There's a major change in 'Pokémon GO' after you hit level 20

If you’ve been playing “Pokémon GO” with some regularity since it came out, you’re probably getting close to level 20. You’re now encountering more powerful Pokémon that require Razzberries and Great Balls, and you’re finally in position to take on some other players’ Pokémon in gym battles. It’s great, right?

Unfortunately, it’s about to get a lot less fun. According to a Reddit post from one of the first players to reach level 30, the game arbitrarily makes it much harder for you to catch low level Pokémon. That means all those Pidgeys, Zubats, Rattatas and other lowly Pokéball fodder you see all the time are now capable of escaping at much higher rates than before.

What was once a trivial catch to be turned into candy is now an exercise in frustration at higher levels. Photo: The Pokemon Company.

That Reddit user claims to have thrown more than 1,000 Pokéballs on their way from level 29 to level 30, with pathetically low level Pokémon often escaping five to eight times in a single session. You get 100 experience points for capturing any Pokémon, so it behooves you to get as many as possible to inch closer to the next level, making this extra frustrating.

Based on my own experience with the game, this is true. I’m only level 18, but I’ve been noticing low level Pokémon being extra feisty when it comes to being captured for awhile now, in a way they weren’t before. It’s normal and expected for a video game to progressively make it more difficult to level up as you keep playing, but this is a frustrating way to do it.

This is probably the game’s way of telling you to stop focusing on collecting as many Pokémon as possible and start focusing on battling and taking over gyms. That’s fair! After all, why bother collecting so many Pokémon and evolving them into more powerful forms unless you want to do something with them?

More cynically, it could also be a way for the game to encourage you to spend real money to buy more Pokéballs. Either way, if you’re like a lot of players who are more interested in the exploration and collection aspects of the game than the combat, expect it to become quite a bit more difficult as you level up.

This article originally appeared on Tech Insider. Read it here.

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