Pokémon Go gets its first Mega Pokémon this week, as well as a whole chunk of new gameplay centred around how these super-powered Pokémon will work.
As in the main series of Pokémon games, Mega Evolution in Pokémon Go is a temporary effect. In Pokémon Go, Mega Pokémon require Mega Energy to evolve and will remain in their Mega form as long as they have enough Mega Energy to continue to do so.
Mega Energy is discreet to each Pokémon species – like Pokémon candy. While a Pokémon is Mega Evolved, its Mega Energy will deplete over time. (Only one of your Pokémon can be Mega Evolved at any particular time.) After Mega Evolving a particular creature once, it will then be cheaper to Mega Evolve in future.
You can receive more Mega Energy for a particular species by battling that creature in Mega Raids – a new tier of raid battle set to launch alongside Mega Evolution. The faster you complete these raids, the more Mega Energy you will receive – encouraging you to battle with as many players as possible. (It’s unclear if other methods of obtaining Mega Energy will be available.)
Mega Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise will launch this week and be available to battle in raids. Mega Beedrill will also make its debut this week, with Mega Energy available via a new questline from hunky Professor Willow.
As well as being all-round powerful, Mega Pokémon will boost the attack power of all other Pokémon when battling in raids (which will be useful to complete harder raid bosses with fewer players). Pokémon with the same type as the Mega Evolved Pokémon will receive an even greater attack boost.
Mega Pokémon can be set as your buddy, though like Legendary creatures cannot be left to defend gyms. They can be used in battles against your friends but are (for now) not usable in the competitive Go Battle League. Shadow and Clone Pokémon cannot be Mega Evolved. Finally, a new Mega Pokémon section of the game’s Pokédex will also go live, letting you track each species.
September will be filled with Mega Evolution-themed events, further details of which will be announced closer to the time. September 1st to 7th will involve battling in Mega Raids, while 11th to 17th September will task you to compete in gym, trainer and Team Rocket battles. Lastly, 22nd to 28th September will feature buddy tasks.
Our dedicated Mega Evolution guide will be updated with available Mega Evolutions in Pokémon Go as they are added to the game.