The last time you walked around in a park to capture Pokemon on your phone was probably a long time ago. If you’re like most of the estimated 28 million people that started playing Pokemon Go at launch in July, you stopped playing sometime in November or December of last year. You got busy during the holiday season and the novelty factor of finger-swiping pokeballs at bouncing Pidgeys wore off at that point. Niantic has periodically held special themed events like the Easter “Eggstravaganza” that increased the drop rate for eggs, but the trickle of updates hasn’t really offered anything to entice anyone but hardcore current players.
Pokemon Go’s upcoming summer update is going to add true cooperative play. Raid Battles are time-limited boss battles that can pop up at gyms. When one appears, up to a dozen players can cooperatively attack the monster to take it down. If they succeed, everyone in the group gets a chance to capture that monster along with being rewarded with some high-level loot. Participating in these cooperative events will require Raid Passes, which everyone can get once per day from gyms. Players will even be allowed to generate private lobby codes so they can fight with their buddies instead of random folks. Niantic says the raids are designed to bring back that feeling of discovery and cooperation that everyone had in the first weeks of the game.
Although there’s no set date for the public release of the update, high-level community members are testing it already.