Pokémon Go creators recently announced that two of the game’s many planned updates will be available this summer: the ability to invite friends to raid battles, and a stickers feature for gifts. The raid battles feature is set to be released sometime this month, according to a statement on the Pokémon Go website. Niantic gave a less specific timeframe for the stickers, simply saying players can expect it “soon.”
Pokémon Go has traditionally required players to venture outside and explore their communities in order to play the game. In recent months, developer Niantic has enacted a few changes to make the game more playable in the age of COVID-19-spurred lockdowns. The new battle raids feature seems to be a continuation of those changes. Previously, you could only enter into a battle raid if you were physically nearby. The new change allows you to remotely invite friends into a raid you’ve entered before, physical proximity not required.
When this feature goes live, a “+” button will appear in private raid lobbies that you’ve joined in person. You can tap the + button to invite up to five friends to join you. Your friends will be notified of raid invitations on their Nearby screen or in push notifications. These invitations will allow your friends to enter the raid lobby, and they will be able to use a pass only when the battle starts.
Next, Pokémon Go will allow you to personalize in-game gifts you send to friends with stickers. When the feature is first introduced players will get a roll of stickers for free, and will have the option of adding a sticker to a gift before sending it to a friend. The website notes, “You can use a sticker only once, so be sure to stock up on more by opening Gifts.” Eventually the stickers will be available to buy, as you’d expect from a free-to-play game.