Since Pokemon Go's release in the summer of 2016, trainers have been asking whether it is possible to change teams. The answer is no. However, the new change team medallion will change that soon.
Change Team in Pokemon Go
Update: Niantic have confirmed that the Team Medallion will be released on February 26, 1pm PST. It will cost 1,000 PokeCoins.
The question of "how to change teams in Pokemon Go?" has frequently appeared on Pokemon forums. When first starting Pokemon Go (level 5), you are asked to choose between team Instinct, Mystic or Valor. That decision was important because you will have been stuck with that team from then on.
That is all about to change though. Pokemon dataminer, Chrales has found some interesting information.
Presumably on one of their most recent datamines, a new item called "Team Medallion" was found. Additionally, an item icon was found, alongside the following description: "A unique coin that enables a Trainer to change teams. A Team Medallion can only be purchased from the shop once per 365 days."
A unique coin that enables a Trainer to change teams. A Team Medallion can only be purchased from the shop once per 365 days.
— Chrales (@Chrales) February 17, 2019
A few questions remain unanswered at this point, however. Firstly, it isn't clear when the Team Medallion will be made available. As the files are now within the game, it could be in an update in the near future. Secondly, it isn't clear whether you can select your chosen team or whether it will be random. Given you can only use it once in a 365 day period it will likely be the former.
Interestingly, if you do change team, any Pokemon currently occupying a gym won't receive PokeCoins when they are defeated.
Concerns With Changing Teams
Upon the news of this upcoming new Team Medallion item, Pokemon Go trainers voiced their potential concerns. The main concern is the ability to change your team will result in a lot of trainers changing to the same team. This could result in further domination of gyms by a particular team.
On the flip side, many have been frustrated that they were on opposite teams to close friends. This will of course resolve this issue and may create interest for dormant players to return.
It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out and how Niantic will react if one team takes a monopoly.
Pokemon Go Teams
The choice between Instinct (yellow), Mystic (blue) and Valor (red) might be inconsequential at first. A lot of Pokemon Go trainers when initially picking their team thought it was little more than an aesthetic decision.
That has proven not be true. This is because gyms are controlled by teams. Therefore, if you are part of a strong team, at least in your area, you have an increased chance of being able to hold onto a gym. This not only brings prestige but also the ability to earn PokeCoins, the in-game currency that allows you to buy additional items.
Since Pokemon Go has been released, Instinct have been generally considered the worst team. Pokemon forums suggest this is the least popular team and is therefore harder to hold gyms with. Elsewhere, opinions contrast as to whether Mystic or Valor are the strongest.
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