When Raid Battles first launched for Pokemon GO they carried with them a level requirement that, for most casual players, was quite steep. At launch, anyone that wasn’t level 35 or higher could not participate in the mobile game’s exciting new feature, and as expected fans were disappointed. Luckily, developer Niantic has heard those complaints and is tweaking the level requirement as a result.
At first, Niantic dropped the level requirement for Pokemon GO Raid Battles down to level 31 early Friday morning. But that didn’t seem to be enough, and so they dropped it two more times, first to level 28 and then to level 25.
While Niantic never officially revealed why it was dropping the level requirement for Raid Battles, there’s little doubt that fan outcry played a part. For the most diehard, a level 35 requirement was hardly a barrier, but for casual players that seemed a steep hill to climb. And if the whole point of Raid Battles is to bring lapsed players back into the fold, putting an arbitrary wall in their way is likely to push them back even further.
Pokemon GO was a success when it first launched and had a massive player base, but those numbers have dwindled in the year since and only special events have been reason enough for some to come back. Raid Battles was to be the biggest such event practically since Pokemon GO’s release, and then the level requirement diminished some of that excitement right off the bat.
For now, the level 25 requirement is holding, but it will be interesting to see if Niantic drops it even further. Admittedly, if they drop the requirement too far then those low level players might lose interest for a different reason – because difficult raid Pokemon bosses consistently trounce them. Nobody wants to get beat by a Magikarp.
The good news is Niantic is typically quick to respond and can usually find a nice middle ground that gives its player base a fun experience without completely eliminating that carrot on the stick. Within the first few hours of the Gym overhaul, for example, the devs increased the Pokecoin reward considerably.
Pokemon GO is out now for iOS and Android.