Five years have come and gone since the lucrative launch of Pokémon GO, and since the human perception of time is linear in scale, that means the Pokémon GO 5th Anniversary Event is upon us. In true Niantic fashion, no anniversary is left uncelebrated, and thankfully the party favors aren’t purely for Kanto critters this time around. That said, the star of the show is… well, the star of the show — Pikachu. More specifically, a Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon. Because nothing screams “Pika” from the clouds above quite like a Pikachu with its very own balloon.
The event kicks off on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. and wraps on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. Trainers will not only encounter a greater number of Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon but also plenty of Darumaka. There will even be a rare chance at nabbing a Shiny Darumaka. I’m not entirely sure what Darumaka has to do with five years of Pokémon GO, but I trust that Niantic either knows more than I do or doesn’t much care whether or not their actions make sense to the general public. Or they’re simply spending more time thinking about this year’s Pokémon GO Fest, which would honestly make sense.
Pokémon Go 5th Anniversary Features
There’s a lot more in store for the Pokémon GO 5th Anniversary Event than just picking Pikas and matching Makas. Here’s an extensive overview.
Darumaka, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, and Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon will be appearing in one-star raids.
Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie will be appearing around PokéStops with active Lure Modules and after you complete Field Research.
You can also encounter some of these first-partner Pokémon in the wild, including Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott.
You’ll receive daily bonus Field Research tasks that lead to encounters with Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie.
Complete the Collection Challenge for this event for a reward encounter with Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon, as well as Rare Candy and a massive amount of Poké Balls!
Remember the in-game fireworks from Pokémon GO Fest last year? They’re returning this year to the map in celebration of our five years!
While you’re looking out for fireworks during the fifth-anniversary celebration, check out the new in-game sky, too! That’s right—the previously announced real-time sky mechanic and additional Pokédex classifications will be available to everyone in the coming days.You can also learn more about the Pokédex classifications in this help center article here.
If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Meltan when you activate the Mystery Box during the fifth-anniversary celebration!”
All in the Families
Boiling these “info berries” down to their basic form, it seems like if there’s a theme to the rest of the Pokémon Go 5th Anniversary Event, it’s “starters, starters, everywhere.” Or as Niantic and The Pokémon Company like to call them, “first-partner Pokémon.” I guess that makes sense; the message is one of coming full circle and remembering roots. I’m not sure that sort of thing is going to feel sufficiently hype-inducing for the majority of Pokémon Go players, but hey.
Look, I’m just saying, would it kill Niantic to let us catch this giant real-world airplane?