The much-awaited Pokémon GO Hoenn Tour in Las Vegas took place last weekend (18 to 19 February), with many fans having had high hopes for the event.
However, it was instead marred with network connectivity problems, which caused further gameplay issues. Some of these included players constantly disconnecting from raids, spinning Pokéstops, and being unable to play at all during the event.
Niantic attributed this to overcrowding, with reports of the problems coming in early on Saturday morning, and published an apology online for players with paid tickets on the first day.
We apologize for the issues Saturday ticket holders experienced. For details on our thank-you to affected Trainers, please see our blog: https://t.co/2aa4kJg8ba
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) February 19, 2023
“We apologize for the gameplay issues currently impacting Pokémon GO Tour: Hoenn – Las Vegas Saturday ticket holders,” the statement read.
Niantic asked for patience and compensated its paid event goers with an Extra Day Add-On by extending the city event by three hours, with “additional Primal Raids and wild Pokémon encounters.”
A bundle with three Premium Raid Passes and three Remote Raid passes was also given via the in-game shop.
However, players who purchased a Saturday-only ticket were left unhappy.
“The Saturday-only players got screwed big time - give them some remote hours at least. So many sad and frustrated faces today,” said Twitter user @fabiandoehla in response to the apology.
The official Pokémon GO Twitter account also requested in a tweet that players without tickets refrain from coming to the park during the event hours on Sunday (19 February) “to ensure a smooth event for Sunday ticket holders and Trainers who have the Sunday Extra Day Add-On”.
This request was received with flak by players, with Twitter users pointing out that the park is “open to the public” and that they “should have spent some actual money and found a private space” or “work on [their] servers”.
However, the event on Sunday (19 February) was far from smooth, with fans reporting further network connectivity issues in the game across Las Vegas, according to a tweet by Niantic Support.
The Hoenn Tour eventually ended with a massive map wipe bug in the Las Vegas area, as first reported by Reddit user Merlion4ek on the TheSilphRoad.
Yet the problem of blank maps wasn't exclusive to Las Vegas. Around the same time, California and the Netherlands players reported experiencing the same difficulty.
Trainers, we are investigating an issue affecting gameplay in the Las Vegas area. We will provide an update on the status of this issue as well as any changes to the Rayquaza Raid Hour. We appreciate your patience.
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) February 20, 2023
As a result, the Pokémon GO devs extended the Rayquaza Raid Hour and gave out three remote raid passes to players in Las Vegas.
Players who headed back home asked if the compensation would be available to them, like Twitter user @SwimmingWSharks.
But based on Niantic’s response and other players who’ve headed home, it seems that not all have received their compensation, while a player who bought a ticket but didn’t make it to the event still received the remote raid passes in the in-game shop.
However, some luckier players at the Hoenn Tour Event, like Twitter users @Torri479and @BrawlhallaSpam came home happy with a haul of shinies and rare Pokémon, or even levelling up to 50, along with new memories with friends and other players.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.