The Fifth Anniversary Event is Coming

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Article by Brian Tein

It feels hard to imagine, but Pokemon Go actually made its grand global debut way back in July of 2016. Back then, it was an undeniable phenomenon that included all of the earmarks of its glorious rise:

  • A gigantic player-base
  • News coverage of its meteoric rise
  • Conspiracy theories revolving around it

And to think; in those days, the most in-depth mechanic for the entire game was defending and attacking gyms. Well, here we are five years later, and Niantic is prepared to give us a celebration to commemorate the rise of Pokemon Go!

...nothing too big, though. Gotta' save most of the good stuff for Go Fest!

The Fifth Anniversary

Event Start Event End
July 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. local time July 15, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. local time
  • Darumaka and Flying Pikachu with a "5" shaped balloon will appear more frequently in the wild.
  • Darumaka and, by extension, Darmanitan, are going to have their shiny formes released. 
  • A special selection of (starter) Pokemon will be available via research and lures
  • A special selection of Pokemon will spawn in the wild
  • Daily research tasks will be available that will result in encounters with specific (starter) Pokemon.
  • A special collection challenge will be available with rewards including a "5" Balloon Flying Pikachu, Rare Candy, and a "massive amount" of Pokeballs.
  • Fireworks will be available on the map, and the new Starmap and Expanded Pokedex features will be made globally available
  • The Meltan box will have a chance to spawn shiny Meltan during the event
  • The "Jump Start" research line will be making a return for players who have not completed it during its previous runs. Check out our Research page for more information (and please excuse the mess, we're still getting it fixed up!)
  • The item bag limit is going to be increased to a maximum of 3500!
  • New boxes will be available
  • Lure modules will last for 1 hour
  • New stickers will be available from Pokestops, gifts, and the shop.

Full Announcement

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Full Text


What an incredible five years they’ve been. Remember back in 2016 when Pokémon GO was just about exploring the world and catching Pokémon? While this is still the core of the game today, the world of Pokémon GO is now so much more than that! Here are some of our favorite features from each year.

To commemorate Pokémon GO’s fifth anniversary, you’ll be able to participate in a celebration event featuring Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon, Darumaka, and more!

Date + Time

Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. to Thursday, July 15, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. local time


  • Darumaka and Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon will be appearing more frequently in the wild! If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Darumaka!
  • Darumaka, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie, and Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon will be appearing in one-star raids.
  • Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie will be appearing around PokéStops with active Lure Modules and after you complete Field Research. You can also encounter some of these first-partner Pokémon in the wild, including Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott.
  • You’ll receive daily bonus Field Research tasks that lead to encounters with Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie.
  • Complete the Collection Challenge for this event for a reward encounter with Flying Pikachu with a 5-shaped balloon, as well as Rare Candy and a massive amount of Poké Balls!
  • Remember the in-game fireworks from Pokémon GO Fest last year? They’re returning this year to the map in celebration of our five years!
  • While you’re looking out for fireworks during the fifth-anniversary celebration, check out the new in-game sky, too! That’s right—the previously announced real-time sky mechanic and additional Pokédex classifications will be available to everyone in the coming days.You can also learn more about the Pokédex classifications in this help center article here.
  • If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Meltan when you activate the Mystery Box during the fifth-anniversary celebration!
  • The Jump-Start Special Research will be available during this time for any Trainers who missed out on it during last year’s anniversary celebration, so be sure to open the app during this period to claim it. This Special Research is designed to help you catch up with other Trainers, with a ton of Stardust and XP rewards, as well as some exciting Pokémon encounters.
  • You can get fifth-anniversary Gift stickers when you spin PokéStops and open Gifts. You can also pick them up in the shop.
  • You’ll be able to expand your Item Bag up to 3,500 from Monday, July 5, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7)! If you need more space in your Item Bag, you can get Item Bag upgrades in the shop.
  • The Special Box, Ultra Box, and Adventure Box will contain different items starting on Monday, July 5, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).


  • All Lure Modules will last one hour for the duration of the event, including Glacial, Magnetic, Mossy, and Rainy Lure Modules

As you think back on your favorite Pokémon GO memories from the past five years, be sure to share them with us on social media with #PokemonGO5YearAnniversary! There’s much to look forward to for this fifth-anniversary celebration, as well as beyond for years to come. Let’s GO!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

—The Pokémon GO team

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.