Pokemon Masters Fans Love Steven, Are Surprisingly Chill About Impending Stamina System
Stamina is usually a divisive feature in mobile games, but Pokemon Masters had a secret weapon: a fan-favorite character in board shorts.
A new note from the Pokemon Masters team was the kind of thing that usually raises alarms among mobile game fans, but this one had a secret weapon: Steven, in a swimsuit.
The message from the Pokemon Masters team detailed a number of upcoming changes including a Champion Stadium, revised Training area, and Type Skills that let Pokemon of the same type work together. Among those changes was word of a trial launch of a stamina system, with a note that the team will be looking at feedback.
Ordinarily, stamina is one of the most divisive mechanics in mobile games. It usually restricts you from playing beyond a certain point in a set amount of time unless you pay to unlock more stamina, and as a result it's often seen as a predatory microtransaction. Plenty of mobile games have issued updates to remove stamina due to player feedback, not add it a year after launch. Judging by the Pokemon Masters subreddit, though, fans seem fine--or at least cautiously optimistic--about the impending revision.
As of the time of writing, most of the top posts on the subreddit are instead devoted to Steven, an upcoming Summer Sync Pair Scout. In Pokemon Masters, you collect characters in pairs--a famous trainer along with a Pokemon associated with them. Steven is already one of the most popular Sync Pairs in the game, having been paired with the Steel-type Metagross. The upcoming Sync Pair will give him an Alolan makeover and pair him with an Alolan Sandslash, and the fans are here for it.
This isn't entirely surprising. The Pokemon Masters subreddit is often fixated on popular Sync Pairs, and special outfits have particularly popular. There are some threads devoted to the stamina system, like this poll asking what fans think, but even those results show most fans are content to simply wait and see.
This is partly a result of how Pokemon Masters has evolved over the past year. As more and more Sync Pairs have been added, many players have commented on the game becoming too grind-heavy. A stamina system is a blunt tool to reduce grinding, but players seem willing to give the benefit of the doubt. At the same time, it was probably smart to combine the announcement with a fan-favorite in a swimsuit.