For a while, it was pretty touch and go there for Pokémon Go. It just wasn't amassing as many players as it used to, people were dissing it because of the infamous inaugural Pokémon Go Fest's issues, and it seemed to be stagnating.
It wasn't growing and evolving (if you'll pardon the pun) the way it should have, or the way fans were expecting it to. But over the past few months, things have changed dramatically. Pokémon Go is a lively, thriving environment that's added a wealth of content, including features fans have been waiting for. If you were thinking about jumping back in while the getting's good, this is an excellent time to do so.
For starters, there's a ton of new Pokémon available now. Most of the Pokémon pulled from the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn regions are now up for grabs, with more being added nearly every month, even if it's just in the form of special shiny variants or Alolan Pokémon that offer alternative aesthetics. More Pokémon means more of a reason for trainers to get out there and fulfill their mission of "catchin' em all," so your immediate area should be a lot less bereft of viable captures.
There's also plenty more to do this time around. When the game first launched, you could travel around the globe catching Pokémon, level them up, and participate in raids at gyms. But that was just about it. If you were lucky, you could visit a Poké Stop to "spin the disc" and get some free items. Now there's a wide variety of Field Research missions to complete daily, which unlock a selection of different items. There are even story-based quests to complete now, which help make the game feel decidedly more personal and like "your own" Pokémon journey.
Updated gyms and competitive play, which included invite-only and open raid battles, are now available as well, but let nothing overshadow the fact that you can now give other players gifts or trade with them. Trading has been one of the biggest requests since the game was announced, and now it's here. It's not the biggest step in making the game feel more like its core game counterparts, but it's a start.
If you've not been following all the other Pokémon news out there as well, there are two awesome new reasons to build up your Pokémon stores in-game once more: the Nintendo Switch exclusives Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! They're based on the classic Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition back on the original Game Boy, and will offer a more casual take on the classic games. The cool part? Aside from the co-op options, you can transfer any Pokémon from the Kanto region from Pokémon Go into your Switch games. So if you've got a decent store of Pokémon in Pokémon Go, that'll give you an awesome head start.
With possible PvP combat on the way, there's even more for players on the horizon. It's clear that developer Niantic has taken the community's concerns and criticisms seriously and in a big way. It's possible that in the coming months, we might see a fully-featured Pokémon Go just the way we imagined it originally, and that sounds absolutely amazing.
For now, though, it's absolutely worth busting your phone out and redownloading the extremely popular augmented reality title. You're missing out, and any hardcore Pokémon Go fan should take this time to jump back in and catch up before things improve even further.