus, Slugma, Remoraid, Gulpin, Poochyena, Zigzagoon, Wurmple, Spoink, Wailmer, Barboach, Spheal, Luvdisc

5 km Egg Pokemon
Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Growlithe, Poliwag, Ponyta, Seel, Grimer, Shellder, Onix, Drowzee, Voltorb, Cubone, Lickitung, Koffing, Rhyhorn, Tangela, Scyther, Pinsir, Eevee, Omanyte, Kabuto, Chikorita, Cydnaquil, Totodile, Chinchou, Natu, Hoppip, Wooper, Girafarig, Pineco, Dunsparce, Gligar, Snubbull, Qwilfish, Shuckle, Sneasel, Teddiursa, Swinub, Mantine, Houndour, Phanpy, Stantler, Tyrogue, Smoochum, Elekid, Magby, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Seedot, Shroomish, Makuhita, Azurill, Skitty, Shuppet, Duskull, Wynaut, Lotad, Carvanha, Corphish

10 km Egg Pokemon
Chansey, Lapras, Porygon, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, Dratini, Mareep, Sudowoodo, Skarmory, Miltank, Larvitar, Ralts, Slakoth, Sableye, Feebas


A new feature that allows you to pre-select your Pokemon into a fixed party before a gym battle or raid. This way you don’t have to worry about phone crash while selecting your Pokemon before a battle. To do so, swipe to the left of your Pokemon Menu and select your six Pokemon for that battle party. However be reminded that if the Pokemon in the battle party was returned to you after defending a gym, it will be removed from that battle party.

TIP: Create battle parties to counter certain raid bosses.


Since 4th of November most of the raid bosses were replaced. The following table will show the current raid boss list at the time of writing.


MAWILE 9403 CP (exclusive to raids)


GOLEM 30572 CP
ABSOL 26262 CP (exclusive to raids)

KYOGRE 51968 CP (Until 14th February 2018)


A new method to catch Pokemon, AR Plus is a new optional mode that allows you to catch Pokemon by sneaking up close to them without them getting aware. If their awareness reached a high level (especially if you run straight up to them), they will panic and FLEE!!! However, a successful capture of them using this method will award an Expert Handler XP bonus of 100 XP and stardust. Also by successfully getting close to them, you will have a much easier chance of earning Great and Excellent Throws at them. You can even use this mode in raids too. But instead of making the raid boss flee immediately, you still have a chance to catch it until the raid timer expire or you ran out of Premier Balls.

So far, it only works on devices that support ARKit which in turn its only available in iOS 11 devices.


For those unaware, the only way to obtain Mewtwo currently is only via EX-Raids. In turn, Ex-raids require an invitation in order to participate, unlike normal raids. However, EX-raids do have a specific date and time for you to raid so that players can plan out before attending it. To obtain the ex-raid pass, the following has to be done:

a) Win a raid at a gym which fits the ex-raid gym criteria. In other words, raid more frequently at gyms situated on a green patch or sponsored gyms. Also it doesn’t matter whether you caught the raid boss or not. Puts you in the ballot.

b) Luck, pure luck. Seriously, I am not joking.

And if you did a combination of the above, congratulations. You received an EX-Raid Pass together with some lucky players all over the world.

Usually you will receive an ex-raid pass scheduled 8 days before it takes place and in case you forgot where’s the gym located at, it comes together with the directions to the exraid gym. Throughout the eight days, no raids will occur at that selected gym until the ex-raid is over. And should a player without an ex-raid pass attempt to spin or attack that gym during that ongoing EX-Raid, they will get the message below:


A new feature introduced into Pokemon Go since June, raiding is a new feature in which players must work together, irrespective of team colour to take down the overpowered raid boss. At Level 5 you can already join a raid. The countdown timer of 1 hour will be displayed on an egg. Egg colour also indicates the raid boss difficulty.

  • Pink egg, one star,Tier 1- A soloable boss provided you are Level 20+

  • Pink egg, two star, Tier 2- Soloable boss at Level 25+

  • Yellow egg, three star, Tier 3- Requires another player to help or soloable at Level 35+

  • Yellow egg, four star, Tier 4- Requires at least 3 players

  • Dark egg, five star, Tier 5- Requires at least 6 players. Therefore its highly recommended to join a social media group in your area to make it easier to raid it.

Then once the egg hatches the raid boss will be there for 45 minutes. A raid pass is required to battle it and you can get a free raid pass once a day by spinning a GymStop.

In a raid, the lobby can support up to 20 players at once. And you have 2 minutes to either heal or select your Pokemon into the battle. Once you are in the arena, you have 3 minutes (5 minutes for Tier 5) to defeat the boss. Should your whole party of 6 Pokemon fainted you can select a new team of 6 Pokemon and continue.

Once the raid boss was defeated players can receive the following:

  • Golden Razz Berry. Makes Pokemon much easier to catch and good for pissing your opponent off as it increases a defending Pokemon’s motivation up to maximum.

  • Rare Candy. Increase a Pokemon’s candy count by one per usage.

  • Technical Machines (TM’s). Fast TM changes your Pokemon’s fast attack while Charged TM changes your Pokemon’s charge move.

  • 500 Stardust

  • Potions and Revives

The payout for the rewards depends on the Tier difficulty. You may not receive all of the rewards stated above. For instance you may not receive Rare Candies. Higher tier raids will reward more items.

You will then proceed to the Bonus Challenge in which you are given an opportunity to capture the raid boss. These raid bosses are within a Level 20 CP range (Level 25 if the weather matches their type) with an IV range of 67-100 and sorry, you can’t use your Ultra Balls as they will give you Premier Balls to catch it instead. Premier Balls payout depends on gym control and damage contribution by team. So if all raiders in lobby are Team Valor and your team controlled the Gym prior to the raid, you may receive up to 14 Premier Balls. They have the same catch rate as a standard Pokeball and the remainder will disappear once you caught the boss.

For information on how to counter raid bosses, you can find a library of them in Pokemon Go Hub.


Gone were the days in which you have to battle a Blissey Tower or hog 30 over gyms for coins. Now the gym system had changed a lot in ways that rendered these two strategies irrelevant. The following list down the changes to the gym system.

  • No more Prestige making your Ace Trainer badge redundant.

  • Only 6 Pokemon are allowed inside the gym. First come, first serve

  • You battle the gym according to the order the Pokemon were slotted in. So its no longer the lowest CP in which will be first battled.

  • Its 1 coin per 10 minutes. Cap of 50 coins a day. So be sure to obtain your Pokemon after 8 hours 20 minutes of defending.

  • You will only receive your coins once your Pokemon is returned to you.

  • No more prestige but instead motivation. Each defending Pokemon in gym have their motivation level. Once you won a battle against that Pokemon its motivation will drop. By emptying its motivation, the defender is knocked out from the gym.

  • To keep your Pokemon motivated, you’ll have to keep feeding it berries. For every berry fed, its motivation level increases and you’ll be awarded 10 stardust per berry fed. You can only feed up to 10 times per Pokemon before it gets too full. You can feed other Gym Defenders too. It also helps to increase your Gym Badge points.

  • Gyms have Gym Stops. Quantity of items obtained from the GymStop depends on Gym Badge Level (Gold, SIlver, Bronze).

Also added into the system is the Gym Badge. It’s a new mechanic that reminds you of the gyms you fought,raided or visited before and it have three tiers, bronze,silver, gold. To improve your Gym Badge Points, the following has to be done:

  • Defending the gym for some time

  • Feed a defending Pokemon berries

  • Deploy a defender

  • Win a raid. Gain you the most points.

  • Defeat a Pokemon there.


  • Niantic uses map data from OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps.

  • More Shiny Pokemon were added into the game. The Pokemon which have a Shiny version are Shuppet, Duskull, Absol, Snorunt, Mawile and Sableye. Shuppet, Duskull and Snorunt also retain their shiny form when they evolve. Shinies Mawile, Sableye and Absol can be obtained via raids too.

  • New badges were added such as Champion, Battle Legend, Hoenn, Berry Master and Gym Defender. To get a gold Champion or Battle Legend badge requires way more effort as it requires a 1000 raids each to accomplish that.

  • The Search Bar can now be manipulated to your advantage. Refer to the guide Search Bar Cheat Sheet for more information.

  • Alola outfits for Trainers were introduced into the apparel.

  • A legendary Pokemon a month.

  • Extra storage of 50 Pokemon for free. In the process you’ve saved 200 coins from buying a new Pokemon storage.

  • Charge move is no longer activated by holding the Pokemon. Instead it’s at the bottom of the screen where one press shall do.

  • The release of Star Piece which was exclusive to Sale Boxes. Star Piece increases Stardust gain by 150% for 30 minutes. Currently available (at the time of writing) for a limited period of time.


  • Community Day in Pokemon Go on the 20th January 2018. A three-hour limited time event where trainers can obtain a Pikachu with Surf and receive double XP. Also lure modules during the event will last for 3 hours.

  • The release of 50 more Gen 3 Pokemon.

  • Pokemon Go will no longer be supported for devices that cannot be updated to iOS 11 by 28th February 2018.


  • A lot of legendaries!!!

  • Delibird. Released during Chistmas period. Serves nothing but a Pokedex filler.

  • The big reward of the Global Catch Challenge. Farfetch’d was introduced globally for 48 hours while Kangkaskhan was introduced in East Asia too for 48 hours.


This is interesting, but very poorly formatted. Why not apply more formating and add more content so we can actually publish it on the Hub?

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Forgot Sableye raid boss, and Gen 3 has only 8 legendaries, the Weather trio, Eon duo and the Regi trio

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Very nicely done, perfectionists notwithstanding.


Sure. Thanks for compliment. All changes to the document were already reflected.

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Already did lots of corrections and thanks for your consideration to publish this guide.

This guide will be revamped as Kyogre was released and Groudon will expire soon

Well done. Although I have played every day since day one, this post has basically recapped every that has happened over 2017 besides gen2.

are both kyogre and groudon out? Why cant Niantic wait until the 15th?

Kyogre was just released today. Thanks for your compliment. I made this post because I always see the same questions popping up in chat groups and a resurgence in returning players.

are they both out and obtainable

like can you find a kyogre raid and do it and then find a groudon raid

Sure. Possible. And it covered almost everything of 2017 as the second half of 2017 was heavy in updates.

Kyogre is available until Valentine’s Day

Maybe Eons could start on Valentine’s Day, that would be awesome

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Is kyogre out? If so I never heard of this

Yes it is, and WF/Blizz Kyogre is a beast

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is groudon still available?:thinking:

Until the 15th only, then it’s only Kyogre