11:22 am EDT, September 15, 2016

‘Pokémon GO’ will ‘probably’ introduce trading and player-versus-player battling

Could our wildest dreams come true? A Pokémon GO developer has hinted that Niantic is still interested in expanding the game with user-interactive elements.

Pokémon GO is officially the song of the summer, and I don’t know about you, but I’m still singing that Jigglypuff song all day every day.

Niantic recently unveiled a major new update which allows players to assign a “Buddy,” that will walk with them (though unfortunately they don’t show up on the map), slowly earning candy as the eggs begin to crack in the bag.

It’s a fun addition, but let’s face it: It’s not what the people want.

Although I’m a huge fan of Pokémon Go, there’s truth to the dismissive statement that the game is basically one big field of tall grass that the player has to walk around in, without offering any of the parts that made the GameBoy games truly great: The exploration and, of course, the battling.

You can battle in gyms, sure, but that’s such a perfunctory, inane activity it’s hardly worth doing (especially when you’re Team Instinct, and no teammates get around to backing you up before the bullies from Mystic and Valor knock you off your post).

But there’s still hope: In an interview with TechCrunch, Niantic CEO John Hanke confirmed that they’re thinking about adding battling elements to the game.

“I have [a] 10 year old son — he’s my Pokemon expert, we play together — he wants to battle his friends in Pokemon Go,” says Hanke. “Battling is something we talk a lot about. It’s probably something that will make its way onto our roadmap.”

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Of course making Pokémon GO into a giant battle arena would require a lot of work, and might even mean other players would have to show up on your map (unless they only make battling available in gyms), so it’ll probably take a while before we get there.

Trading is more likely to come sooner rather than later, with Hanke calling it “kind of a core element,” as it enforces Niantic’s aim of getting people to talk and interact with each other IRL (ew, I know, gross).

We’ll keep you posted!

Would you like to battle and trade in ‘Pokémon GO’?

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