Pokémon Go Accidentally Allowed Players Without Tickets Join Kanto Tour, New Event Promised

Were you able to go along for the Kanto Tour in Pokémon Go without buying tickets? You weren't alone. Following the discovery of the error Niantic, Inc. has announced that it will host a bonus event for those who actually did buy tickets to make up for the fact that the players who didn't were able to access the first paid in-game event for free.


What Is The Kanto Tour?

On February 20, 2021, a special event in Pokemon Go featured several collection challenges, special research, extra daily raid passes, and even free items for paying customers. The event took place within a 12-hour window and was intended to only be accessible with a ticket that players could purchase for $12. Thing is, all players could access the Kanto Tour regardless of whether they bought a ticket or not - something that caused understandable ire among the paying customers.

Certain events within the tour were on an hourly schedule during which specific areas of the Kanto region featured a higher spawn rate of native Pokémon. Also, two different ticket types for the Kanto Tour were offered, Red and Green, each having a slightly different selection of Pokemon and different requirements for the Collection Challenges.

There are two versions of the Kanto Tour

Below is the breakdown of all the Pokemon Go Tour: Kanto events that were supposed to be for ticket-holders only. We imagine the bonus event Niantic is planning for players who bought tickets will follow a similar format.

Kanto Tour Hourly Schedule

Area Time
Pallet Town 9 – 10 AM
Pewter City 10 – 11 AM
Cerulean City 11 – 12 PM
Fuschia City 12 – 1 PM
Pokemon League 1 – 2 PM
Pallet Town 2 – 3 PM
Pewter City 3 – 4 PM
Cerulean City 4 – 5 PM
Fucshia City 5 – 6 PM
Pokemon League 6 – 7 PM
All the Pokemon subject of the event from the previous hours appeared in the wild 7 – 9 PM

Kanto Tour Research and Rewards

There were three research quests for paying - and otherwise, really - trainers to complete. Originally, those who did not pay for a ticket would not have had access to two of the research rewards, since the paid event research is required to complete one of the three types of research.

Event Research Who May Participate Encounters Item Rewards
Defeat All Challengers Free for All Eevee
1 Sinnoh Stone
Lucky Egg
Fast TM
Charged TM
Kanto Special Research Ticket Holders Cubone,
Ditto (shiny)
Lucky Egg
Star Piece
Premium Pass
Fast TM
Charged TM
Tour Cap avatar item
Mew Masterwork Those who completed the special research Mew Poffin

Mew Masterwork Research is the first Masterwork Research quest in Pokemon Go and completing it allows you to catch a shiny Mew. The Kanto Special Research and the Mew Masterwork are not time-constrained, unlike the rest of the event. Players are free to complete these quests at their own pace.

Shiny Mew might take months to encounter after completing the Kanto research

Ticket Holders versus Non-paying Trainers

While all content was accidentally made available to all players, originally non-paying trainers would have still been able to enjoy a number of bonuses during the event - these included the increase in trade range to 40km and the increase in native Pokemon encounters in the Kanto region. The timed research quest of “Defeat All Challengers” was intended to be available to them too as well as a chance to battle the legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres as well as Mewtwo, in five-star raids. These legendary Pokémon, when captured, already came with a pre-trained special ability, making them an effective addition to your team.

The extras that buying a ticket was meant to confer included the following:

  1. 10 Collection Challenges;
  2. The choice between the Red and Green versions of the event;
  3. Candy for catching Gen 1 Pokémon; and
  4. Two special research quests.

This is all moot since, again, the non-paying trainers were able to enjoy the ticket holder exclusive events. By not excluding the non-paying players from enjoying the paid portion of the event - even if by accident - the Kanto Tour received positive reception despite its relatively high price of admission. However, the 12-hour window for the Kanto regionals was considered too restrictive by some and may require an encore performance for the make-up event.

Possible Ramifications

One of the ramifications of non-paying trainers who were able to access to the event research quests probably means that their rewards and access to the Mew Masterwork will be revoked. This is the first quest where a shiny Mew (at least outside of Japan) was made available for capture. All other Pokemon and items in the Kanto Tour may still be captured and acquired after the event, albeit it is much more difficult to pull off. The shiny Mew encounter is, arguably, the main attraction for ticket holders, aside from Collection Challenges which have highly involved meta-games featuring Red and Green versions (in order to unlock a badge, players of differing versions of the Kanto event must trade with each other) of the game to unlock event-exclusive badges.

However, since players weren't using some kind of exploit or cheat to get access, and were only allowed to acquire these Pokémon due to Niantic's error, this would be a rather questionable move and certain to raise controversy. A much more sensible approach would be allowing players to retain everything unlocked during the Tour regardless of whether they bought a ticket or not, and launch a new event - as has been announced - with new rewards that only ticket-holders can access, for real this time.

Niantic will surely reveal more information about the bonus event soon.

Jasper Nikki De La Cruz
Jasper Nikki De La Cruz is a video game enthusiast and has written for various gaming outlets for a decade. Check out his gaming recommendation blog .
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