The Lunch Rush: coordinating a hectic Pokemon Go event.

Recently, on Wednesday Feb 13, Niantic “experimented” with an event that is highly thought to be something they’ll continue to regularly implement, the “Lunch Hour Event.” Between the hours of noon and one PM EST on one day a week (specific day moving forward is TBD), every gym in the world will suddenly spawn a Tier 5 Raid Boss egg which will spawn whatever the given T5 is at that time. In this case, Dialga lasted at every single gym for one hour, at which point it despawned. Players in cities can all of a sudden, potentially, hit as many as a dozen, maybe more, T5s! This not only gives potential for insane amounts of experience, but it can also allow players to suddenly load their boxes full of special Legendary Pokemon!

I travelled to Pittsfield for this event. With about a dozen other people, we ventured across Downtown Pittsfield and ended up hitting a total of ten Dialga raids, eight of which I was fortunate enough to catch! Of course, this event was somewhat poorly marketed by Niantic, and the coordination on our end was somewhat sloppy. If this event does in fact become regular, it is reasonable to expect these woes will pass with experience. However, this article will go over some basic “Dos” and “Don’ts” which will describe how to maximize your potential earnings during Lunch Hour events in the future!

Dos: 1. Gather an itinerary and figure out who is expecting to be able to join your group.

This one is pretty much the barebones and helps greatly to outline a plan. You will need to know where to go so that you don’t end up splitting your groups up, thereby slowing the rate at which you can all take down the Tier 5 bosses. You also need to know how many people will be attending for two reasons. First, getting a head count can give you a general idea of how long it will take you to defeat a Tier 5 boss, which will allow for a reasonable outline of how many bosses you can hit during the event’s hour period. Second, knowing who plans to attend ahead of time is important; once you all arrive at the gym, you can immediately lobby without worrying if you’re missing anybody, and save yourself valuable minutes by not having to back out of the lobby for a straggler. To that point, it is each player’s responsibility to actually tell the group that they plan to take part in this activity. If somebody is silent when you ask who plans to attend, it’s on them if they get left behind. It simply isn’t fair to hold as many as a dozen or more people up because one person picked the wrong time to clam up in their Facebook or Discord chat. On a separate note, don’t be “that guy.”

2. Make sure you’ve planned how to fight the Raid Boss.

This should be somewhat of a given, but the goal here is to defeat the boss as quickly as possible so you can maximize how many you can hit in the hour period. Therefore, taking a Blissey to fight Dialga because the other 12 people have you covered and will take Dialga down anyway is a bad mindset to have. Even if taking Machamp instead only saves you ten seconds, that ten seconds is more valuable than you think. Again, don’t be “that guy.”

3. Learn to “walk and catch”.

Even learning to “walk and battle” may be a good idea. This is certainly not suggesting you should cross the street, glued to your phone, or do anything deliberately dangerous or negligent in public. But in groups of a dozen or more, you’re going to be melting the boss pretty quickly. When you get to around the last third of its health, you should have reached a rhythm where you can effectively spam your Pokemon’s fast move and its Charge move in good rhythm. You should also know how to actually catch the raid boss you’ve defeated by now, meaning you can probably do that without looking at your screen, or with paying minimal attention (maybe to secure that Excellent instead of that Great throw). Doing this instead of needing to stand still to catch and fight not only maximizes efficiency, but it also prevents you from holding your mobile group up from hitting the next boss. Better yet, it prevents you from falling behind your group, and risking them moving onto the next boss without you.

4. Pack a portable battery.

Pokemon Go has a nasty reputation of rapidly draining your phone’s battery. Especially in cold weather like we’re experiencing these days, it would be good to have a portable battery on hand to help combat this, so that you aren’t left on the sidelines, missing out on a pristine day for raiding

Don’ts: 1. Be late.

The worst thing you could do to your raid group upon telling them you plan to attend this event is to be late, or worse, forget to show up at all. This is a no win scenario: either you hold them up as they wait for you and waste precious minutes of a limited hour long event, or they go ahead without you, and you miss out on the benefits this event conveys. Additionally, being early has benefits: you could hit up a few gyms, store Pokemon in them, and use the status of having held down the gym to get yourself a few more Premiere balls to catch the raid boss with.

2. Be misleading.

Generally, there isn’t a “leader” of a typical raid group. However, someone’s gotta herd the sheep, and usually someone does. If someone says “hey guys, I think we should go from the gym down that street to the gym over on the next block,” then go with it, unless what they’re suggesting is absolutely ridiculous for some reason. The last thing this event needs is for a bunch of people with egos trying to play “boss”, and it never ends up benefitting anyone. Generally, if someone suggests a course of action in the heat of the moment, you should go with it. That way, you can spend time running to or driving to that area instead of wasting time arguing about it. If nobody is willing to suggest a course of action, take it upon yourself to do it.

3. Get discouraged.

So you failed to catch the Raid Boss. Don’t fret, there are plenty more opportunities over the hour to get it! In fact, hitting an Excellent Curveball on Legendary Pokemon is usually pretty easy due to how big most of them are. If you packed Golden Razz Berries and are hitting Excellent Curves, each individual Excellent Curveball has a 12.8% chance to successfully catch the target. Considering you will always get anywhere from six to 14, usually in the middle, Premiere Balls after every raid, it’s only a matter of time until Lady Luck is on your side. This is especially the case when you consider you’re going to be hitting roughly a dozen bosses in that given hour. You will average about 108 chances of a 12.8% chance to catch at least one Raid Boss, and you’ll usually beat those odds with ease. I managed to catch eight of the ten Dialgas our group took down at Niantic’s first Lunch Hour event, for instance. Don’t get discouraged if the first Dialga or two gets away.

4. Forget to have fun.

Ultimately, we can metagame Pokemon Go all we want. But, for one hour, these Lunch Hour events will turn into a great way to spend vigorous, tense time with friends, doing something you all love to do. In-game stuff aside, the social experience should not be disregarded. A lot of fun could, and frankly should, be had before, during and after the event is over.