POKEMON Go dominates the gaming news this week, as Raids finally make their debut, but only if you’re at a certain level.
UPDATE: Pokemon Go Raids are now available to players at level 20 and above.
ORIGINAL: Pokemon Go fans can now take part in Raids with other players, but only if they meet Niantic’s level requirements.
Raids are timed in-game events that give Trainers the chance to team up with other players to defeat powerful bosses.
Raids began as high-level activities for players ranked level 35 and higher.
However, the Raid entry-level requirements have since been lowered to level 25, as Niantic makes the feature available to more players.
It’s likely that levels will continue to drop as we get closer to the game’s first anniversary.
The only other requirement is that players need a Raid Pass, which can be obtained by spinning photo discs at Gyms.
Players can only hold one Raid Pass at a time, although additional passes will be available from the in-game shop.
Successfully defeating a Raid boss is also a way to earn rare Candy.
Pokemon Go Raid battles aren’t the only major change to hit the Niantic smartphone app.
The launch of Raids has coincided with a big change to the way Gyms work in Pokemon Go.
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The new an improved Gyms feature six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team’s Pokemon. Opposing players can battle these Pokemon in the order they were assigned to the Gym.
And to make things more competitive, defending Pokemon will lose motivation over time, which will lower their effective CP and therefore make them easier to defeat. Players can feed these Pokemon Berries to keep them motivated, which is also a new way of potentially earning rare Candy.
As a result of these changes, players now earn one coin for every ten minutes they have a Pokemon in a Gym.
But it looks as though Niantic has introduced a cap of 50 coins for the day, which is down from 100.
It’s unclear if these limitations will last, or if unlocking rarer Gym badges will let players earn more coins.
In addition to Raids and Gyms, Pokemon Go developer Niantic has also been hard at work on a new anti-cheat measure.
Pokemon caught using third-party software will be marked with a red line.
Niantic explained the move in a recent blog post: “With the announcement of Raid Battles and the new battle features, we are staying true on our commitment to ensuring that Pokémon Go continues to be a fun and fair experience for all Trainers.
“Starting today, Pokémon caught using third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay will appear marked with a slash in the inventory and may not behave as expected.”
Hopefully this will deter cheaters and make the new Gyms fairer for all.