Avatars in video games are precious things. They embody us digitally and allow players to get creative with their appearances, but fans of Pokémon Go have largely not been afforded that luxury, as the character creation system in the game has not been updated since it was released in 2016.


However, Pokémon trainers can now rejoice, as last night (Wednesday 17th April 2024), the avatar system in the game received a major overhaul that will help players make their appearances less Ghastly and more Ninetales-esque.

The game’s parent company, Niantic, is updating Go with the slogan "Rediscover", which is aimed at bringing in new players and enticing back anyone who has stopped playing.

The UK was even one of the first locations to get this upgrade, so there’s a good chance you will already have noticed spruced-up Trainers walking around.

However, not everyone has taken kindly to the new avatar customisation options.

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Read on for a full explanation of what has changed in Pokémon Go and how fans are reacting.

What's changed in the Pokémon Go graphics update?

The new Pokémon Go graphics update includes changes to the Style Shop and the appearance of players' avatars.

Different outfits are available, and players can now customise their characters with new levels of detail that include the following options:

  • Adjustable body weights, which includes new ways to customise your muscles, hips and chest
  • Various eye colours and skin tones
  • New facial expressions and hair styles with different lengths available

Aside from updates to the avatar system, the game is also receiving an upgrade to its graphics that will enhance "your real-world surroundings in a fun and ecologically accurate way", according to the game’s website.

This update is set to roll out on Earth Day, which is 22nd April 2024.

How are fans reacting to the Pokémon Go graphics update?

Just because an upgrade has been released, it doesn't always mean it goes down well with a fanbase. So, how have Pokémon Go's loyal players reacted?

Well, badly. Players have criticised the unrealistic body shapes and a lack of gender specific options.

Some have also said that, visually, the game now looks less like Pokémon's traditional anime styling.

Overall, on social media a huge portion of players are ridiculing the update, as opposed to celebrating it. Here are a selection of posts from X:

Some made jokes at the game's expense...

Others claimed their characters' styles had been "ruined" by the new graphics.

However, not everyone was against the updates - instead merely wanting tweaks to the new system.

Let’s hope that things improve for fans of Pokémon Go in the coming updates!

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