It’s a minor, but a rather important update, as the new animation now features fists instead of bullet holes. The older animation had a few problems, as it was often considered graphically overwhelming and distracting.
A number of Trainers expressed relief that the new animation is toned down and enables better readability of combat related text. A contributing factor could be that the old bullet holes animation contained imagery unsuitable for children.
This is how the new animation looks like:
This change doesn’t affect the game play nor the damage provided by Bullet Punch. We went ahead and checked the GAME_MASTER file. No changes were found in the GM configuration.
The GAME_MASTER is a configuration file for Pokémon GO. It’s downloaded from the Pokémon GO servers and saved onto your Android or iPhone device. It’s used to speed up game’s UI and reduce number of server side requests.
It’s unclear if this change was introduced with the new 0.63.1 update or Niantic has a secret channel to push these tweaks “over the air”. In any case, there haven’t been any changes in the network traffic or the game’s configuration files since 0.63.1 was released.
We’ll be rechecking other animations in our test setup and will report back if we find anything new. Make sure to follow us on Twitter for real time updates.