Pokémon GO Fest 2021: When is it and why is Edinburgh one of the best places in the world to play?

The popular augmented reality game that lets you catch virtual monsters on your mobile phone is planning a big birthday celebration and Edinburgh PokéMasters will be getting extra treats.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:56 pm

It’s been five years since millions of gamers downloaded the Pokémon GO app onto their mobile phone and set out to capture fantastical creatures like Bulbasaur, Charmander and Pidgey.

A special Pokémon GO Fest is being held to mark the event – allowing trainers to take part in special challenges and catch rare Pokémon.

And Edinburgh has been chosen as one of 20 cities around the world to hold real-world celebrations with extra bonuses.

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Here’s what we know about the festival of mini-monsters.

When is Pokémon GO Fest taking place?

The one-off event will be taking place this weekend, July 17–18, and will be running from 10am-6pm each day.

In order to play you'll need to buy a tickets in the ‘shop’ section of the Pokémon GO app for £4.99.

Pokemon Go players will be flocking to Princes Street Gardens to enjoy Pokemon GO Fest on Saturday.
Pokemon Go players will be flocking to Princes Street Gardens to enjoy Pokemon GO Fest on Saturday.

What’s going to happen?

On Saturday there will be four themed rotating habitat hours to explore, each with a Collection Challenge, with trainers around the world working together to to unlock bonuses in the Global Challenge Arena.Over 75 species of Pokémon will be appearing in the wild, in raids, and by completing Special Research tasks.

On Sunday, every Legendary discovered in Pokémon GO so far will be appearing in five-star raids – letting you catch any you may have missed.

Throughout the weekend there will be event-exclusive tasks to earn exciting rewards including the first chance to encounter with the featured Mythical Pokémon, Meloetta!

What new Pokémon will be available?

Along with Meloetta, there will be special Pikachu, Galarian Ponyta and Galarian Zigzagoon wearing exclusive Meloetta hats – if you’re lucky you might catch a shiny.

Taking a snapshot after completing Special Research will earn you either Pikachu Pop Star or Pikachu Rock Star, while another picture will make either a Gardevoir or Flygon wearing a Meleotta hat appear for you to catch.

What about Shinies?

All Pokémon attracted to incense on Saturday will be more likely to be Shiny, including Unown F and G.

New Shinies making a debut appearance will include Audino, Chimecho, Sawk, Throh, Tympole and Whismur.

Why is Edinburgh special?

Edinburgh is one of 20 cities around the world, just four of which are in the UK, to host real-life Pokémon GO Fest events on Saturday from 10am-6pm.

They will take place in Bristo Square and St Andrew Square and trainers who attend these in-person experiences can look forward to enjoying photo ops as they explore the city.

You must register to take part, and can do so via the ‘Events’ link in the Pokémon GO App.

Where are the best places to play in Edinburgh?

Other than the real-life events on Saturday, favourite places to play include the Meadows, Princes Street Gardens and the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens.

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