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Pokémon Go’s new Party Play aims to get even more gamers outside

The new feature sees players team up in groups of four and take on challenges
Pokémon Go’s new Party Play aims to get even more gamers outside
  • Party Play is a new local co-op feature encouraging people to play together.
  • Gameplay takes inspiration from the Nintendo Switch games Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Giving mobile players yet another reason to go outside, Pokémon Go is channelling a cooperative spirit with the introduction of a new feature: Party Play.

After teasing it last week, Niantic has officially launched the new co-op feature days before Go’s Halloween event kicks off - set to bring a plethora of Pokémon into the spooky spotlight with elusive shiny variations included.

Party everywhere you Go

Niantic is no stranger to finding new ways of getting people outside, be that in Go or the newly released Monster Hunter Now, which has become the AR dev’s second-biggest game in just one month. And now that gamers actually spend more time outdoors than their non-gaming counterparts, there should certainly be a good number of Go players eager to try out the new feature.

As for what Party Play entails, it is essentially an additional local co-op feature, allowing four players to form a group.

It appears that last year’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet on Nintendo Switch have played a part in shaping the new mode. Scarlet and Violet marked the first time in the main series that four players could explore together in each other’s games, allowing them to find alternate version-exclusives, check what Pokémon others have caught and more. Pokémon Go's Party Play is much the same with four players appearing on each other’s screens, exploring locally together and receiving updates on each other’s catches.

Considering the launch comes days before new Scarlet and Violet Pokémon are set to debut, the influence certainly seems well timed.

Players at level 15 and up can form their new parties in Go by connecting with a numeric or QR code. Being in close proximity is essential, as the feature is designed exclusively for local co-op to encourage players to scout the world together in person.

Party Play teams will do bonus damage in raid battles, compete for the top ranking in who has walked the furthest, caught the most Pokémon and spun the most PokéStops, and more. Parties get to choose which challenge they want to take on and gain rewards for completion.

"Party Play lets four total Trainers - level 15 and above - adventure as a party together. You’ll even get to see your friends’ avatars on your in-game map! Whether you’re looking to represent your team, take on new challenges, or capture memories while catching Pokémon, Party Play makes it possible," say Niantic.

Niantic - who appeared in our Top 50 Game Makers list - has currently given no hints as to whether exclusive mode and platform specific Pokémon will become available through Party Play, but such a move wouldn’t be unprecedented. When Niantic introduced Routes this summer, this mode became the sole means of finding the Legendary Pokémon Zygarde’s cells.