'Pokémon Go' Johto Update: How the new berries work and why they're so important

'Pokémon Go' logo and pokémon in a park

Pokémon Go Gen 2 is finally official, and it's bringing a lot more to the game than just new pocket monsters. We're here to break down some of the other features coming with this massive update, starting with a look at the new berries coming to the game.

Pokémon Go Johto Update: New berries confirmed

Pokémon Go is so popular in part because it's challenging. It's not easy to catch some Pokémon you find in the wild, and the higher your trainer level, the more difficult it becomes to catch the high-CP Pokémon you find. It takes patience and strategy. 

That's where berries come in. One of the major additions coming to Pokemon Go via the update announced today by Niantic is the addition of two new berry types: Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries. Berries are tactical weapons, so let's review how they work in Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Johto Update: Why berries matter

Items are a staple of the main Pokémon games, such as Pokémon Sun and Moon — and long-time Pokemon fans are used to sifting through large inventories of items looking for precisely the right buff or heal they need to win a Pokémon battle.

Pokémon Go currently has far fewer items than the main games. The list includes Lucky Eggs, incubators, lures and incense, but the only items that will actually help you catch a specific Pokémon are the three varieties of PokéBall and your Razz Berries.

Pokémon Go players have long since figured out the odds of catching a Pokémon based on accuracy, whether you throw a curve ball and what type of PokéBall you are using. The purpose of Razz Berries is to tip the odds further in your favor.

Mic/Pokémon Go

To use a Razz Berry, tap the backpack icon in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen during a capture attempt. Then, scroll down the list of items to the Razz Berry, and tap it. This will return you to the catch attempt, and the Razz Berry will be floating in the air in front of you. 

Tap the berry to feed it to the Pokémon. The Pokémon will glow for a moment, you will hear a strike of chimes and see a red heart rise over the Pokémon. That means the Razz Berry has been applied and your odds of catching the Pokémon have increased.

Pokémon Go Johto Update: Nanab Berries and Pinap Berries explained

The new Pokémon Go update announced today by Niantic will add two entirely new types of berries for you to gather at PokéStops and use while trying to catch wild Pokémon, which means entirely new tactical options will open up for trainers.

"Giving a Pokémon a Nanab Berry will slow its movements, making it easier to catch," the announcement read. 

The precise effect, increasing your catch chances, makes the Nanab Berry sound like just another Razz Berry. The question, then, is whether or not it will be an either/or situation. If you can use both berries at once, players will have a powerful new option when they encounter a Pokémon that refuses to stay in its Poké Ball.

Moving on, Pokémon Go's second new berry introduces an interesting mechanic to the game.

"The Pinap Berry doubles the amount of Candy you'll receive if your next catch attempt succeeds," the announcement read. 

This is a potentially huge change. Have you ever caught a Lapras, only to still feel bummed because you realized you didn't have enough candy to power it up and make it worth a damn in a gym battle? Now there's a solution.

The buddy system helps with gathering candy for super-rare, endgame-level Pokémon, but at 5km for one piece of Snorlax or Lapras candy, it can be a hell of a grind to get the lone Snorlax or Lapras in your collection powered up that way. 

Not that depending on double candy rates for catching a Snorlax or Lapras in the wild is the best strategy for gathering candy, either, unless you live on top of a nest. But being able to double the amount of candy you receive after a successful catch for any kind of Pokémon you want — at any time and outside the boundaries of a holiday event — will make a big difference for endgame players who need very specific types of Pokémon candy to remain competitive.

More Pokémon Go guides, tips, tricks and updates

Check out Mic's guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10km eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.