Pokemon Go Needs More Random Encounters

I absolutely loved the Team Go Rocket pre-Go Fest event. Sure, the event research sucked ass, but it was awesome having grunts to fight! It’s also cool being able to fight Giovanni and the Leaders, without scouring Pokestops with a radar. The nicest thing is that you can just sit at home on your own and have an encounter. Sure, most of the time, it’s a male grunt with an Omanyte, but it’s a nice little encounter. Something to spice up an otherwise empty world.

Let’s face it, Pokemon Go’s map is bland!

Up until we got the buddy update, nothing ever actually moved in Pokemon Go. Spawns were all pretty much the same. Gyms and Pokestops would rotate in place occasionally. The only thing that ever moved was you, as you walked around.

Buddies do help spice up the Pokemon Go map, but they only do so much. All you have is one Pokemon moving around, generally in random directions. It’s cute when they chase after you, it’s nice to see a Pokemon being lively. However, we could have so much more. Team, Go Rocket appearing in their balloons is a big step forward.

Buddies changed it a little, but Team Rocket changed the world for the better.

I don’t know why, but I find it so refreshing seeing something else alive. Something that comes along and challenges me. Or just something that floats around and casts a shadow, something actually alive.

If anything, they’re a reminder that you’re not the only person in the universe. In fact, outside of battling (whether it be raids, PvP or gyms), there’s no one around at all. Thanks to Team Rocket, we have some sort of inkling of lore, and we also get to see old characters. I mean, we can fight Giovanni AND Jessie and James! Sure, both of these are temporary and use existing mechanics, but they’re still cool and refreshing!

Jessie from Team Rocket and the Meowth Balloon
Jessie from Team Rocket and the Meowth Balloon

It would be nice if we had some other encounters.

Just little things to make the world feel a little more alive. Because normally all you see are Pokemon and Pokestops and gyms.

They don’t have to be battles either. These encounters could just be something drifting by. Maybe you see the shadow of a legendary Pokemon flying by as they make their way to a nearby raid. Or perhaps you could see a balloon drift by and drop off gifts? Maybe Teams Magma and Aqua can pop by in balloons of their own.

We could even see the friendly Team Leaders in the wild, catching Pokemon of their own

There’s a balance between rewarding and interrupting though.

I think the only real downside is that it’s possible to have too many encounters. Team Rocket balloons currently spawn every 3 hours, and that’s because it’s part of an event. After the event ends, they’ll spawn every 6 hours. This might be too much for some players who don’t like doing the fights. But the balloons despawn after like 15 minutes, so they’re not too much of a nuisance.

Extra encounters might annoy people. But frankly, depending on how they’re done, more random, non-Pokemon counters can only make Pokemon Go a more interesting and lively game…


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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