Field Update

Shinies, Genders, Avatar Swag, and [SPOILER]! What's New in Pokemon GO APK 0.49.1

The data mine of Pokemon GO v0.49.1 is perhaps the most highly anticipated audit we've conducted, thanks to the events surrounding its release.

Questions hang in the air: is Gen 2 launching? Are the legendaries coming? How will Gen 2's unique attributes be handled?

Let's dive in, travelers!

First, the official patch notes:

  • Trainers will be able to transfer multiple Pokemon at a time to Professor Willow. To use this function, press and hold on a Pokemon.

  • Pokemon type icons have been added to the Gym battle approach and Gym battle screen.

  • The total Candy count for your Buddy Pokemon has been added to the buddy information screen.

  • The total kilometers a buddy has walked has been added to the information screen of each Pokemon that has ever been your buddy.

  • Minor text fixes.

Not bad! But... certainly not everything hinted at in the codebase. The Silph Road team has dived under the hood.


Don't read any further if you want to be surprised by the events on Monday, travelers! Not all of these features will be involved with the upcoming promotions, but some of them certainly will be!

Here's what's in the code aside from what made it into the release notes:

1. Sound Files for the Next 100 Pokemon!

[Dronpes' Note: We had initially missed these files, but they were spotted by an author at After collaborating with their data miner, we are able to independantly confirm this information!]

The 'cries' for each Pokemon are stored in the game's client. In the previous version (v0.47) the audio files for species 1-151 were included. In v0.49, the audio files for species 1-251 (the next 100 species) have been included! This is a major indicator that Gen II may be just around the corner, travelers.

2. Pokemon Genders!

It appears that Pokemon may soon begin having a gender associated! Both Male and Female gender identifiers appear to be in the works. No new code appears that might display the gender via a UI at this time, but Pokemon may already begin to have this attribute behind the scenes.

3. Shiny Pokemon Variants!

Even more code has been added to enable shiny Pokemon in Pokemon GO! For those unfamiliar, in the mainseries game "shiny" Pokemon are simply re-colored versions of Pokemon. They are extremely rare. Every Pokemon comes in one shiny variant. They are identical to their normal-colored counterpart in every way except appearance, but are sought after for their collecters' value!

This time, it is abundantly clear that 'shinies' are an intended mechanic for Pokemon GO. No UI code exists to handle them apart from the already existing special announcement sound file, and the ability for them to have a different 3D model at this time.

4. Avatar Customization!

Finally, avatar customization is being expanded! Nothing is visible in the game currently, but under the surface, functionality has been added that will allow travelers to customize their avatars in the following categories:

  • HAIR
  • HAT
  • EYES

Code for both in-app purchases and unlockable avatar items is referenced. We believe both may be a possibility soon! Avatar customization items have the following attributes:

  • NEW
  • SALE

It will be interesting to see how to 'unlock' customization items!

5. New Buddy Position: Baby

Buddy Pokemon display either at your feet, in the air, or on your shoulder in the current game. But a new position has been added: Baby! No other code referencing babies/breeding is found in the APK, so this appears to be a simple change, rather than the introduction of breeding or other baby-Pokemon mechanics.

6. New Sponsor Placeholders

To add to the SPATULA, THERMOMETER, and KNIFE sponsor types in the last version, the following have been added:


7. Sightings/Nearby tweaks

Tweaks have been made to the Sightings and Nearby system. It appears these mostly focus on the ability to load PokeStop images asynchronously without freezing gameplay.


8. Pokemon Costumes!

A whole slew of code has been introduced to enable Pokemon to have... costumes! Not only that, but it appears to have been built in a way that would enable different 'types' of costumes. The first type we are seeing is: HOLIDAY.

Costumes appear to have their own collision physics as well! This will be an exciting feature for a potential holiday promotion.

What's NOT in the Code?

No New Moves

There were no new moves added to the client. It was our expectation that moves would be added before the addition of Gen 2. It may be that Niantic is sorting out shiny Pokemon and genders before introducing Gen 2. Or, it may be that Gen 2 will already fit within the 137 existing moves. We'll find out on December 12th!

No More Pokemon Sprites

Sprites have been removed from the game's assets, in favor of server-sent 3D models. This makes sense, as it enables gender/shiny variants, which multiplies the number of potential 3D models one might encounter - not to mention the next generation of Pokemon.

Pokemon sprites were a canary, tipping us off if the next Gen was heading our way. Rather than update the spritesheet, Niantic has removed it! So now we're left guessing. :)

Parting Words

Well, travelers, it looks like Niantic has been busy! With the upcoming events, it looks like we're all in for a treat. Shinies alone are a fantastic way to make the game more addicting. But avatar customization and costumes are going to be fantastic features as well.

We can't conclusively confirm Gen 2 to be heading our way on Dec. 12th. It still seems quite possible, especially considering the audio files were just added. But we'll have to wait til Monday to see what's in store. :)

Travel safe,

- Executive Dronpes -