Pokemon Go to offer rewards for referring friends with new program

Brent Koepp
A screenshot of Pokemon Go players trading CharmanderNiantic

Niantic has unveiled a new referral program in Pokemon Go that lets players invite friends to join the mobile title. Trainers are being offered a variety of rewards for getting other fans to sign up.

Pokemon Go has undergone a variety of changes since it first launched way back in 2016. From seasonal spawns with the Beyond initiative to epic online raid bosses, the hit mobile title is drastically different from how it started.

Fans were surprised when Niantic announced a new program on March 10. The upcoming feature will allow Trainers to obtain rewards, including ‘mon encounters, after inviting friends to sign up. Here’s all the details.

Screenshot of Pokemon Go Trainer avatars.Game Freak / The Pokemon Company
Pokemon Go players can now get rewards by referring friends to play the game.

Pokemon Go referral program detailed

Niantic detailed the new referral program in a blog post on their website. The developer explained that Australia will be the first place the feature is being rolled out and that players in the region will be receiving “referral codes that they can share with friends.”

As far as what rewards fans can expect to receive, it seems to be pretty varied. “Rewards like Pokémon encounters, Rare Candy, Incubators, and more as they hit milestones on their adventure,” the post reads. It appears the program will feature levels with better items the higher your score is.

The items unlocked will be given to both the person joining the game, as well as the player who sent the referral in the first place. As for when the program is launching, Niantic has not given a release date, simply stating that Australian fans will get to experience it first.

Screenshot of Niantic Referral Program Blog post.Niantic / The Pokemon Company
The Go developer explained how the program would work in a blog post.

Reactions from the community seem to be mixed. Serebii’s Joe Merrick simply stated, “Well this is weird.” Another player wrote, “Seems like something they should have done nearer the start.” Another jokingly tweeted, “Time for alt accounts.” Many voiced their concerns about the potential for cheaters to abuse the system.

Screenshot of Pokemon Go players reacting to referral program.

Interestingly, Niantic stated that the referral program would be tuned as time goes on. So it appears the mobile developer is open to feedback and making changes based on how the community interacts with it.

It seems like the new feature is aiming at driving up user engagement, as well as an incentive to get inactive players to hop back on again. If nothing else, it’s just another way for fans to get rewards for little work – and that isn’t a bad thing.