Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Guide: Schedule, Team Rocket, Rotating Habitats, And More

Pokemon Go Fest returns as a two-day global experience this weekend; here's everything you need to know about the event.

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Update: Pokemon Go Fest 2020 has ended, but Niantic has plenty more events lined up for Pokemon Go soon. You can see the full list of August 2020 events here.

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 is officially here. The annual Pokemon celebration returns this weekend, July 25 and 26, and it will be very different from previous years. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Niantic is making some big changes to the annual live event to turn it into a global affair, reworking many aspects of the experience and even introducing new elements like rotating virtual habitats. To get you up to speed, we've rounded up everything you need to know about Pokemon Go Fest 2020 below.

Pokemon Go Fest Tickets

Unlike previous Pokemon Go Fests, this year's event will be open to players around the world, so anyone can join in on the festivities so long as they have a ticket. Those can be purchased through Pokemon Go's in-game shop for $15 USD and grant holders access to both days of the event.

Start Times

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 will take place across two days: Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26. The event will run for 10 hours each day, from 10 AM to 8 PM local time.

Virtual Lounges

In place of the trainer lounges typically found at Pokemon Go events, Niantic will host an online "virtual lounge." Here, you'll be able to interact with other players from your team, participate in giveaways, keep track of live updates, watch interviews with Pokemon Go developers, and more. Niantic says you won't be restricted to interacting with players on your own team, although the studio teases that there will be some "fun team-specific things" to do in your team's lounge.

Global Challenges And Ultra Unlocks

Much like past years, Niantic will offer a variety of challenges during Pokemon Go Fest 2020. Players around the world will work together to complete these tasks, and depending on how many milestones are hit, they'll unlock different rewards in the game. There will be 32 challenges in all during the first day of Go Fest, and every eight that are completed will unlock a week-long Ultra Unlock event focused around certain types of Pokemon.

New Mythical Pokemon

Day 2 of the event will also feature its own story-driven Special Research line called "Rocket Straight to Victory." Professor Willow is on the trail of a new Mythical Pokemon, and you'll be able to help him learn more about the mysterious monster by completing the challenges. If you clear the entire line, you'll earn a chance to catch the debuting Victini.

Team Rocket Takeover

Team Go Rocket is crashing the party on Day 2 of Pokemon Go Fest 2020. The nefarious trainers will appear in their Rocket balloons and take over PokeStops much more frequently than normal throughout the day, and all players--even those who don't have a Go Fest ticket--will have a chance to battle them. Leaders Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra will also make an appearance, and they'll have Shadow versions of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres on their teams.

On top of that, Go Fest ticket holders will have access to an event-exclusive Special Research quest line called "Rocket Straight to Victory." As you clear the quests, you'll earn rewards like Pokemon that will be helpful in battle against the Rocket Leaders; finish the entire line and you'll also encounter the Gen 5 Mythical Pokemon, Victini.

Rotating Habitats

To replicate the feeling of exploring a new area, Niantic is introducing a new gameplay element for Pokemon Go Fest 2020: habitats. These virtual environments will rotate every hour and are home to certain types of Pokemon. There will be five different habitats in total: fire, water, grass, battle, and friendship.

Each habitat will also feature its own set of themed global challenges. Different challenges will be available every hour, and if players are able to complete them before time expires, they'll unlock special bonuses for the remainder of the hour, encouraging players to work together and complete the challenges as quickly as possible. You'll be able to unlock individual rewards by completing these challenges as well, including exclusive in-game stickers.

The habitats will rotate according to the following schedule:

  • 10 AM ET - Battle Habitat
  • 11 AM ET - Friendship Habitat
  • 12 PM ET - Fire Habitat
  • 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT - Water Habitat
  • 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT - Grass Habitat
  • 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT - Battle Habitat
  • 4 PM ET / 1 PM PT - Friendship Habitat
  • 5 PM ET / 2 PM PT - Fire Habitat
  • 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT - Water Habitat
  • 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT - Grass Habitat
  • 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT - Battle Habitat
  • 6 PM PT - Friendship Habitat
  • 7 PM PT - Fire Habitat
  • 8 PM PT - Water Habitat

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