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Niantic Labs had promised big things for Pokemon Go, including the all new Raid Battles. The team-based co-op modes have been highly anticipated by gamers but unfortunately there are some serious restrictions on who can actually participate in the new Raid Battles: you have to be above level 31.
According to Polygon, Niantic Labs had originally announced that only players level 35 and higher would be able to participate in the Raid Battles. The site notes that the level cap is 40, so only the highest of high players could get in on the Raid Battles in Pokemon Go. What's more is that the new mode is only available at select Pokemon Gyms located around the world. So the requirement to get in on the action is extremely limited.
Earlier today, however, Niantic Labs informed the gaming community that as it continues to refine the mode and the network performance more players will be able to join in, hence the level cap is slowly being lowered for players. So now those level 31 and higher can now participate in Raid Battles.
There is a stream of salty comments from people right there at the cusp of level 31 but not quite there. Some level 25s and level 27s begged Niantic to open up the Raid Battles for the Gyms near their location, but the company isn't budging just yet.
Polygon noted in the article that Niantic Labs plans on opening up the Raids for all players eventually, but it's currently moving backward down the levels as more and more players are introduced to the mode.
For those of you unfamiliar with the new mode, Niantic introduced the party co-op mode as a way to bring players together and fight against boss Pokemon in Pokemon Go. Raids occur when a boss Pokemon takes over a select Pokemon Gym. The boss is only present for an hour, so players have to team up and work fast in defeating the boss.
Up to 20 players can join a party and duke it out together against the raid boss. Additionally, the boss cannot be defeated in solo combat, so it's a forced team mode where players will have to work together cooperatively. Additionally, only those with a Raid Pass will be able to participate in the Raid Battle. As outlined over on the official Pokemon Go website, Niantic explains that Raid Passes can only be earned once per day when collecting items. So if you gain a Raid Pass and then use it to fight a boss, you'll either have to wait 24 hours to acquire another one or purchase a premium Raid Pass from the cash shop.
Fighting in the Raid Battles and winning will net you some pretty snazzy loot, including Golden Razz Berries, Rare Candy and other premium loot, such as Premium Balls that can be used to capture a Pokemon raid boss.
The Raid Battles are available right now for those level 31 and higher in Pokemon Go, but don't expect that number to stay for long. Niantic will continue to lower the level requirements until everyone can participate in Raid Battles.