Pokemon GO's "Big 3" updates for 2017: Special Items need not apply!

We now have a list of the three game-changing updates for Pokemon GO in the year 2017 – and they're huge! While we do not know the order of the 2nd and 3rd update, the first will center on the Pokemon Gym. While we've had Gyms and Gym Battles since the start of the game, these battles have been notoriously simple and devoid of the complexities of battles as they've existed in core Pokemon games – all that's about to change.

1. Gym Overhaul

The first big update that'll happen in the year 2017 is an overhaul to the Gym Battle system. Much like what's possible when multiple people get together to affect in-game elements in the game Ingress, so too will it become far more effective to attack Pokemon Gyms in teams. This is already in effect in a small way in Pokemon GO as it is – but things will get a whole lot more interesting soon.

Speaking in an interview with Wired.de, Hanke suggested, "Wir werden diesen Aspekt des Spiels überarbeiten, damit es mehr Teamwork gibt und die Leute mehr Anreiz und Belohnung dafür bekommen teilzunehmen." In other words – users will have greater incentive to work together because greater rewards will be offered for teamwork.

2. Pokemon Trading

We cannot be sure if Trading will be update number 2 or update number 3. Based on what we understand in how far along development of Trading is now, it's more likely that it'll come before the other big update of the year. Have a peek at our Pokemon GO trading update feature from earlier this week to learn more about what we already know.

We received a tip from our usual anonymous tipster with information on the subject earlier this year on the possibility of Pokemon Trading in the year 2017. Turns out they were right – or at least right enough that Niantic developers are now being open about trading very likely coming this year.

Trading, as you'll see in the feature link above, will take place in person. Trading will require that the internet be connected to both smartphones, but will need players to literally be within a stone's throw of one-another. This is another element of the "get people up and off their couches" effort Niantic is making for us all.

3. Person-vs-Person Pokemon Battles

This is the update we know the least about – but it probably won't be all that different from what we see with the Gym update. Once we get to grips with what Niantic has in store for us with the update to Gyms, we'll know what PvP battles will be all about. It makes sense for these battles to be a BIT different from Gym battles, as they'll only be 1v1 instead of team battles – but we'll see!

Also of note – no mention has been made of any additional Special Items for the rest of this year. That's not to say that more might not exist, but that it's unlikely we'll have to worry about additional spinning of Pokestops to get items to evolve Pokemon. Spinning, and spinning, and spinning... forever. Or on automatic pilot – either way.

4. BONUS: Legendary Pokemon

Hanke made mention this week that "Ich kann mit Sicherheit sagen, dass wir davon dieses Jahr mehr sehen werden" when asked about legendary Pokemon Mewtwo, Mew, and the three original series legendary bird Pokemon. This translates roughly to, "I can with safety say, that we in this year will see more [of these Pokemon]."

Cross your fingers and cross your toes, Pokemon fans. This universe is about to get better than it's been since the beginning! Also be sure to stick around SlashGear's special Pokemon GO Twitter portal at @TeamPokemonGo for all the news, tips, and leaks you can handle!