Niantic has just announced that raids are live in select cities as we speak, meaning you can snag a raid pass from spinning your local gyms, and head on over to participate… if you’re level 35 or above.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Raids are only available to an incredibly select subset of Pokémon GO players level 35 and above, which means players have amassed a total of 6 million or more XP since the game started.
But before everyone freaks out, it’s incredibly likely that this is only a temporary measure, and that raids will be opened up to lower levels as time goes on (though Niantic would be wise to quickly make that clear). It makes some amount of sense to test raids among the most powerful, most dedicated players in the game, and then work backward from there. If they’re too hard for even those players, we have to imagine they’ll be scaled back. We do wonder, however, how in these “select gyms” how they’ll manage to get enough level 35 people in one place to test these raids.
What we know is that there are five tiers of raids that will be in the game, ranging from levels 1-2 which are “possible” to solo according to those who have tested them, to 3-5 which absolutely require a group. But what’s unclear is whether or not raids are solo-able by say, a level 35 player, or a 30, or a 25 and so on.
There’s some concern among many players that they are going to end up underpowered for raids, which is why so many are initially concerned about this high level requirement. While we do understand it for testing purposes, it would be helpful to know a little more about the raid tier system, possible level requirements and boss difficulty, though we suppose Niantic still may be working through that, which is the point of these early tests.
Details are still coming in about this raid test as we speak. I’m not quite sure which locations are test areas at this point, whether it’s select cities only, or just select gyms, globally. Also, raid passes are now for sale for 100 coins in the store, which is the only means of doing a raid more than once a day. The concept of that kind of monetization is something that can be debated another day, we suppose, but just a head’s up if you see a raid nearby but haven’t gotten a pass, or already spent one.
More details to follow, but for now, it seems like at least 95% of the Pokémon GO playerbase is probably going to be sitting out this initial test due to the level restriction.