First Click: Team Valor is the best Pokémon team, right?

July 15th, 2016


I’ve only just started playing Pokémon Go, and have yet to hit level five. Soon though, it’ll be time to commit, time to choose my allegiance to Team Instinct, Team Mystic, or Team Valor. Question is, which team should I commit to?

Team Valor appeals to my inner warrior with its fierce-looking red mascot. Paul Miller’s on Team Valor and I like Paul. But in these violent times I’m not keen on being a bully. Maybe I should follow Blanche, the wise blue leader of Team Mystic. Then again, I’m more rational than mystical, so maybe I should just go with my gut and go for gold with Team Instinct. Hmm, this is harder than I thought. Maybe I should just go with the flow instead, and choose the most popular team.

Adobe Pokemon go social share

According to researchers at Adobe Digital Insights, Team Mystic leads the others with a 43 percent share of social mentions since release, with Team Instinct pulling just 25 percent of mentions. Is the crowd as wise as Blanche, or are they just mindlessly picking Mystic because it’s the center option and that’s what we do?

pokemon go select a team

Quentin Fottrell tries to answer that question in a piece titled "On Pokémon Go, why so many people are choosing Team Mystic" published on MarketWatch. Fottrell thinks that team selection has less to do with the backstory, colors, and birds, and more to do with the compromise price effect:

"The "compromise price effect" is used by retailers that want customers to pay extra, but know more customers will pay the middle price."


"When people are presented with three tip choices — 20%, 25% or 30%, for instance — they’re more likely to choose the middle option even if it’s more than the traditional 20%, according to an analysis of 13 million New York City taxi rides by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and published in the American Economic Journal."

Most people choose the middle option. When presented with the choice of good, better, and best, most find better to be good enough. We choose the middle door, we drive in the middle lane, we subscribe to the middle smartphone plan, and we buy the medium beverage. Likewise, most people choose Team Mystic because it’s the team presented in the middle, at least that's how the argument goes. Does that sound about right to you?

Which Pokémon Go team did you pick?
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