Pokemon Go is celebrating Lunar New Year with a brand new special event. First launched back in the summer of 2016, Pokemon Go's mobile, augmented reality approach to the famous video game franchise became an overnight sensation, taking the world by storm. The fanfare quickly began to fade and despite a significant decline in users, Pokemon Go has retained a sizeable following and has continuously updated its gameplay with huge new features, including the recently introduced, long-awaited inter-trainer battle system.
One of the main ways Pokemon Go has managed to retain its core audience is through frequent special events that increase the chances of finding certain creatures and allow players to score special bonuses. The game's holiday-themed and Community Day events came in response to early criticism that there was only so much fun to be gained from catching yet another Pidgey or Rattata. These events now come in quick succession and shortly after the winter-themed period of December and January, a Lunar New Year event has been announced.
According to an official announcement from Niantic (via Future Game Releases), Pokemon Go's Lunar New Year celebration will run until Feb. 13 and will offer double XP for catching and evolving, increased odds of gaining a lucky Pokemon during a trade and the chance to catch a Chimchar as a quest reward. Since it's the Year of the Pig, there's also some shiny Spoinks to be found out in the wild. Spawn rates for the following Pokemon have also been increased: Spoink, Rattata, Ekans, Dratini, Mareep, Miltank, Electabuzz, Poochyena, Mankey, Ponyta, Torchic and Buneary.
Looking closer at this seemingly random selection of Pokemon, it becomes clear that each one represents an animal featured in the Chinese zodiac. For example, Ekans is Year of the Snake and Dratini would be Year of the Dragon. With that said, it's not immediately clear how Electabuzz is related to Year of the Tiger, the only animal left after drawing all the obvious matches.
While many Pokemon on that list will be of little use to longtime players of Pokemon Go, there are several attractive inclusions in Miltank and Electabuzz. The cow Pokemon Miltank was introduced some time ago but has been a rare find thus far and the Lunar New Year celebration offers players the best chance yet to catch this beast. Electabuzz, meanwhile, recently gained a new evolutionary stage and this Pokemon's inclusion provides an ideal opportunity to amass the 100 candy needed to turn Electabuzz into Electivire.
Source: Niantic (via Future Game Releases)