Niantic Announces Updates to Mega Evolution System

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It's been a while since we've had a genuine discussion about Mega Evolution in Pokemon Go. Love it or hate it, this system has embeded itself as a strong feature for Raids at least, but at the system's introduction, it was considered to be.... extremely divisive, to say the least.

We still have at least one writer on the Gamepress team that still has never Mega Evolved a Pokemon because of just how botched the system's release was. However, that fact may be changing soon.

After nearly 2 full years since the system's release in August 2020, we're finally getting an update to the Mega Evolution system. With Mega Levels and energy-free Mega Evolution on the horizon along-side other updates, the future looks bright for this once-reviled feature.

Mega Evolution Updates

Mega Levels

Mega Evolving a Pokemon will increase its "Mega Level", which will dictate different bonuses that having a Pokemon Mega Evolved will give.

  • The same-type candy bonus will become stronger with Mega level, and a similar feature involving XL Candy and an XP bonus will be introduced.
  • The Mega boost and STAB boost that having a Mega Evolved Pokemon in a raid brings will increase with Mega Level
  • And one more bonus that we'll talk about in the next section.

Mega Energy Cost

As-is, initially Mega Evolving a Pokemon costs a substantial amount Mega Energy, and then each subsequent Mega Evolution of that individual Pokemon will have a smaller cost to activate. However, this system is about to undergo a fairly large change.

  • The initial Mega Evolution will still cost energy like normal, but then what comes next will be very different. Post-Mega, the Pokemon in question will enter a cooldown period. This brings two options to the table for players:
    • Pay Mega Energy to bypass the cooldown timer and Mega Evolve again with an energy cost that reduces as the timer counts down.
    • Let the cooldown period finish, at which time the next Mega Evolution may be performed free of charge.
  • Calling back to the previous section; an increased Mega Level will also have the advantage of reducing the cooldown period, making it faster/cheaper for subsequent Mega Evolutions.
  • Additionally, players will be able to Mega Evolve their Pokemon from the Raid prep. screen.

Mega Raid Changes

Let's be honest; Mega Raids are a bit of a hassle. We're basically getting a Pokemon that is generally less valuable than a Tier 5 raid boss and a bit of Mega-currency where we could spend our passes on the current-rotation Tier 5 instead. Well, Niantic has good news; Mega Raids are about to become easier. While we don't have the exact numbers yet, it looks like they may drop to be Tier-4 equivalent.... most of them, anyway. 

Breaking it Down

To start with; it's admittedly easy to be a bit skeptical of this update. Without the  hard numbers, this could make things worse on specific sides of the system, especially at a lower Mega Level. However, we have two resources to draw from while we await its global release:

  1. They've already started a limited-release in specific places across the globe
  2. Pokeminers. 

...seriously, everyone; go follow @poke_miners and join their Discord, these guys are amazing.

Anyway, looking at the chart, we can see just how this will play out:

  • Mega Evolution will still have full cost initially
  • Mega Levels start at Base (Mega Evolve 1x), move on to High (Mega Evolve 7x), and finish at Max (Mega Evolve 30x). 
  • At "Base Level"/Level 1, repeat Mega Evolution will cost one more Mega Energy to recharge from max cooldown than it does now, but this cost will tick down as time goes on and drops substantially at higher levels, to the point where repeat Mega Evolution can cost as little as 6 energy directly after a previous Mega Evolution ends.
  • The full cooldown period ranges from 7 days to a mere 3 days, which is fairly reasonable when combined with the lessened cost of bypassing the cooldown period at higher levels and with when the timer has been ticking down for a while.
    • On that note, this chart also lists Free Cooldown as 14 days for level 0, which would seem to infer that it might be possible to Mega a Pokemon that has never Mega Evolved before free-of-charge? Maybe this would apply to other Pokemon of a given species once the initial Mega Evolution has been unlocked? Honestly not sure, let me know in the comments if there's something more to this bit.
  • The Attack and STAB boosts don't seem to scale with level currently. Of course this system has only been out for a few hours as of right now, so the numbers may very well change in the coming days.
  • The XL Candy chance starts at High level with a meager 10% and skyrockets to 25% at Max level, while the normal Catch Candy bonus hits +2 at Max level. These bonuses will make Mega Evolutions even more important to events with an emphasis on catching, such as Community Days

So yes; Niantic is actually giving us an update that is pure advantage to the players. This is the update that will likely put Mega Evolution on the map for the majority of the player-base, as it makes huge leaps and bounds towards making this system actually accessible. But now comes the question: with all of these updates, Are Mega Evolutions on their way to Go Battle League? Time will tell.....

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We’re very excited to announce that an update to Mega Evolution in Pokémon GO is now live in Australia and New Zealand and will be available globally soon.

Mega Evolution is an Evolution that transcends all others. Mega Evolution temporarily changes a Pokémon’s appearance and increases its strength. In Pokémon GO, Trainers use Mega Energy to Mega Evolve their Pokémon.

But with the latest Pokémon GO update, Mega Evolution will now be easier and more rewarding than ever before!

Dev Diaries: Mega Evolution and Mega Raid updates

For April’s Dev Diary, we’re excited to share a look into the changes we’re making to Mega Evolution and Mega Raids in Pokémon GO.

Update overview


  • Most Mega Raids will be easier. You can now take them on with fewer people!
  • You’ll be able to Mega Evolve your Pokémon from raid and battle prep screens.
  • Pokémon you have Mega Evolved before will now have an additional visual effect added to their information page to commemorate this momentous achievement.
  • We’re implementing Mega Levels and changing how Mega Energy is used.

MEGA MASTERY: Introducing Mega Levels

Being a Pokémon Trainer is all about helping your Pokémon grow, and we’re introducing a new way for you to do just that—Mega Levels! Every time you Mega Evolve a Pokémon, you work toward increasing its Mega Level. You’ll get more bonuses every time a Pokémon’s Mega Level goes up, and these bonuses will stay active while your Pokémon is Mega Evolved.

Each Mega Level grants various bonuses. Bonuses vary by Pokémon, and all bonuses will improve as a Pokémon’s Mega Level increases.

Existing bonuses

  • Increased Candy when you catch Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
  • While attacking with a Mega-Evolved Pokémon in a Raid Battle or a Gym battle, the attacks of other Trainers’ Pokémon challenging that same raid or Gym will deal more damage. Their Pokémon’s attacks will deal even more damage if the attack is the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.

New bonuses

  • Increased chance of earning Candy XL when you catch Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
  • Increased XP for catching Pokémon that are the same type as your Mega-Evolved Pokémon.
  • A Pokémon’s rest period decreases as its Mega Level increases.

MORE MEGA MOMENTS: A one-time cost to Mega Evolve

With this update, after you Mega Evolve a Pokémon for the first time, you’ll be able to Mega Evolve that same Pokémon again without using Mega Energy!

  • After Mega Evolving, your Pokémon will be fatigued and need time before it can Mega Evolve again. Once this rest period is over, that Pokémon can Mega Evolve again without using Mega Energy.
  • You can use Mega Energy to decrease a Pokémon’s rest period. The Mega Energy required to Mega Evolve a Pokémon will decrease as the Pokémon’s rest period becomes shorter.

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.

—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.