One of the unique elements that Pokemon GO introduced that was never part of the original game and lore are Teams and their respective Team Leaders. A lot of fiction, not to mention fan fiction, have risen around this addition and some may have developed a certain fondness and loyalty for their team. Others, however, might want to play the field for one reason or another and Niantic Labs will finally give into those wishes. Unsurprisingly, there are a few catches.
Pokemon GO Teams are practically the game mechanics Niantic introduced to create the semblance of clans and territories in the AR world. They are also what Pokemon GO gym battles revolver around on. Some may be fiercely loyal to their newfound teammates but others may have more strategic ideas for themselves.
Starting February 26 at 1:00 pm PT, Pokemon GO players will be able to pick a new side. They will, however, need to first buy a Team Medallion costing 1,000 PokeCoins. But if that weren’t enough to make you pause, here’s the other important limitation. You can only switch teams once every 365 days.
Knowing too well how some players might try to game this new system, Niantic Labs is putting some consequences related to gym battles. No, you can’t battle your own Pokemon after you’ve switched sides. In fact, they will be returned to you with no PokeCoins earned.
While there might not practical in-game benefits to switching teams, the Team Medallion does at least solve the tricky problem of you and your close real-world friends choosing different teams. Now you can be on the same side if you’re willing to spend that much in-game currency or, if really necessary, real-world money.