Odd Pokemon GO updates coming soon with Smeargle and Delibird

Niantic is working on how two of the most complicated Pokemon in the game Pokemon GO will be released in the near future. While we've seen the release of the vast majority of the Pokemon from the original 151 and Gen 2, several Legendary Pokemon and oddballs still elude us. With the release of Ditto as our guide, we're to understand that both Delibird and Smeargle are well on their way to semi-random release.

Speaking this week at a high school event – of all the odd places to speak – Niantic CEO John Hanke revealed a bit of information about the release of two new Pokemon. He said specifically that some Pokemon had not yet appeared in the game due to their "Special Moves". This is as it was with Ditto, who was released only after the pile of purplish/pinkish goo had its primary function figured out.

When Ditto was first released, it appeared in game code well before being switched on. We can't very well rely on the appearance of Delibird and/or Smeargle in the game code on their own to tell us when they'll pop up – they're already there. What we will be able to do is watch for the switch.

The switch exists in the game code readable by basically any random user. Just so long as they've got access to the game APK (game file for Android devices) and are handy with the code. In the code, Pokemon are listed en masse and are only "switched on" when they're able to be caught. If several of their encounter, run, and catch rate numbers are set to 99 or 0, they're not yet in the game.

Delibird is the sort of Pokemon that's meant for a special event. He's always associated with winter holidays – more specifically Christmas. It'll be just about bonkers if Niantic doesn't take this opportunity to release Delibird in December of 2017. Count on it. Or else we'll be waiting another full year with egg on our face.

Gen 1 Pokemon not yet released in Pokemon GO:• Zapados (Team Event, Electric, Yellow, Instinct)• Articuno (Team Event, Water, Blue, Mystic)• Moltres (Team Event, Fire, Red, Valor)• Mewtwo (Anniversary Event, possibly Sponsored Event)• Mew (Special Event, Time-sensitive, Random Appearance)

Gen 2 Pokemon not yet released in Pokemon GO:• Raikou (Team Event 2, Electric, Yellow, Instinct)• Entei (Team Event 2, Fire, Red, Valor)• Suicune (Team Event 2, Water, Blue, Mystic)• Lugia (Gen 2 Legendary Bird Event)• Ho-Oh (Gen 2 Legendary Bird Event)• Celebi (Mew-like event)• Delibird (Special Event, Time-sensitive, Christmas)• Smeargle (Whenever Niantic figures out how to make Smeargle work, Smeargle will be released)

Smeargle has a bit more complicated a set of moves to execute than Delibird. While Delibird is mostly in any Pokemon game for fun and games, Smeargle is serious business. According to our anonymous source with knowledge of the subject, Niantic is working specifically on Sketch.

While it might not be CALLED Sketch in Pokemon GO, it's coming. If it doesn't end up looking a whole lot like what it looks like in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, we'll just have to sit in the corner and cry. The super amazingly concise video made by Balyen Games above should give you a good idea of how it works.

As far as big updates go aside from Smeargle and Delibird – it's pretty clear at this point that a gym overhaul is coming next. Drop in to the gym deets and make it known that you're about to coin up. According to Hanke – as of this afternoon – "We are working on improving gym battles." He also "excited for 1v1 battles."

Whether or not we'll see 1v1 battles any time soon – we'll have to wait for the actual software on that one. See SlashGear's TeamPokemonGO Twitter portal as well for quick tips, updates, and early warnings of events to come.