As if this summer hasn't already been exciting enough for Pokémon Go, the latest announcement means we can soon expect the arrival of Ash Hat Pikachu to celebrate the one-year Pokémon Go anniversary event this July 6th.
This new Pikachu variant comes a few months after Party Hat Pikachu and the Santa Hat Pikachu which came before it, and much like the Surfing Pikachu and promotional Pokémon in the main games previously, it won't be around forever.
There's also a new, featured store item called the Anniversary Box coming for a limited time, so here's the details on when these special items and Pokémon will start appearing, and any other things you can expect.
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Ash Hat Pikachu in Pokémon Go - when does the Anniversary event end?
Ash Hat Pikachu - the poster child Pokémon wearing famous anime trainer Ash Ketchum's trademark cap - will be around to celebrate Pokémon Go's Anniversary on July 6th, but like any good party, the celebrations will go on longer than the day itself.
Expect to see Ash Hat Pikachu from July 6th until July 24th (an extended date from the original July 13th) - and while there's no exact end time just yet, the previous Party Hat Pikachu event ended at at 9pm UK time (4pm EST / 1pm PST), so expect that to remain similar.
While the earlier Santa Hat Pikachu had a short extension beyond its original announced dates in December, we definitely still recommend catching this while you can.
What do we know about Ash Hat Pikachu in Pokémon Go?
Beyond the above dates and the fact all wild Pikachu will be wearing the Anniversary hat, Niantic hasn't officially provided any more details. However, assuming the Ash Hat Pikachu will work the same as the Party Hat in February and Santa Hat in December, we can assume the following will also be true:
- In both previous events we found wild Pikachu to be slightly more common, appearing in places we hadn't seen them before. They'll still be rare, but walk around any area normally well-populated with Pokémon for long enough and you should be able to find one.
- Pikachu will keep the hat when it evolves into Raichu, so for completionists, we recommend having two Ash Hat Pikachus - one to keep, and one to evolve.
- Pikachu nests will likely spawn Ash Hat Pikachu, as previously confirmed by users on Reddit for the other events. Bear that in mind if you need to farm Candy for that Raichu.
- If older events are to go by, Ditto will not transform into Ash Hat Pikachu. Confirmed by a diligent Reddit user, this means that if you use a Ditto to attack a Gym held by an Ash Hat Pikachu for example, it will only transform into a standard Pikachu.
- The change to Pikachu will be cosmetic. All stats will remain the same, and it will require the same amount of Candy to evolve and Power Up. It's purely visual!
- If you hatch a Pichu from an Egg during the event, that Pichu will be wearing the Ash Hat too, and keep it throughout the evolution chain!
The Season of Heritage continues in 2022, along with the XP Challenge and a refreshed Go Battle League. Ongoing are Arlo, Cliff, Sierra counters and Giovanni counters. The major updates in the previous year include a level cap increase, the introduction of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals.
Pokémon Go Anniversary Boxes - what do you get from an Anniversary Box featured item?
Alongside the latest limited-edition Pikachu to catch out in the wild, the Pokémon Go Anniversary event also introduces a new kind of item: Anniversary Boxes. So what are Anniversary Boxes and how do you get them?
- What are Anniversary Boxes? - these are "featured store items," which contain a series of items. They're available through the in-game store at a discounted price of 1,200 PokéCoins, for a limited time.
- What do Anniversary Boxes contain? - Not a lot for your money, as it turns out. You'll get six Incubators, two Raid Passes, six Max Revives, and 20 Ultra Balls.
It's not clear if these Anniversary Boxes will be around after the event has ended, but for one thing it's worth noting the general lack of value you'll get from their contents. You can purchase the six Incubators and two Raid Passes from the store at the standard price for a total of 1,100 coins, and Max Revives and Ultra Balls are earned in-game just from spinning PokéStops (if you're a high enough level), which means you can actually acqurie the same items with relative ease for less money when purchasing separately.
It's less than ideal, to say the least, particularly for those who have been playing for some time, so we recommend stearing clear unless you're a bit behind on level and keen to catch up with the more high-level items.
That's everything we have on the Anniversary Ash Hat Pikachu and Anniversary Boxes for now, but the event comes hot on the heels of a substantial Pokémon Go Gym rework and the addition of hotly anticipated Pokémon Go Raids and Raid bosses, which we thoroughly recommend getting stuck into!
Additional reporting by Matthew Reynolds