Players will soon be allowed to change teams in Pokémon GO — for a price. Starting Feb. 26, trainers can purchase a new item called Team Medallion, allowing them to switch to either Team Mystic, Team Valor, or Team Instinct.
A Team Medallion will cost 1,000 PokéCoins when it goes on sale, and it can only be used once per year. Players can either purchase PokéCoins from the game's virtual store using real-world currency or earn them through constant gameplay.
As for the once-a-year limit, perhaps that's to make sure people still remain somewhat loyal to their newly chosen teams. It also helps maintain the game's mechanics. There are quite a number of advantages inherent to playing alongside members of the same team — stat boosts in big group battles, otherwise called Raids, being one of them. Not to mention a few extra Pokéballs when the team does the most damage in Raids.
Niantic probably anticipated that players would game the system to take advantage of these perks as much as possible, thus the yearly team switch cap.
Pokémon GO Team Medallion
There are some other important caveats to note too. If a trainer changes Teams, as detailed in a post on Niantic's Pokémon GO website, any Pokémon that's in a Gym will be returned with no PokéCoins earned once it's defeated.
Furthermore, trainers won't be able to battle their own Pokémon. In the event that a trainer returns to a Gym their Pokémon is defending, it will be returned with no PokéCoins earned.
Teams In 'Pokémon GO'
Early on in the game, players are asked to pick between Team Valor or Team Mystic. It's not uncommon to hear people regret the team they had chosen originally. But the choice is final, and choosing a new team means creating an entirely new account and grinding from the beginning. That changes soon, of course.
The update will apply come Feb. 26, according to Niantic. This is the latest in a series of recent additions to the still wildly popular mobile game, most of which fulfill longstanding requests from the Pokémon GO community. These new updates are also likely part of a broader effort to rekindle the interest of some players who've stopped playing.
Trading, for instance, was added in June 2018, then player-versus-player battles this past December. The addition of a Team Medallion might convince players to log back in and play for a different team.