Pokemon Go leaks hint at new Gym & Raid mechanics: Is the Master Ball coming?

Ezequiel Leis
A master ball and the Pokemon Go logo

Pokemon Go might be introducing interesting new mechanics this year according to recent leaks that hint at big changes in Raids and the introduction of the Master Ball.

Pokemon Go is getting ready to reach the end of February with the global event Hoenn Tour and many fans are wondering what’s coming next. There are many event dates set in the calendar, and Galarian and Hisuian Pokemon should keep popping up in the mobile game, but recent leaks also hint at new game mechanics.

PokeMiners, a Pokemon Go leaker with a very reliable track record, shared this a new batch of interesting leaks that could potentially change popular game mechanics. It’s important to know that game development isn’t a linear path, so updates to the code of the game don’t always necessarily mean there’ll be a new feature to explore.

New Pokemon Go Raid & Gym battle mechanic

Version 0.261.3 of Pokemon Go added a few lines of code that reference an Attacker Item and a Defender Form in Raid and Gym battles. While a third line of code explicitly marks this as an ongoing experiment, fans are already trying to figure out what it could mean.

Held Items are a well-known game mechanic in mainline Pokemon games and can have many effects on Pokemon. Usually, they’re used to boost different types of attacks, but they can also be for recovering HP, curing a status condition, or raising a particular stat. If these Attacker Items are anything like Held Items, they could change many of Pokemon Go’s dynamics.

Defender Forms are another mystery, but if we think of Raids, it could mean that Raid Bosses might transform somehow mid-battle. Sounds like something interesting to see in Mega Raids, but there’s too little information at the moment to make anything out of it.

Pokemon Go Raids in Gyms in a park
Pokemon Go Gyms and Raids could get big updates soon.

Is the Master Ball coming to Pokemon Go?

Another very interesting line of code shared by PokeMiners hints at a tutorial on how to use the Master Ball in Pokemon Go. This isn’t the first time the Master Ball showed up in Pokemon Go leaks, but it now seems to be closer than ever.

The Master Ball is the ultimate Poke Ball with a 100% chance of catching any Pokemon you throw it at. It’s one of the most sought-after items in mainline Pokemon games, but it’s not very compatible with the way things work in Pokemon Go.

Many players think the Master Ball will be a premium high-priced and very limited item, perfect to use when trying to catch Legendary or Mythical Pokemon. We’ll have to wait and see what Niantic has in store for Pokemon Go as some fans believe the Master Ball will be introduced during this year’s Pokemon Go Fest.

Other minor Pokemon Go updates in the works

Other leaks shared this week suggest players will finally be able to expand their Postcard Storage in Pokemon Go. Players are constantly struggling with the game’s many storage systems so this will come in handy for those looking to send many gifts.

Pokemon Go Postcards are essential to getting every version of Vivillon.

Raids could get a lobby player count soon, according to these leaks. “Hopefully this means the nearby tab will soon start showing lobby counts without having to check each gym,” explained PokeMiners.

Lastly, it seems like the Team Go Rocket leaders could show up on the Appraisal screen soon. This could be tied to an upcoming event, but it’s hard to tell.

Leaks could hint at upcoming game mechanics and general updates, but it doesn’t mean we’ll see those changes soon. We’ll make sure to let you know if any of these changes make it to Pokemon Go when official updates roll.

Image Credits: Niantic / The Pokemon Company