‘Pokemon Go’ Finally Puts Its Team Leaders To Work

Teams Valor, Mystic, and Instinct's leaders will figure out which is your most powerful Meowth

Pokemon Go is still massively popular with mobile gaming savants, and developer Niantic remains on top of things by continuing to roll out new updates to keep things fresh. But up until now the Team Leaders, appointed to each team, haven’t seemed to serve any real purpose beyond letting me rep a special team by slapping a sticker on the back of my car or sporting a T-shirt with their logo emblazoned on it. Niantic is changing this, as the Team Leaders will now be tasked with evaluating which one of your Pokemon is prime for training with special items called Candy and Stardust earned in-game.

The mobile app, which took the world by storm earlier this year by setting players on their own AR-inspired Pokemon journey, allows players to choose a team at the beginning of the game from Team Valor, Team Mystic, or Team Instinct. Each team is appointed its own unique Team Leader and values with varying personalities. If you think pulverizing the competition with powerful Pokemon is more important than studying their evolved forms, you’d choose Team Valor over Team Instinct, and so forth.

Team leaders will use Candies to help evolve certain Pokemon, and Stardust to earn more CP, which helps to determine a Pokemon’s combat prowess.

Some Pokemon have the potential to be trained to an even higher degree than others, which means there’s a huge need for this sort of appraisal process. For instance, you can capture three Meowths, but how do you know which is going to end up the most powerful out of all of them? Your Team Leader will offer a thorough breakdown of its potential stats and hidden attributes named IVs to determine which one you should go with going forward, and which ones you can trade for additional Candies.

Niantic notes via its official announcement on Facebook that it’s working on several “new and exciting features” to come in the future. Hopefully one of those is the ability to trade Pokemon, because it’s all well and good to travel around your neighborhood capturing Magikarp you find chilling on the sidewalk somehow, sometimes trading is the only route to catching ’em all, and that’s the entire point of becoming a Pokemon Master.

The update is currently rolling out now for Pokemon Go players around the world.