What PokemonGo Must Update to Stay Relevant

 Photo Credit: Forbes.com
Photo Credit: Forbes.com

     It is crazy to think that this game/application has only been on the market for less than a week and already received the response that it has. Between bumping Nintendo’s net value in the stock game more than 9 Billion dollars since its launch, to surpassing Twitters daily active user count, there is no denying the impact that PokemonGO has had across the globe. As I was sitting at a local park yesterday, among at least a hundred other Pokemon enthusiasts, I realized that this was not just a new game but a craze that was sinking its teeth into everyone that played it. Regardless of the age group, it has brought people together in a way that I have never seen before, and I don’t want this to change. However the hype right this moment, it is an entirely different feat to move from the “New Fad” category to the “Essential Staple”. While I know a few of these have been discussed high level for the future scope of the app, here is a list of the updates they need to make sooner rather than later to ensure the game’s longevity.

1.) Pokemon Trading (Obviously)

The ability to trade your Pokemon with friends and other Trainers alike are a necessity within the Pokemon space. If the entire intent of the app is meant to get you outside and work with others (hence the move to dividing players into teams), what better way to push people to go out and talk with each other at the Pokestops than to allow them to swap? This also allows for those that are having a difficult time getting invested into the game(although this is obviously not an issue right now) the ability to work with friends on gaining a backlog of creatures that allow them to level up and evolve them as well. Of all the things I want to see added, this is the feature they need to put out quickly as this will give it a shot of adrenaline it will need in the coming weeks. 

2.) PvP Battles

I think the most common question that I usually get from those inquiring of the games purpose (outside of “Can I catch a Pikachu!?) is “So can I battle other people once I have strong enough Pokemon?” While I usually go into the Pokemon Gym description at this point, I would love to be able to give people the resounding Yes! that they are looking for. I literally can’t think of a better feature that is going to drive people to great lengths of going out and finding their Pokemon, than the promise of being the strongest among your friends, as well as in the area. With the Pokestops already packed with players looking for wild creatures, imagine individuals hanging around waiting to defend their nearby gym? Make this happen.

3.) (Enhanced) Filtering System for Pokemon

While we already have the ability to filter our collection in various ways, down the road as they add more Pokemon and libraries become more vast, we are going to need a better filtering system than the one at present. Yesterday was becoming burdensome having to go through droves of Pidgeys individually just to transfer them for candy. Imagine the ability to pick and select all at once, then engage a transfer with a ‘Candy Summary’ at the end. This is just one of the many modifications they can add to clear up the clutter that will become of these backlogs, and promote a cleaner user experience.

4.) Fix Those Servers!

The promise has been made from those at Niantic, that they are working around the clocks trying to figure out a way for better server support. Although I really can’t blame them, there is no way they could have anticipated the app destroying record traffic held by Twitter and Instagram in only a few short days on the market. However, if you want to turn away potential customers, then give them a buggy product (Insert Weedle joke here). We have gotten the promise for the developers that they are refraining from opening more markets till they have this under control, so hopefully this will come sooner rather than later. In the mean time, luck be with you on spotty connections and I hope you don’t have it crash on you during the final gym battle like it did to me…. Not that I am bitter or anything…

5.) As You Enhance the Product, Provide Tutorials

While it’s been fun to walk newbies through the fundamentals of the game, I can’t help but wonder why a more fleshed out tutorial wasn’t given. It may not be a huge deal at the moment since the product is still Vanilla, but give it 6 months after some larger updates, a newcomer will need a deeper explanation of how it actually works- rather than 5 sentences and a map. The way to sell this game to your friends is by telling them “just try it out, it’s free”, but if they get in there later down the road to a more complex system- it could prove too overwhelming for those just wanting to try it out. You need new customers for a business to thrive, make sure you set them up for success. 

Enough of my recommendations- what do you think? Am I missing something more crucial, or am I on to something here? Let me know in the comments below!

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