December 16, 2019

Pokémon GO 2019 year in review

Pokémon GO


The year of 2019 has been incredible, and we can’t thank you enough for joining us on this adventure! From encountering Pokémon discovered in regions like Sinnoh and Unova to taking on Team GO Rocket and their infamous boss Giovanni, this year has brought so much to Pokémon GO that we can’t wait to see what happens in 2020! But before we move into a fresh new year, we wanted to revisit a few of our favorite memories.

What were your Pokémon GO highlights this year, Trainer? Reminisce with us on social media with #PokemonGO!


  • Adventure Sync Hatchathon—We kicked off the year strong with an Adventure Sync Hatchathon, encouraging Trainers to get out and move!
  • Safari Zone Porto Alegre—We had our first-ever Pokémon GO event in Latin America! Throughout the weekend, tens of thousands of Trainers visited the recently revitalized Guaíba riverbank in Porto Alegre.
  • Pokémon originally discovered in the Sinnoh region emerge—Trainers were also able to catch Pokémon first found in the Sinnoh region! Pokémon originally discovered in Sinnoh started appearing in Pokémon GO along with the addition of the Sinnoh Stone.


  • Lunar New Year 2019—We celebrated the Year of the Pig with our Lunar New Year celebration, featuring Spoink!
  • New Team Medallion allowed Trainers to switch teams—Were you a Trainer who wanted to see what it would be like to join another team? Our team leaders took to social media to recruit Trainers to their teams with the announcement of the Team Medallion.
  • GO Snapshot—GO Snapshot allowed you to photograph Pokémon in a whole new way. This new and interactive feature letTrainers take photos of Pokémon like never before and even introduced the photobombing Smeargle!

Pokémon GO


  • Bugging out with the Bug-type event—It was good news for anyone who liked Bug-type Pokémon when we had our first-ever Bug Out event.
  • Battle Showdown—During our Battle Showdown, Trainers could level up Gym Badges, earn Stardust, and show their team pride.
  • Dialga—The Steel- and Dragon-type Temporal Pokémon, Dialga, joined Raid Battles!


  • Safari Zone Sentosa—Trainers headed to Southeast Asia for the first-ever Safari Zone in Sentosa, Singapore!
  • Lucky Friends and avatar poses—Being friends in Pokémon GO got even better with the addition of Lucky Friends! Becoming Lucky Friends gave both Trainers a guaranteed trade resulting in a Lucky Pokémon.
  • GO Snapshot Challenge—With the release of GO Snapshot, we hosted an amazing contest called the GO Snapshot Challenge! Trainers all over the world showed off their talent for capturing amazing photos of their Pokémon.


  • Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf surface in regional raids—Your work uncovering the mystery of these Legendary Pokémon discovered inthe Sinnoh region led to Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf appearing in different regions of the world in raids!
  • New Lures Modules and more Pokémon first found in SinnohGlacial Lure Modules, Mossy Lure Modules, and Magnetic Lure Modules were released and helped Trainers catch Pokémon of specific types and even evolve some of them! More Pokémon originally discovered in Sinnoh also came to Pokémon GO.
  • Snoozing with Snorlax—We heard reports from all over the world that Trainers found Snorlax in deep slumber.


  • Global Challenge 2019 and the first hint at Team GO Rocket’s arrival—Did you catch the Team GO Rocket hint in the Global Challenge blog, Trainers? Professor Willow wasn’t aware of their coming to the world of Pokémon GO, but he was preparing the team leaders for trouble regardless!
  • Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Chicago—Despite a brief interruption in play due to weather changes on Saturday, our Trainers showed their commitment and walked more than 290,000 kilometers, caught 15,000,000 Pokémon, and made 213,000 new friends. Team GO Rocket made their first appearance in-game as a GO Snapshot photobomb meanwhile!
  • Happy third anniversary, Pokémon GO!—To celebrate three years of Pokémon GO, Pikachu wearing party hats photobombed snapshots, Trainers could dress up like their favorite team leaders, and Shiny Alolan Pokémon could be encountered in the game!


  • The power of Armored Mewtwo was harnessed!—For a limited time, Trainers could encounter Armored Mewtwo in five-star raids. Streetwear-loving Trainers could also dress up their avatars in Mewtwo-inspired avatar items!
  • Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Dortmund—More than 85,000 Trainers attended the four-day event and 200,000 Trainers played in the surrounding Dortmund area. Trainers onsite witnessed a Team GO Rocket balloon flying above them, too!
  • Team GO Rocket invaded Pokémon GO—They took over subway station ads in New York City, they took over our marketing channels, and they took over all PokéStops with their Shadow Pokémon in tow! Trainers all over the world banded together to fight Team GO Rocket as they invaded the world of Pokémon GO!
  • Rayquaza returned to raids with a radiant reveal—The normally reclusive Rayquaza reappeared in Pokémon GO, and this time, there was a chance for Trainers to encounter Shiny Rayquaza! We celebrated theradiant return with an epic trailer and award-winning behemoth ads in Shibuya.

Pokémon GO


  • Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Yokohama—More than 150,000 Trainers attended our first ever Pokémon GO Fest in East Asia, catching more than 24,000,000 Pokémon in Akarenga, Rinko, and Yamashita Parks. In this recap blog, some eagle-eyed Trainers even spotted that the first letter of every sentence in the paragraph about the week three bonuses spelled out “Unova”! This teased the upcoming release of Pokémon originally discovered in the Unova region. Thanks for an amazing summer of Pokémon GO!
  • Water Festival—The highly anticipated Water Festival event made a splashy comeback! The Water-type attack Crabhammer was introduced and could be learned by Kingler and Crawdaunt, making them powerful threats that made waves in Trainer Battles!
  • Jirachi for all Trainers—Jirachi made its starry entrance! Trainers worldwide received the Special Research A Thousand-Year Slumber, which led to an encounter with Jirachi. Trainers who had attended Pokémon GO Fest 2019 received Jirachi Candy to help power up their newly caught Mythical Pokémon.


  • Safari Zone Montreal—Over 39,000 Trainers from all over the world visited Parc Jean-Drapeau, walking 166,000 kilometers and catching over 7,000,000 Pokémon in the first-ever Pokémon GO event in Canada!
  • The world expanded with Pokémon originally discovered in the Unova region—Trainers found that their Pokédexes got even bigger when they met Pokémon such as Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott for the first time in Pokémon GO! This also marked the introduction of the Unova Stone, a new Evolutionary item used to evolve certain Pokémon.

Pokémon GO


  • Safari Zone New Taipei City—Over 327,000 Trainers from all over the world joined us in New Taipei City, walking 4,500,000 kilometers and catching a total of 50,000,000 Pokémon!
  • Pokémon GO Halloween 2019—Darkrai, Yamask, and Pokémon in Halloween costumes all made their debuts during this spooky and fun Halloween event.


  • A Colossal Discovery—Regirock, Regice, and Registeel returned to raids—and this time they brought a guest with them in Special Research! For a limited time, Trainers could purchase a ticket to a Special Research story event that rewarded an encounter with Regigigas, the Colossal Pokémon.
  • Cobalion—A Legendary trio arrived in Pokémon GO with Cobalion leading the charge!
  • Willow Report: Looming in the Shadows—For the first time ever, Professor Willow shared his research log while developing the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar. This was done in an effort to galvanize Trainers worldwide to rise up against the threat of Team GO Rocket! Throughout the journey, Willowand the team leaders even encountered the Team GO Rocket Leaders. While these initial encounters didn’t end so well, the team leaders made an epic comeback during their next meetings!
  • The Team GO Rocket Leaders and Giovanni came to Pokémon GO—The Team GO Rocket threat grew even more as the top brass was called in! Trainers worldwide tracked down the Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo with Professor Willow’s newly developed Rocket Radar. With the completion of the Special Research Looming in the Shadows, Trainers received a Super Rocket Radar and were able to find and battle Giovanni, the boss of Team GO Rocket, for the first time in Pokémon GO history!

Pokémon GO


  • Celebrating 2019 with December Community Day—To celebrate this year, Trainers took part in a special two-day event featuring Community Day encounters and bonuses as a thank-you for joining us for the 2019 Community Day series.
  • Evolution Event—A lot can change in a year—or even in a moment! To round out 2019, Trainers worldwide celebrated Pokémon Evolution. One of the greatest lessons we learn from Pokémon is that it’s possible to evolve into a surprising and cool being—sometimes we just need a little help.

Pokémon GO

As we look forward to 2020, let’s take a moment together to appreciate all of the joy that our Pokémon have brought us this year. They’ve walked with us as buddies, battled alongside us, and been in cute and inspiring GO Snapshot photos with us. We love spending time with our Pokémon as much as you do. Here’s to many more buddy adventures together!

We’re also excited to announce that January Community Day next year will be taking place on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in your local time zone. Which Pokémon do you think will be featured, Trainers?

With all that said...let’s GO, Trainers, to 2020!

—The Pokémon GO team