It's Seriously Time for You to Redownload Pokémon Go—Here's Why

love Pokémon Go.

I downloaded the app the day it released in the U.S., but as much as I admire the game, I'd be lying if I told you I've been playing it consistently from the beginning. I'm not a hardcore player who's completed their Pokédex, but I'm also not a low-level player incapable of taking over a gym or two on my own.

I've definitely gone weeks at a time without picking up the app before inspiration strikes (or a new feature is introduced) and I become obsessed with the game all over again.

That happened again a week ago, when Pokémon Go introduced what may be the biggest change to the game yet. I think this update might be able to keep me into the app like nothing could before.

The game calls this "Research," and it's a compelling reason to pick it up daily. There's Field Research as well as Special Research, and they both play different roles within Pokémon Go.


Field Research

In Field Research, players can have up to three tasks at a time. Completing each one yields special rewards, from stardust to useful items to encounters with wild Pokémon.

Pokémon Go Collect Stamps to unlock

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

These little assignments range from catching specific types of Pokémon to earning candies with your buddy Pokémon to getting well-aimed "Nice" throws when you catch the little guys.

You'll want to complete at least one Field Research task daily because you earn a stamp every day that you do. I also discovered that if I waited to claim my prizes, I could hold on to completed tasks and claim them the following day to nab my stamps, which was perfect when I was anticipating a busy day.

Pokémon Go Field Research

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

After seven days, I was extremely curious to see what my reward would be for sticking with it. In addition to some Poké Balls, experience and stardust, I was also rewarded with a chance to catch the fiery legendary bird Moltres.

Moltres reward in Pokémon Go

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

By the way, Moltres is now sitting soundly in my Pokédex. I can't wait to see who I'll be able to catch after another seven days pass.

Pokémon Go Pokédex with Moltres

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)


Special Research

But what I'm even more curious about is the Special Research—in part because there's an actual storyline behind it for the first time in Pokémon Go history. Professor Willow is seeking out the elusive legendary Pokémon Mew, and he needs the player's help to gather the info required to make that possible.

Pokémon Go Professor Willow

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

The Special Research is pretty similar to the Field Research, but on a more massive scale. While you don't have to wait for a day to pass to make any progress, these bigger missions will take you longer to complete.

For example, one task was to take part in two Raid Battles. Along the way, I learned that if you get knocked out in a Raid Battle, you shouldn't run away. Even if no one else is taking part, wait until the timer runs out in order for the game to acknowledge your participation.

However, I also got lucky and stumbled into a couple of first-tier Raid Battles with Swablus and Magikarps, which you can easily take down on your own if you're well-equipped. If you live in a well-populated area, you may even get to do Raid Battles with other players, making it a lot easier to complete—but that's only ever happened to me once in all the time I've been playing Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Swablu Raid Battle

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

Some people managed to get their Mews within a couple days of the new update, but I'm still stuck on the fifth of eight phases. I've been hunting Dittos for three days without any luck, and ghost-type Pokémon are pretty rare and tough to encounter.

Pokémon Go a mythical discovery 5 of 8

(Pokémon Go via Niantic)

I've also heard that an upcoming task is to evolve a Magikarp. The last time I did that, the process took months, so it'll probably be a while before I'll finish Professor Willow's research—but I'm okay with that.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this update is just the thing Pokémon Go needs to revitalize its community. These daily tasks are fun and engaging, and I actually feel like I'm being rewarded for taking part. It's also made me focus on things I never had before, like spinning Poké Stops I've never visited, or focusing on getting on-target "Nice" and "Great" throws when I catch Pokémon, which adds a whole new layer and nuance to the gameplay.

As long as I keep feeling rewarded by Pokémon Go, I continue to keep playing and unlocking all of the new content it has to offer. If you're like me and have been trying to be healthier, you might also benefit from actually going outside and walking around every day, too.


If you think you love Pokémon Go, click HERE to find out about the 83-year-old woman who's completed her Pokédex.