Pokémon from the series' fifth generation can now be caught in Pokémon GO, including the generation five Unova starters and more. The Pokémon GO gen five release date comes almost a full year after developer Niantic began adding generation four Pokémon to the game in October 2018.
Since its launch in July 2016, Pokémon GO's player numbers have fluctuated, but the mobile monster collecting title has generally seen much success. Despite an initial Pokémon GO player decrease after the game's first wave of popularity in 2016, Pokémon GO was more successful than Candy Crush and Clash Royale in its first three years. Niantic has steadily been introducing new, limited-time events rolling out Pokémon from older generations to keep fans interested, as is the case with today's generation five release.
Niantic announced the arrival of gen five Pokémon in a short trailer last Friday, but did not specify a release date until a Pokémon GO blog post today. As with the release of generation four Pokémon, the gen five release will begin with the generation's starter Pokémon and a few other popular monsters from the fifth generation. While gen five's release may not include heavy-hitters like gen four's fan-favorite and rare Pokémon Lucario, Pokémon like Ferroseed, Drillbur and Lillipup join the starters Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott and their evolutions for today's release. The Friday trailer also seemed to show Pokémon not listed in Niantic's blog post as coming to the game, including Golurk, which appeared in the Detective Pikachu movie.
Many of the generation five Pokémon will appear in the wild for players to catch, while Pokémon like Pidove, Foongus and Deino will hatch from 2 km, 5 km and 10 km Eggs, respectively. Lillipup and Patrat will appear in raids, while Klink will be exclusively obtainable through raids and won't appear in the wild. The generation five update also introduces several Pokémon that can only be obtained in certain real-world regions, including the often-hated elemental monkeys: Pansage will be exclusive to the Asia-Pacific region, Pansear to the Middle Easy, Africa and India, and Panpour to the Americas and Greenland. Heatmor, the Anteater Pokémon, will be exclusive to the Western hemisphere, while Durant, Heatmor's in-game rival, will be exclusive to the Eastern hemisphere. Niantic will introduce more Unova Pokémon as time goes on.
The introduction of new monsters to Pokémon GO is always exciting, but U.S. fans might find generation five's release especially so, since the Unova region from which these Pokémon come is based on America (New York City, specifically). Plus, the news of a new generation being added to the game seems to confirm The Pokémon Company will continue supporting the title as much as it has in the past, even in spite of other mobile titles like Pokémon Duel shutting down.