Pokemon GO has seen some significant updates lately, including one that added Pokemon trading to the game. Considering the hype surrounding the new friends system and Pokemon trading, some other changes Niantic has made have flown under the radar, such as the fact that it swapped the regions where region-exclusive Pokemon Solrock and Lunatone appear.
Since they were introduced to Pokemon GO, Solrock and Lunatone have been exclusive to the western and eastern hemispheres respectively. However, Niantic has swapped the two, so Lunatone is now appearing in the western hemisphere and Solrock is now appearing in the eastern hemisphere. This change went live on June 21 as a way for Niantic to celebrate the summer solstice, and should give Pokemon GO players a chance to better fill out their Hoenn Pokedex.
It’s unclear how long Solrock and Lunatone will stay in the eastern and western hemispheres. It took months before Niantic decided to swap them, so it’s likely that Pokemon GO players will have months to add whatever one they’re missing to their Pokemon collection. It’s also possible that Niantic will make the rock- and psychic-type Pokemon appear in both hemispheres at some point to end their region-exclusivity, similarly to what we saw with Plusle and Minun.
In honor of the summer solstice, the Rock- and Psychic-type Pokémon Solrock and Lunatone have started to appear in different regions! Celebrate the longest day of the year by adding one to your Pokédex today!
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) June 21, 2018
Even if Pokemon GO players miss out on catching Lunatone or Solrock while they’re available in their region, they now have a better chance of obtaining them eventually than they ever did before. That’s thanks to Pokemon GO‘s new trading system, which allows trainers to trade Pokemon with one another. There are some restrictions to the Pokemon GO trading system, though; players have to be within 100 meters of each other, and if they want to make trades without spending absurd amounts of stardust, they will also need to have high level friendships.
Unfortunately, there are some Pokemon GO players who are unable to take full advantage of Pokemon trading in the game right now. That’s due to an error that makes it so friendship levels aren’t increasing, but Niantic is aware of the issue and is presumably working on a solution. In the meantime, the studio has recommended that players simply keep completing activities with whichever friend isn’t leveling properly, but in our town testing, this supposed workaround hasn’t worked.
It’s clear that Niantic still has some issues to iron out when it comes to Pokemon GO‘s new friends feature and Pokemon trading. While they’re waiting for a fix, players can search for Lunatone and Solrock to add the rare region-exclusive Pokemon to their collection.
Pokemon GO is out now for iOS and Android mobile devices.