Niantic is releasing, and has released, a lot of content in Pokémon GO that is somewhat familiar to those of us who played Niantic’s previous game Ingress. I thought I would take a moment to do some speculation on these features to try to alleviate some uncertainty and confusion.
Keep in mind, this is speculation based on how things worked in Ingress. Given that Pokémon GO is a totally different game, I could be totally off base, so take this entire guide with a skeptical grain of salt.
I feel pretty confident about this, as it seems the mechanics are identical. Basically you will get an alphanumeric code to enter into the store, and you get stuff. Pretty easy. Of course, the mystery is how to get codes. In Ingress, there were three main ways:
1. Codes from Niantic Events
In Ingress there were events held all over the world on specific dates that had Niantic employees participate in various ways. These events would be huge (thousands of people running around playing the same game on their phone, it is A LOT of fun). When signing in for the event, or when dealing with specific event objectives, a Niantic employee or representative may hand you a card that will have a redemption code on it.
Does this mean Pokémon GO is going to get events? Who knows.
2. Products and hidden code
Niantic teamed up with a company that made “Hint Water”. The product was atrocious! It tasted like water had been filtered through a dirty gym sock that held the fruit it was supposed to taste like. However, when you opened the bottle, there was a code on the cap you could enter into your Ingress app and get stuff. I think after the codes were phased out from this product, it stopped selling…
I am not aware of any such product placement yet, but you may want to keep an eye out at merchants who are already partnered with Niantic and Pokémon GO.
3. Data Mined Codes
This one was a little bit more uncertain. Ingress had a few twitter accounts (@passcoder) that would tweet out redemption codes from time to time, and there were facebook pages and the like that did the same.
I have no idea where they got their codes from, and never had any luck with them.
So the alphanumeric codes I mentioned are just a random string of letters and numbers. Usually the string was pretty long. 8 to 12 characters at least. And they made no sense.
Every once in a while, you might see something that looked like a word associated with the game though (for instance xm734h4rst where XM is a major component of the game). If you got it from a product, then you’d pretty much be the only one with it (unless you also shared it with someone).
It did appear that each code had a “lifetime” associated with it. Meaning that once the code was entered/redeemed, other people could also redeem that code for a very short time.
At the events, teams would get together and to ensure maximum benefit to all, have everyone try to submit their code simultaneously. Another reward you could get was special badges (like Medals in Pokémon GO), so that may be another type of reward for participation in an event.
Hopefully that gives you a little something to go on in anticipation of codes getting released for Pokémon GO.