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Biomes Forum Discussion

General Information

What is a biome?

Biome a property assigned to a spawn-point. A spawn-point can have only one biome property. We talk about biome when several spawn points in the same area share the same biome property.

How does this property affect the game?

Each time a spawn point spawns a pokemon, its species will be generated according to the current probability chart of its corresponding biome. For example, water biome -> 40% Magikarp, Residential biome -> 20% Pidgey, etc.

But how do you identify a biome?

  1. As a regular player, you "feel" it if you play in different zones where the spawns are noticeably different.
  2. Still while playing, you can record every spawns of one or several precise spawn points and compare them between each other. The more you collect data, the more it starts to tend to the biome real spawn rates, and enables identification of the associated biome.
  3. You extract data from a big scanner (3rd party app). You can have more easily directly "big data" and identify the spawn rates even more precisely.

How big is a biome?

Is it divided by city, by country? None of it. Biome is a group of one or more spawn points belonging to the same pokemon-distribution. Its size can be restricted to only 1 spawn point, or cover a whole area. Keep in mind that we can consider living in a defined biome, but some precise points in it can have a totally different biome attribute. In the sources below, you can check for an example of a Mountain Biome reduced only to a bus stop (a post that was merely ignored but proves the "biome-property" of a spawn point) within another biome. It should also be noted that biomes frequently overlap, causing clusters of spawn points to have a spawn distribution different from any biome considered alone.

Is it a nest?

No, but nest is also a property of a spawn-point. If a place is "chosen" to be a part of a nest (typically all the spawn points in a park are part of 1 nest), then this point will spawn the regular biome pokemons 75% of time, and one precise pokemon 25% of time. This single pokemon change every 2 Thursday. Nests and biomes work complementarily. Hunt in a nest for one species, hunt in a biome for several species. Be careful though when studying them because some nests can be reduced to only one single spawn-point, and can be easily missed and undeclared on The Silph Road.

Why care so much?

In Pokemon GO, some people want to have the best mons, others hold the most gyms, or have the maximum level. Some players just play for the fun with their kids, or to kill time while walking their dog. I find that nice that you can enjoy the game in such different ways. But personally, and I think for a vast amount of players, my priority in the game is to complete the regional Pokedex. Living in the city, I managed to do so for gen 1 quite easily before the end of 2016, without caring much of biomes. But I guarantee that the "difficulty" to do so for gen 2 has been voluntarily increased. Getting a Tyranitar + Ampharos need some serious grinding, even with the "best" biome for it (+ they don't "nest"). Here plays the biome. If your priority is to finish your dex as me, with the biomes analysis, you will be able to know where to look for.

Can a spawn point change the biome it belongs to?

Evidence suggest NO. BUT:

  1. It is now widely admitted that areas can have spawns points from several biomes. I personally live in an area mixing two different biomes.
  2. Without changing of biomes, the spawn rate change some times (worldwide) : see next point.

Spawn rates changes within biomes (Blend changes)

Since the game launch last year, spawn rates migration have been recorded ("blend changes") For example, on November 2nd, the famous "Drowzee Biome" had divided the Drowzee spawn rate by 6! To the extent that a new name had to be found. Magikarp rate in the water-2 also dropped by 3.5. Last blend change was around 5th of March, and the one before was for gen 2 launch on 16th of February (gen 2 was temporarily more frequent). I personally don't know all the blend changes. Always take this feature in consideration when analyzing biomes and older studies!

How exactly does biome property affect the spawn-point (Tier rarity)?

A recent theory suggests that Spawns of each biome follow Tiers, just like it has been proven with eggs. Evidence show that percentage are not that simple, but tend to follow a seem-alike rule of tiers. Tiers are: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare. For example, Swinub is common in some areas, while rare or very rare in some others. I personally think this participates in the greatness of the game, because it makes you (and me ) look for adventure and travel to new places - not mentioning the region-exclusives.

So what about rares?

Just like not-so-rare pokemons, rares one tend to spawn in some biomes more than others. This has been widely analyzed. For example a Dragonite will be rare for anybody (don't expect someone living in a place where Dragonite spawn like Pidgey, this thankfully doesn't exist), but if a Dragonite spawns, there is 66% chance that this happens in a mountain biome. I personally found several of them, always while traveling into mountain biomes. This study suggest also that Dodrio is likely to spawn 99% of the time in a Bug Biome.

List of Biomes

Major Biome Name Variant biome Name Alternative Names Common and Uncommon Spawns
Desert Biome Arid Biome Meowth/Desert-1 Biome Ekans, Snubbull, Growlithe, Mankey, Meowth
Desert Biome Fire Biome Desert-2/Fire Biome Ekans, Sandshrew, Geodude, Ponyta
Bug Biome Bush Biome Spinarak, Eevee, Venonat, Ledyba
Water Biome Water1-Slowpoke Biome Magikarp/Slowpoke Biome Magikarp, Psyduck, Slowpoke
Water Biome Water1-Tentacool Biome Magikarp/Tentacool Biome Magikarp, Psyduck, Tentacool
Swamp Biome Water2 Biome Forest/River/Swamp/Canal Biome Poliwag, Staryu, Horsea, Goldeen, Krabby, Marill, Wooper
Swamp Biome Water2+ Biome Totodile Biome Poliwag, Staryu, Horsea, Goldeen, Krabby, Marill, Wooper, Totodile
Electric Biome Commercial/Coast Biome Magnemite, Voltorb
Oceanic Biome Sea/Ocean Biome Shellder, Seel
Oceanic Biome Ocean+/Ice Biome Psy/Swinub/Drowzee Biome Shellder, Seel, Drowzee, Swinub, Jynx
Grass Biome Standard Grass Biome Paras, Oddish, Bellsprout, Chikorita, Sunkern
Grass Biome Grass+ Biome Paras, Oddish, Bellsprout, Chikorita, Sunkern, Bulbasaur, Pinsir, Tangela, Dodrio
Mountain Biome Clefairy Biome Clefairy, Nidoran
Neutral Biome Residential/Rural/Base Biome Aipom, Murkrow, Natu

Unproven Biomes

Non-proven Biome Name Notes Common and Uncommon Spawns
Fossil Biome Seems real. Need more concrete proofs. Omanyte, Kabuto
Poison Biome Grimer, Koffing
Mareep Biome Mareep, Lickitung