Long ago when Pokemon GO first started everyone was forced to pick a team in order to interact with some of the game’s most important features. Gyms and later raids utilize the team system in different ways, and players were left to decide which of the game’s three teams to join after just a little while with the game. This led to a lot of people choosing poorly, either joining a team that isn’t well represented in their area, or a different team than their friends. So that left many people wondering how to change teams and which team to pick in Pokemon GO.
How to Change Teams in Pokemon GO
Previously the answer was that you couldn’t, but that is changing very soon. A new item called the Team Medallion is being added to the game very soon, which will allow players to change teams once per use. Tomorrow, February 26th will be the first day this item becomes available in the Pokemon GO shop. It will cost 1,000 coins, roughly the equivalent of about $10. You can only use this item once per year though, so use it wisely.
If you joined the wrong team way back when and want to change then just head to the shop and buy a Team Medallion. Use it and choose whatever team you prefer and your job is all done. Remember the limitation though, which is in place to prevent players from changing teams all the time for random reasons. Be sure that this is the team you want to be on for a year, at the very minimum. You won’t be able to buy and use another Team Medallion for some time, so this is almost as important a choice as when you first picked a team way back at level 5.
That’s how to change teams in Pokemon GO. This is a new process, so we’ll update this article as more is understood about it. Now for the somewhat bigger question of which team to pick.
Which Team to Pick
Currently the three teams balance out like this: Blue/Mystic is the largest, Red/Valor is second, and Instinct/Yellow is the smallest. While the game often makes it seem like the teams have different strategies or philosophies, that’s all flavor text with no real impact on the game. This could change down the line though, so keep an eye out for that. Of course, while the populations shake out this way globally, your individual area may be different. For example, near me Instinct actually has a sizable population, while Mystic is still the largest overall. This means Valor players can often find gyms to take over, but rarely put Pokemon in already claimed gyms.
Which team to pick in Pokemon GO does come down to how it works for you personally and locally. Is your area dominated by Mystic? That can be a plus, but if you want to be able to fight gyms on your own, it can kill a lot of the game for you. Raids however always benefit from having fellow team members joining you, so if that’s how you typically play then stick with the larger group in your area.
Overall I’d say join Mystic if you like having lots of teammates around, Valor if you want to have a lot of activities available while still having a decent team size, and Instinct if you want to be the underdog.