Niantic’s games encourage outdoor activity and exploration, so, unsurprisingly, they would care about the environment and looking after public spaces. The focus of the Sustainability Week event was, well, sustainability. The spawns represented different ecosystems and the importance of looking after different habitats.
Alongside the event, Niantic also encouraged players to adopt sustainable real-world practices. The more players that engaged with the initiative, the more in-game rewards we could earn. The fact that players had to share their efforts on social media felt a little bit like a free PR stunt for Niantic. Even so, encouraging people to look after their outdoor spaces is never a bad thing. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the Trubbish things about the event.
Who doesn’t like new Pokémon? Well, when it’s Binacle and Barbaracle…eek. Those Pokémon are abominations. Way too many hands. Still, it’s always fun adding something new to the Pokédex. And one Trainer’s trash is another Trainer’s treasure, right?
The event also saw the debut of shiny Trubbish in Pokémon GO. The adorable little trash bag also awarded 750 Stardust per catch and was available in the wild. Unlike previous events, the featured shiny was a common spawn and easy to grind for. Yay! Ferroseed were also spawning; both the Battlers and Shiny Hunters were happy about that, although it was quite an uncommon spawn.
The map was littered with Phanpy, Grimer, Seedot, and Sunkern. Psyduck and Seel were also part of the event, both of which have nice shinies. Dewgong is also a bit of a powerhouse in the Great League, so it was a good opportunity to try to find a decent IV Seel to evolve.
The event came with a free avatar t-shirt in the shop. I mean, we all like free stuff, right?
The other event bonuses were in partnership with the Niantic Sustainability Campaign. The initiative encouraged Trainers to earn in-game bonuses by achieving sustainability-related goals in the real world. Trainers took to the beaches, collecting trash and catching Trubbish and Grimer along the way.
Altogether, 1873 players took part in the Niantic Sustainability Campaign. This was not enough to even unlock Tier 1 of the rewards. The whole thing was a bit of a dumpster fire. Lots of players complained about the lack of communication about the initiative. The rewards were also pretty garbage.
Niantic pledged to plant 627 trees to help us hit the Tier 1 target of 2500 sustainable acts. That’s a real tree-umph for the environment, but it shouldn’t have been necessary. In Pokémon GO, Tier 1 rewarded trainers with increased 5* raids, which were active on the last day of the event. Trainers were far from excited about this. It didn’t really feel like a bonus at all. We’re all a little fed up with facing the leggy Landorus, especially after the 40,000,000 raid challenge from the Rivals Event. It also felt as though the boosted raids was a bonus for Niantic, not for players.
The Research Tasks were the worst part of the event. None of the Research Tasks awarded Trubbish, despite the fact it was the new featured shiny. Instead, the tasks were based on the idea that cleaning up trash and grime allows the Earth to grow and flourish. So, catching 5 Trubbish rewarded trainers with Cottonee. The other rewards were Ducklett, Spheal, Chespin, Binacle, and Sewaddle. Not one of those Pokémon can be shiny! Niantic really dropped the Pokéball on that one. The sentiment behind the tasks was great, but why couldn’t they reward something with a shiny chance, such as Oddish, Bellsprout, or Ferroseed?
The event also included Timed Research, which is always a nice addition. It’s free, bonus content, and rewards Trainers for engaging with the current event. It also doesn’t matter if Trainers cannot complete it in time. The Timed Research for the Sustainability Event was fairly easy to complete and awarded trainers with a few different encounters and Mega Venusaur Energy.
As with other events, the Sustainability Event brought a shake-up to the raid bosses. The 1* raids featured Alolan Diglett, Binacle, Psyduck, Ferroseed, and Trubbish. Being able to raid Binacle was handy (geddit?) for anyone that wanted to evolve a decent one for their Pokédex.
For 3* raids, Trainers could battle Vileplume, Camerupt, Torterra, and Alolan Exeggutor. Camerupt has a future Mega Evolution, so it was a good opportunity to get a high IV one in preparation. Alolan Exeguttor is a Dragon-type, perfect for Trainers that still need to complete their Mew Special Research. For Trainers trying to get a Platinum Badge for unique Raid Bosses, Vileplume was also a nice option.
Therian-Forme Landorus was still available in 5* raids for the event. It may be a great Ground-type attacker, but Trainers are a bit fed up with facing the strange-sky-tiger-thing. In fact, it seems Trainers are tired of the Forces of Nature trio altogether. We’re ready for a new Legendary Raid Boss, Niantic. But please don’t put Heatran or non-shiny Kyurem back in raids again. We all love recycling, but not when it comes to the same Legendary Raid Boss over and over again.
For the event, 5km Eggs were more likely to hatch Diglett, Tangela, Goldeen, Budew, Cherubi, Finneon, and Drillbur. The selection was nothing too exciting, but many Trainers were pleased to have an extended break from hatching Eggs. Most of us are still down in the dumps about the number of Eggs we hatched during the Spring into Spring event.
The Sustainability Event was pretty good. Overall, this event scores a decent 6/10. The Research Tasks needed improvement, but an event that encourages real-world positive change is never a bad thing. It was also nice to have a brand new shiny that was available in the wild.