Pokemon

Pokémon GO’s new Avatar update is (unfortunately) live

Trainers! Niantic has just announced that the new Avatar system is now live worldwide! Starting today, Trainers can go to Pokémon GO and customize their avatars with more detail than before, including some inclusive options like body weight, different colours for different facial features, and more.

Here is the official “change log” that Niantic provided, but we encourage you to open up the game and test it for yourself:

  • Express yourself like never before with a range of new avatar customization options in Pokémon GO!
  • Personalize your avatar with adjustable body weights, eye colors, and skin tones, plus new facial expressions and hairstyles.
  • Hairstyles can be filtered by short, medium, and long options, so you can find the perfect ’do for you.
  • A new section allows you to customize your avatar’s body with choices for weight, muscle, shoulders, chest, and hips.
  • Advanced color options are now available for your skin tone, hair, and eyes.
  • To access these updates, visit the Appearance section of the Style Shop. Keep an eye out for additional updates!

New Outfit Alert

A brand new outfit is coming to the Style Shop for all Trainers on April 17!

New Avatar Outfit

Initial reactions and authors thoughts

Most of the initial testers have expressed a distinct distaste towards the way how our avatars now look, and we can’t say we disagree with this. Both male and female characters look outlandish, bloated, disproportionate and strange. And we are not talking about different body sizes here – humans come in all shape and forms, but Niantic’s current system doesn’t seem to capture almost any of the real ones.

All of the faces that you can pick from seem stretched and sometimes even disfigured, with eyes spread too wide, unnatural chin/cheek proportions, and incredibly small noses. And this all comes with an incredibly strange decision: you cannot change your gender.

Yes, gender changing option is literally gone from the game, and you cannot set your gender in any way, even if you wanted to do so. This explains the strange way faces look – they lack either male or female features. It suffices to say that most of the players are not a fan of this change, and I am not as well – I think my character looks significantly worse today, borderline ugly, compared to yesterday.

Reddit has not been kind, nor has our staff, to this update. Additional options are needed here to allow everyone to express themselves, including adding back distinct male and female facial features: dimples, cheeks, jaws, slants. I mean, this is pretty bad, and here are some Reddit comments on the new system:

  • There’s no good skin tones!! I want a “healthy white person who sees the sun”, and all my options are “white person struck with jaundice and/or tuberculosis”.
  • Straight up just makes me wish I could hide my avatar completely. There is not a single body out there that matches any of this 🥹
  • I’ve been having a terrible time with this. It all just looks terrible to me.
  • No facial hair is crazy
  • My character straight up has bad posture and just looks… strange. Is this update just a two week late April Fools joke?
  • I don’t understand why my avatar has a tiny head and giant hands. That’s not how people look in real life.

Not to be confused with something else – we think the game needed more ways to express different body types. But we think it needed more, not less, and this system is literally making us all look the same.

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