Just a few months back, Niantic added its first “Special Research” to Pokémon GO. Sort of like an in-game quest, the research had players complete a series of tasks (often over a number of days) to unlock an otherwise unobtainable Pokémon.
Now they’re back with another one.
The company will be adding a second Special Research quest to the game on August 20th. Whereas the last set unlocked Mew from the first generation of Pokémon games, this one brings out Gen II’s Celebi.
This technically isn’t the first time Celebi has appeared in GO — attendees of GO Fest back in July got an early crack at a Special Research quest specifically tailored to the event, with the final reward being the opportunity to catch Celebi a solid month before anyone else.
Though a bummer to anyone who couldn’t make it to Chicago, it was a fitting way to debut Celebi. Celebi has almost always been an “event” Pokemon in the original series, meaning you had to do something special to encounter one. Depending on the game, sometimes that meant going to a physical, real-world event; sometimes it just meant having the right pre-order disc.
Those who already did the GO Fest research will also be able to do this public run of the Special Research, earning a bit more candy for the Celebi they’ve already caught.
And if you haven’t finished the first (Mew) Special Research yet? That’s okay — they can run in parallel.
These Special Research quests are a clever way for Niantic to keep things interesting. It turns the process of catching one particularly worthwhile Pokémon from something that might take 10 seconds into something that might spread into hours or days (depending on how intense you get about it). I just wish there were more of them, even if they were only for big lumps of XP. Though it’s smart for Niantic to keep them rare and special, these multi-stage tasks are a bit more rewarding than the one-off quick tasks you get anytime you spin a Pokéstop.