Trainers, starting today, you can follow Routes while using Party Play! Previously, following Routes was only possible while playing outside of a Party, and making a Party with your friends made it impossible to complete a Route.
Pokémon GO’s Routes have been a hotly debated topic in the community, as the low number of Routes has made it very difficult (aka impossible) for Trainers in rural areas to enjoy that content. Niantic has recently made efforts to remedy that, namely by reducing the level requirements on who can submit new Routes.
Admittedly, Niantic hasn’t done a particularly great job making Route submissions available to everyone. As of this writing, Trainers level 45 and above can create Routes, which is still a very high level for a feature of this importance.
Routes are not the only big feature launched this year, with Pokémon GO’s Party Play launching on October 17, 2023. Party Play’s release was relatively successful, and with a handful of known issues being present at release now fixed, it is a feature that can be readily enjoyed by everyone.
Unfortunately, these two features have been mutually exclusive up to today – you were able to either follow a route, or be in a Party. The reason behind this was never clear to us, but we suspect it was due to a technical limitation on Niantic’s end. Moving forward, this is no longer the case, and you can finally follow a Route (if there are any around you) while grouped up.