A Double Stardust Event Is Absolutely What ‘Pokémon GO’ Needs Right Now
Pokémon GO is finally getting another global event, the kind that gives out bonuses and special Pokémon to everyone in the world, regardless of whether or not you've made it to a park in Chicago or a European shopping center. It appears that Niantic is following the Solstice Event with an Equinox Event, giving us special "Super Incubators" that hatch eggs 1.5X as quickly, as well as allowing the rare Pokémon Mareep, Chansey and Larvitar to hatch from 2KM eggs. But that's not all: we're also getting double Stardust from hatching eggs and catching Pokémon. And high-level players will immediately recognize this as the most important bonus the event has to offer.
Stardust is a rough proxy for Pokémon experience points. You use it, along with candy, to level up your Pokémon, and you get it from hatching eggs or catching Pokémon. In a world where we can get plenty of candy both Rare and otherwise for plenty of useful Pokémon, it's become the choke point for many Raid or Gym-oriented players. Stardust has been essentially my only motivation to walk ever since I finally hatched that Girafarig to round out my Pokédex, offering a kind of organizing principle for long-term play. For many endgame players, Stardust is what keeps you from leveling up your Pokémon, keeps you from building out an unbeatable team of Eeveelutions and stretches out the endgame while we wait for new Legendaries.
Which means that a double Stardust event is more than welcome to players like me who have begun to grow weary of that particular grind. I've got a huge number of Pokémon that I'd love to level up but am essentially never going to touch, and double Stardust might just give me not only the means to do so but also the motivation I need to get out there and start playing here in the crisp fall air. I've lapsed a little in the past few weeks: nerfed Raid rewards mean that it's much harder to find groups against Raikou, and it's just getting harder to motivate myself to get out there and hatch. A little incentive like this equinox event is just the thing I need to do a little walking.
No, these events don't solve any long-term problems, and they keep pushing players like me towards an inevitable endpoint where there really, truly isn't anything left out there to do. But if the app store rankings are any indication, this game is languishing a little bit without them. EX Raids aren't broad enough to make an impact for the player base at large, and Niantic successfully nerfed away the excitement surrounding Legendaries through a combination of reduced rewards and timing problems. At this point, the game really needs to hang on before its next major content drop, which we assume will be in the Winter.