Why are portals in the sky in Pokemon Go? Hoopa rings explained

Why are portals in the sky in Pokemon Go? Hoopa rings explainedNiantic / The Pokemon Company

Ultra Unlock part three is underway in Pokemon Go, bringing Sword & Shield ‘mon, Zacian and Zamazenta, and strange rings in the sky to the mobile game. Here’s what those portals mean.

Hoopa arrives in Pokemon Go this September, with a load of new details released on the character’s Special Research Story. The season will include a number of different tasks and bonuses, as well as a new egg chart with fresh hatches.

If you’ve played Pokemon Go during Go Fest 2021 and the Ultra Unlock event, you’ll have no doubt noticed some odd rings in the sky on your overworld map.

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But what are they and what do they do? Here’s everything you need to know.

Pokemon go sky ring hoopa portalNiantic / The Pokemon Company (via Twitter: @@ShunGO_GO_)
Portals have been appearing on the overworld map.

Hoopa rings in Pokemon Go

The portals in the sky have been created by Mythical, Hoopa. The Psychic/Ghost-type uses its hoops to create an opening through time and space, allowing other ‘mon to travel through.

In the Ultra Unlock event, new Pokemon have been added to Pokemon Go via the rings. For some, including Sword & Shield’s Zacian and Zamazenta, this is the first time they’ve come to the game.

It’s basically just some pretty neat lore that allows Niantic to bring new Legendaries and Generations to the title and make it interesting.

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What do the portals in the sky do in Pokemon Go?

As for what the sky portals actually do in the game, you’re in for a disappointment if you were hoping they’d have some sort of gameplay element to them.

Unfortunately, outside of being something pretty to look at, they don’t do anything at all. They’re purely for visual purposes only. Sorry.

Something that is odd, though, is that Hoopa isn’t actually a part of Pokemon Go’s Pokedex, meaning you can’t catch it or encounter it in any way. Perhaps all this is a hint at what’s to come?

Pokemon Go hoopa strange rings special researchNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Hoopa’s been transporting Pokemon through its rings.

Part three of the Ultra Unlock 2021 ends on August 31, so Hoopa’s rings will presumably disappear then too.

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For everything we know about the final part of the event, including Research, spawns, and more, check out our guide.