First Pokémon Go routes available in Tainan from Jan. 20

Pokémon Go
A Zygarde, a Pikachu, a Charizard and a Leafeon accompany two Pokémon trainers as they explore a route. Graphic taken from Pokémon Go official website

Taiwan’s first official Pokémon Go routes will go online in Tainan on Saturday, January 20 the city’s mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) announced January 19.

Pokémon Go
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che unveils the 30 Pokémon Go routes designed by Niantic for his city. Photo courtesy of the Tainan City Government

At a news conference, Huang said the routes have been officially designed by Niantic, Inc., the developer of the popular mobile game, in celebration of the city’s fourth centennial.

A total of 30 routes spanning nine districts in Tainan that feature over 200 tourist sites tailored to avid Pokémon trainers have been created, according to the mayor.

In addition to standard route missions, such as collecting badges, meeting the game’s non-playable-character Mateo to receive special gifts and collecting Zygarde Cells to change the form of the special Pokémon Zygarde, players are also encouraged to enjoy the tourist adventures Tainan has to offer, the city’s tourism administration said.

Tainan has also prepared 500 Sababoy, one of the city’s fish-based mascots, icash 2.0 souvenirs which can be redeemed at Anping Visitor Information Center by explorers who complete all 30 of the city’s official Pokémon Go routes, Huang said.

Individuals who participate in the game’s Tainan route adventures can also enter a luck draw to receive a dragon-zodiac lantern designed for the upcoming Taiwan Lantern Festival which is scheduled to take place from Feb. 3 until March 10, the mayor added.

To further celebrate Tainan’s 400th year, Huang added that Niantic has also chosen to launch the game’s unique “City Safari” event in the old southern city from March 9-10.

Pokémon trainers will get the opportunity to encounter “City Safari” event-exclusive Gen VI Pokémon, Skiddo, as well as catch Gen V’s Bouffalant, a Pokémon that is regionally limited to the New York area in the United States.

Moreover, a number of Pokémon will also appear in rare shiny forms and unique costumes for players who “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” while eggs collected during the two days will have a higher chance of hatching rare Pokémon like Deino.

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game launched in June 2016 based on the internationally renowned animation Pokémon.

To keep the game fresh for players, Niantic has gradually updated the roster of 1,025 Pokémon into the game while constantly upgrading gameplay mechanics.

The route feature was added to Pokémon Go in July 2023 to further encourage players to explore various surroundings in different countries, and players can follow routes designed by Niantic, or those of other players.