Niantic Dares ‘Pokémon GO’ Trainers To Catch 3 Billion Pokémon As Part Global Catch Event


Niantic wants trainers to catch 3 billion Pokémon in a week in a new global catch event called "Pokémon GO Travel."

Pokémon GO Players have been waiting for the company to unveil its official Thanksgiving event for smash-hit title, but they were probably not expecting this to be it. Instead of announcing more theme-appropriate Thanksgiving festivities, Niantic has taken a number of YouTube gaming celebrities, flown them to Japan, and tasked them to promote the global catch event.

Pokémon GO Has An Impossible Global Catch Event

While a seemingly impossible feat, the company has set milestone rewards in place that players can unlock while they marathon toward the 3 billion count. For starters, once they catch 500 million, they'll get 2 XP and six-hour lures. If they reach 1.5 billion, they get the previous rewards plus 2X Stardust. Finally, if they reach the main goal, they get all the previous rewards in addition to a 48-hour global window for Farfetch'd spawns and a 48-hour local East Asia window for Kangaskhan spawns.

All Pokémon caught will count toward the goal beginning Nov. 20, and the event ends a week later on Nov. 26. Niantic says it created the event as a way for trainers to "explore more, see more, and catch more."

As of Nov. 21, or in less than two days,  players have caught 500 million Pokémon .

Pokémon GO has always been different from the mainline series in that it's the most mobile of them all. The launch trailer is the best example of this, showing that the game is meant to be played outdoors, preferably with other trainers. In the months after it was released, Niantic continuously attempted to make the game a more communal experience — to varying reception. For instance, players found it infuriating that certain Pokémon were "region-locked," or available only in far-away regions, apparently to encourage trainers to travel there if possible.

Will There Be Enough Players?

Pokémon GO is one of the most popular mobile games ever, but a great number of players have stopped playing, especially after the initial hype wore off. While the game has over 750 million downloads, the number of active Pokémon GO players is way, way lower than that, according to Forbes. This means 3 billion is a bold goal for Niantic, considering the number of people engaged is far lower than it used to be. Can trainers reach it? Or more importantly, are the rewards attractive enough to bother with?

Just for comparison, players struggled to even catch 100 million Pokémon in one of Sun and Moon's first global missions — and those are mainline games.

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