Latest Pokémon Go Challenge Is Literally Just Picking Up Garbage

By Patrick Lucas Austin on at

Pokémon Go developer Niantic thinks being the very best like no one ever was should include a bit of community cleanup in honour of this year’s upcoming Earth Day.

Niantic, in partnership with conservation organisation Mission Blue, is encouraging players to participate in local cleanup events with some in-game incentives. As some may know, however, a live event from Niantic could potentially turn into a dumpster fire.

Right now, Niantic lists a total of 37 events happening across 12 different countries, all hosted by the company, along with local nonprofits. You can sign up for a cleanup event on Pokémon Go’s Earth Day Cleanup page. Though the events are scheduled to last for about two hours, Niantic suggests you check the specific event for which you’re registered. The events are only open to participants ages 13 and older.

If the thought of joining a community cleanup effort isn’t enough to get you out the door in support of environmental activism, I don’t blame you. Pokémon Go and live events don’t exactly mix well, as evidenced by the disaster that was Pokémon Go Fest, which left many paying attendees without access to the lovable monsters during the event. Niantic recently paid $1.6 million to settle a lawsuit related to the debacle that was its inaugural festival in Chicago.

Still, Niantic’s sweetening the pot for those more interested in catching ‘em all. If at least 1,500 people participate in the challenge within 48 hours, every trainer (whether they participated or not) will earn 2x Stardust for capturing Ground, Water, and Grass-type Pokémon. If 3,000 people participate, that multiplier gets bumped up to 3x Stardust when capturing those same types.

The cleanup events could be a great way to meet like-minded players. And it could also function as a breath of fresh air for players who’ve abandoned the game since its debut, unaware of its AR-friendly update for iOS 11, or its upcoming story expansion, which includes new “research” tasks that grant you useful items and increase your likelihood of catching a rare Pokémon.