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Pokémon Go Party Play: release date and gameplay revealed

A deep dive into Pokémon Go’s new Party Play feature
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The Pokémon Go Party Play feature will be released on October 17, 2023, at 9am PT, ushering in a new era for the popular mobile game. No longer will you have to adventure on your own and journey through a largely deserted world – it’s time to party up with other players.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pokémon Go Party Play release.

Pokémon Go Party Play header showing four players and their avatars in a group.

Party Play allows four players to team up and tackle challenges together.

Pokémon Go Party Play: features

Party Play introduces the ability to team up with up to three other players in a party of four for the duration of one hour, enabling you to see their avatars alongside your’s on the map. This session length will be flexible, so expect it to be increased during events like Community Days. Players will have to stay near the party host to keep the group intact – the range at which a party can be maintained is about the same as the PokéStop spin distance.

You can party up with any other player by sharing a party code or letting them to scan a barcode, so it’s not necessary to be friends with your party members. That makes forming ad hoc teams during live events a lot easier. The only requirement to use the feature is that you reached level 15 in Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Party Play join party screens.

You can join a party by scanning its barcode or enterting a party code manually.

While a party in Pokémon Go is active, the game will provide party challenges to you, such as catching a certain number of Pokémon, winning raids, and so on. Every party member helps to complete these objectives with their contributions, unlocking rewards like Pokéballs, berries, and Mega Energy for everybody. Everyone in the party gets the same rewards, they are not split up by contribution levels. You will see how much each member helped out, though, alongside some other statistics from your session. You can save and share those stats as an image after the session. At this point, though, there are no long-term stats for parties that are formed several times in the same constellation. This is something Niantic is still looking into, as is the amount of rewards you get, so leave your feedback once you’ve tried the system out.

Pokémon Go Party Challenges allow everyone to contribute to completing the mission and obtain rewards.

Pokémon Go party challenges allow everyone to contribute to the mission and obtain rewards.

Another benefit of Party Play comes into the equation during raids. Not only will you automatically be invited to a raid one of the party members is participating in (that goes for in-person raids as well as remote raids), you’ll also gain access to a very powerful ability during combat. As party members attack the raid boss, the party meter fills up. When it’s completely full, you can activate the party power to double your next Charged Attack’s damage, allowing your group to tackle raids it otherwise couldn’t handle by itself. Currently, there are no additional post-raid rewards for parties, but this is something that the developers are exploring as well.

Pokémon Go raid battle with new party meter.

Fill up the party meter during a raid to activate a new special ability.

There is no equivalent to friendship XP for parties, so every group you set up is equal in terms of its bonuses.

The Adventures Abound season finale is going to contain a special party feature, Niantic stated, and future events like Community Days will explore new ways to highlight Party Play as well.

Party Play does not offer any PvP functionality as of right now and it sounded like this isn’t high on Niantic’s priority list for the feature.

The size of parties is limited to four players partly due to hardware limitations – older phones may have trouble with three additional avatars on the map. There will be an option to hide the additional player characters during Party Play, which should hopefully enable everyone to enjoy the feature regardless of the age of their device.

Pokémon Go Party Play summary screens.

You can share the statistics of your latest party with the world (and remind your buddies of how many more Pokémon you caught during your session).

Pokémon Go Party Play: release time

Here are the release times for Pokémon Go Party Play in your time zone:

  • October 17, 2023, 9am PT
  • October 17, 2023, 11am CT
  • October 17, 2023, 12pm ET
  • October 17, 2023, 5pm BST
  • October 17, 2023, 6pm CEST
  • October 17, 2023, 9:30pm IST
  • October 18, 2023, 12am CST
  • October 18, 2023, 1am KST/JST
  • October 18, 2023, 2am AEDT
  • October 18, 2023, 5am NZDT

Niantic called this the biggest feature update for Pokémon Go this year and it definitely looks like it could have a positive impact for many players. Of course, intentions and plans are one thing and execution quite another – Niantic hasn’t exactly built up a fantastic track record when it comes to shipping new functions in working condition. On paper, though, Party Play is a great addition to the iconic mobile game.