This week, Pokemon Go finally added the Spotlight Hour details to the Today tab, which was a feature requested by the community ever since the weekly event started in early-2020. While I appreciate being able to see what bonuses are active during the Spotlight Hour without having to refer to a third-party source, I can’t help but feel like the Spotlight Hour is still missing something. I log in every tuesday to catch as many of the Spotlight Pokemon as I can, but I rarely ever want or need the Pokemon that’s being spotlit.
On paper, Spotlight Hour is a great idea. A weekly event that gives players an opportunity to catch lots of one specific Pokemon can help people fill out their Pokedex, hunt for Shinies, or just have a reason to go out and play. Every Spotlight Hour also has an active bonus that increases things like catch candy and evolve XP, so it’s worthwhile for min-maxers to take advantage of this time to maximize their experience gains. The problem isn’t the purpose of Spotlight Hour, it’s the execution.
The four Spotlight Hours in June feature Nosepass, Mantine, Spinarak, and TCG Hat Pikachu. All of these Pokemon have been available since at least 2018, have low candy requirements for evolution, and terrible stats for both PvP and raiding. In other words, these are useless, common Pokemon. Once you’ve added them to your Pokedex, there’s no reason to ever catch them again.
There are so many good choices for Spotlight Hours. Pokemon like Swablu, Wailmer, Noibat, and Stufful that take 400 candy to evolve would be perfect for a Spotlight Hour, and some have had entire Community Days. Top-tier non-Legendary attackers like Beldum, Machop, Ghastly, Rhyhorn, and Swinub would also be useful, since there are plenty of players still looking for shiny and four-star versions to add to their battle or raid teams. It feels like Niantic chooses Pokemon at random to spotlight, and they’re rarely any good.
There isn’t even a Shiny boost during Spotlight Hour, contrary to popular belief. The ‘boost’ is just the fact that a lot of the same Pokemon spawns, but you’ll have to wait for an actual Community Day for a real decent chance of finding a Shiny.
Casual players aren’t going to show up for Spotlight hour, and hardcore players have no use for a bunch of Nosepass, so I’m not sure who this weekly event benefits. Even if you’re not a daily player, the chances that you already have a Probopass, Mantine, and Ariados is pretty high, and don’t even get me started on TCG Pikachu. The last thing we need is another Pikachu wearing a hat.
There’s a lot of negativity surrounding Pokemon Go right now thanks to recent changes to Remote Raid Passes and a lackluster Go Fest. I take no pleasure in piling on, but these missteps definitely inspire me to take a more critical lens to the game. There are 52 spotlight hours a year, and with the exception of Magikarp last month, we haven’t had a particularly useful one in all of 2022. I’m not expecting a full-blown Community Day every week, but if we could at least have something good to catch, that would be nice.
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