Pokémon Go fans torn over item which lets you change team colour

Instinction event. 

A Pokémon Go item designed to let you switch in-game teams has left fans torn.

The "Team Medallion" item's in-game description suggests it will be available from the in-game shop - but only once every 365 days.

Niantic has yet to officially announce the feature, but code related to it can already be found within the files of the game's latest update (discovered, as ever, by Chrales).

Why does this matter so much? Well, Pokémon Go has three teams - Valor (Red), Mystic (Blue) and Instinct (Yellow). Worldwide, Valor and Mystic enjoy a noticeable dominance over Instinct.

Pokémon Go's team system encourages you to play with teammates to control gyms, earn Pokémon Go's premium currency, and gain more chances at capturing raid bosses.

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Different areas will have slightly different team biases (here in Brighton, the city centre is often very red - but where I live can be annoyingly blue-dominated). But wherever you go, Instinct is usually seen as the underdog.

The introduction of an item which lets you change team colour is an interesting thing. On the one hand, you're giving players who feel disadvantaged by their team choice an oppurtunity to pick one which is stronger in their local area.

On the other hand, there's a real fear among fans this will lead to Instinct's player base falling further - making it even harder for remaining Yellows to earn PokéCoins through gym control than it is already.

What's fascinating, though, is the discussion going on in places like r/SilphRoad where players are saying they will stick with their colour even if they're given the choice to change, and even though it might be the underdog in their area.

I have a lot of friends who play Pokémon Go who will say their team choice defines their experience. It's who you want to raid with, who you'll work with to take down gyms. And yes, if you're an Instinct player, it's who you're fighting the good fight with as fellow underdogs together.

The Team Medallion's one use per year limit is a smart move, and I can see the need for this to exist as players are asked to choose team colour so early in the game (at level five, when you're still very new to how everything works). Still, fans are torn over whether it is a good thing - and whether Yellow team will survive the incoming Instinction.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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