January 2020 Events Announced

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A new day, a new month, a new year, a new decade. Niantic has announced the itinerary for Pokemon Go's January events and changes, and 2020 is coming in with a number of changes; some are expected, others less so. While we here at Gamepress wish you a very happy New Year, let's take a look at what fun the coming weeks are confirmed to hold.

January Research

While we are in the process of updating our research for the recent changes, the highlights are a new Team Rocket based Special Research line, and an update to the Research Breakthrough for the month.

Team Rocket: The Takeover Continues

This month, Giovanni comes to us with the final member of the Winged Mirages; the Fire/Flying type Legendary Pokemon, Moltres. This is Moltres' debut as a Shadow Pokemon, giving it access to Return (Frustration isn't worth using) for the first time. Along with this update, players are reporting that Giovanni has a new lineup of Pokemon that he can use, which changes the dynamic a bit. Expect our Giovanni guide to be updated to reflect this change soon!

January Research Breakthrough: Lapras

In a move that is similar to the return of Body Slam Snorlax a while back, Lapras will be the research breakthrough reward for January, sporting the same legacy moveset that was featured in its raid day; the Fast Move Ice Shard, and the Charged Move Ice Beam. While this may not be a huge deal to most raiders, this moveset is valuable for Great League PVP, and with the upcoming emphasis on PVP that we're expecting in the coming months, collecting a few could become important moving forward.

Adventure Synch: Hatchathon

Event Start Event End
January 2, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST January 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST

The Hatchathon returns for 2020. This event has a heavy emphasis on walking as the name implies. While the announcement doesn't go into much detail, it does mention Stardust, Rare Candy, and Unova stones based on distance walked, meaning they're likely tied to Adventure Sync. We also have mention of new party hat Pokemon, which were discovered in the game data several weeks ago.

Again; not much is currently revealed, but the event is almost here as of this post, so we should have full details soon. In the meantime, take a look at what Hatchathon has entailed in years past:

Heatran Returns

Heatran's Raid Availability
Heatran Arrives Heatran Departs
January 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST February 4, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST

The legendary Fire/Steel Type Pokemon, Heatran, it making its grand return to raids!

While Heatran didn't live up to its hype in its initial release, the Lava Dome Pokemon has seen some utility in PVP formats and some Team Rocket battles thanks to its extremely advantageous typing. While not an extremely high priority for most players, Heatran is worth catching in case of utility in the upcoming Go Battle League, where it may see some use depending on how different formats work. Shiny collectors will also want to get on this one, as this will mark the grand release of Shiny Heatran!

Normal and Shiny Heatran

New Unova Pokemon

This update also mentions that a new wave of pokemon that were originally discovered in Unova will be releasing this month. While the post doesn't go into any specifics, the latest Loading Screen eludes to a few families that are likely to be released soon, as loading screens have historically been used as teasers for new Pokemon releases.

Full Announcement Text

Link to Announcement


As December’s last event, Pokémon GO Holidays 2019, wraps up, we set our eyes toward the new year on the horizon! As we ring in 2020, you can look forward to the following events and features.

  1. More Team GO Rocket Special Research
  2. January Research Breakthrough encounter: Lapras that know Ice Shard and Ice Beam
  3. The egg-citing Adventure Sync Hatchathon is back
  4. Heatran blazes back into raids
  5. Unova nouveau in the new year

January Team GO Rocket Special Research

The fight against Team GO Rocket continues! Activate the new Special Research during the month of January to help Professor Willow and the team leaders take down this villainous group. This is your chance to fight Giovanni and save another Legendary Pokémon: Shadow Moltres.

Team GO Rocket never rests, Trainers, and neither can we! Be on the lookout for new Team GO Rocket Special Research from Professor Willow every month. For more information, please see our help center article.

January Research Breakthrough encounters: Lapras that know Ice Shard and Ice Beam

From Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Saturday, February 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8), Lapras that know Ice Shard and Ice Beam will be available as Research Breakthrough encounters! Some of you might notice that the last time Lapras with these particular attacks were available to catch was in 2018.

These Water- and Ice-type Pokémon are sure to be contenders for your battle party, so don’t miss this chance to encounter Lapras that know Ice Shard and Ice Beam!

The egg-citing Adventure Sync Hatchathon is back

Ready those Incubators! From Thursday, January 2, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Thursday, January 16, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8), the Adventure Sync Hatchathon event will return. It’s time to get a leg up on your New Year’s resolutions, Trainers! During the Adventure Sync Hatchathon, you can be rewarded with extra Stardust, Rare Candies, and a Unova Stone if you walk a certain distance. You’ll be able to find Pokémon wearing party hats by hatching Eggs and encountering Pokémon in the wild, too. More details coming soon.

Heatran blazes back into raids

From Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8), Heatran will be in five-star raids! If you’re lucky, you might encounter Shiny Heatran! With a body made of rugged steel and blood that boils like magma, the Lava Dome Pokémon might find a niche in your battle party as a bulky Fire- and Steel-type attacker.

Unova nouveau in the new year

Remember when Pokémon originally discovered in the Unova region first came to Pokémon GO? Well, we’ve received reports that some more might be coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled, Trainers, and stay tuned. We’ll share more details soon!

Which events are you looking forward to the most, Trainers? Be sure to share them with us on social media with #PokemonGO! Here’s to an amazing month of events and an amazing 2020 in general. Let’s GO!

—The Pokémon GO team

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with 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.