Pokemon Go Fest: When Are the Challenge Windows?

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okemon Go Fest Chicago is about to get underway. The day’s events are built around “challenge windows,” so when exactly do all of these windows start and end, and what is supposed to happen during these times?

There are three challenge windows during Pokemon Go Fest Chicago, each one lasting exactly 30 minutes. According to Niantic, the challenge windows are:

  • 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CDT
  • 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. CDT
  • 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. CDT

You can use this helpful countdown clock to see when these challenge windows are in your local time. Originally, the second window began at 12:00 p.m., but Niantic has since changed this one to 1:00 p.m. CDT.

For those playing the game outside of Chicago, your goal during these challenge windows is to try to catch as many Pokemon as you can.

Those playing in Chicago will be attempting to catch certain types of Pokemon during the challenge windows, with bonuses unlocking worldwide if they do so. For example, if they catch a lot of Grass-type Pokemon, a Stardust bonus will unlock for everyone. But if players worldwide catch enough Pokemon in the challenge windows, these bonuses will be extended, i.e. making the Stardust bonus last longer if this had already been put in place.

But more importantly, if enough Pokemon are caught worldwide specifically during the challenge windows, a legendary Pokemon will appear in Chicago. Then, the Chicago players have to try to take it down in a Raid Battle, and if they do, that specific legendary Pokemon will begin appearing in Raid Battles around the world.

Presumably, Niantic will be unlocking the legendary Raid Battle in Chicago regardless of whether players catch enough Pokemon, as it’s hard to imagine they would gather so many fans together for such a major event only to disappoint them by not releasing a legendary because some arbitrary goal was not reached. However, the challenge windows idea will help keep players engaged and give those outside of Chicago a way to participate.

Pokemon Go Fest Chicago itself begins at 10:00 a.m. Central Time, an hour before the first challenge window starts. If the legendary Raid Battle appears, it will happen at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.