Niantic Reveals Team Leaders, Future Game Plans for Pokémon GO at Comic-Con

Who will you fight for? Choose wisely, because Niantic plans to dote on Pokémon GO for a long time.

When you reach level five in Pokémon GO, you're asked to make the most important choice of your life: You must ally yourself with one of the game's three teams. From there, you conquer Gyms under the banner of Team Valor, Team Mystic, or Team Instinct.

Curiously, Pokémon GO's team leaders are introduced as nameless silhouettes. It's odd because wars are almost always fought under the rallying gaze of a poster-perfect figurehead. But Pokémon Go prefers a slow burn with its propaganda, and San Diego Comic-Con 2016 finally introduced us to the captains we're fighting for.

Spark: Most likely to drag you on a 12 a.m. pub crawl / Pokemon-catching binge.

If you're Team Valor, you're part of Candela's confident crew. If you're Team Mystic, you're operating under Blanche's cool gaze. And if you're Team Instinct, bless your heart, you're now Spark's best bud.

Niantic had a huge Pokémon GO panel at Comic-Con last weekend. The fervor surrounding Pokémon GO caused the event to be bumped up to Comic-Con's iconic Hall H, the 6500-seat auditorium typically reserved for events hosted by the likes of DC and Marvel. During the panel, Niantic head John Hanke said Pokémon GO in its current form is approximately 10% of what the studio ultimately has planned for the game.

"Trading is not in Pokémon GO today, but it's something we're working on bringing to the product," Hanke told the crowd (via "Don't get too excited - we need to make sure we can keep the servers up first!"

Indeed, Pokémon GO's earliest days were problematic, to say the least. While the game's servers have since stabilized, they're far from perfect – and Niantic has a mountain of other problems to tackle as well if it hopes to whip Pokémon GO into prime fighting shape.

This is an exaggeration, but just barely.

Niantic knows it has a lot of work to do, though. A future update will deal with Gym poachers – that is, players who snap up a gym right after you've done the hard work of clearing it out. A fix for the "three step bug" is also in the works. If you're not familiar with the term, the three step bug references Pokémon GO's useless built-in PokéRadar. Though the radar is supposed to inform you which Pokémon are closest to you via a series of footsteps (one footstep meaning the pictured Pokémon is nearby, three footsteps meaning it's further away), every Pokémon is marked with three footsteps, even if it's nearby.

Despite Pokémon GO's tumultuous start, Niantic is thrilled to hear the app is causing kids (and adults) to get out and walk for miles while socializing. They're also happy to hear Pokémon GO is playing a role in rehabbing kids in hospitals like the children's hospital at the University of Michigan. "From the perspective of us at Niantic and the team, the thing that keeps us working is to hear back stories like that," Hanke said.

Oh, and the "glitch" that lets you evolve your Eevee according to its name? That was programmed in on purpose. And Niantic hinted there might be similar Easter eggs elsewhere in the game.

I've already pointed out how Pokémon GO's potential as an AR game is almost immeasurable, so I'm really interested in seeing what Niantic has planned for the future. Hooray for Team Valor! Long may Lady Candela bathe in the blood of our foes.

Tagged with Android Devices, AR, ar gaming, ios, MMOs, News, Niantic, Pokemon, The Pokemon Company.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Pokemon Go June Field Research - Research Breakthrough, Rewards

Here's your guide to the Pokemon Go June Research quests and rewards.

Pokemon GO Raid Tips and Tricks - Legendary Pokemon Raid Bosses, Cresselia Counters

Pokemon GO Raid Bosses are a tough bunch, so bring a friend or two, and know who you're facing. Use our guide and you'll be beating them in no time!

Pokemon Go Celebi Quest - A Ripple in Time Research Steps

The time-travelling pokemon Celebi has arrived in Pokemon GO. Here’s how to get one by completing the Celebi Quest.

Pokemon Go June 2019 Community Day - Slakoth, Date, Exclusive Move, Bonuses

Here’s what you’ll begetting up to for the Pokemon Go June Community Day.

Pokemon Go Eevee - Evolving Eevee into Glaceon and Leafeon

Evolving Eevee in Pokemon Go. How to evolve your Pokemon GO Eevee into one of its five forms: Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon, Espeon, or Umbreon in 2019.

More News

StarCraft is Getting a Kid-Friendly Graphics Pack Courtesy of Carbot Animations

StarCraft is getting a new look courtesy of the YouTube animation team.

US Super Mario Maker 2 Players May Not Get a Stylus, But There is This Sweet Lunchbox

Do not attempt to use your lunchbox in the place of a stylus, though.

Fan-Made "Mario Royale" is a Blast, For As Long As It Sticks Around

But the creator is anticipating a letter from Nintendo.

More on Android

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Friends List - How to Add Friends in Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Here's our guide on how to add friends to your friend list in Harry Potter Wizards Unite.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Houses - How to Pick Your House in Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Here's our guide on how to select your house in Harry Potter Wizards Unite.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Spell Energy - How to Recharge Your Spell Energy in Harry Potter Wizards Unite

Here's our guide on how to quickly recharge spell energy in Harry Potter Wizards Unite.

Fortnite Fortbytes Challenges - How to Find All the Forbyte Locations

Here's our guide compiling a full Fortnite Fortbytes list, detailing each and every Forbyte challenge in the game.

Fortnite Week 7 Challenges - How to Complete All Season 9, Week 7 Battle Pass Challenges

This is our guide on how to complete all the Fortnite Week 7 Challenges, now live in Battle Royale.

Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Largely Misses the Point

A free-to-play jumble that misses what made Pokemon Go and its own source material so special.

More MMO Games

Sky: Children of the Light is a New Game From the Creators of Journey Where Everyone Wants to Give You a Hug

At E3 2019, we got some hands-on time with the next social adventure from thatgamecompany, which launches next month.

Destiny 2 Daily Active User Count Surges as Interest for Series Returns

The player count hit over one million for the first time in a while.

Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers Post-Launch Roadmap Revealed, Including Eden Raid Release Date

Here's when you can jump into the first raid for Shadowbringers.