Pokémon Go is still one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Ever since its launch in 2016, the augmented reality game has been downloaded millions of times. It has even changed the way users play mobile titles on their smartphones. Yet, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the experience. After all, Pokémon Go usually works by having players walk around outside, interacting with places and people in the area.
But with individuals now having to stay at home, the normal functions of Pokémon Go are not feasible. So developer Niantic has reworked many aspects of the app in order to make it playable from home. Here, we cover the ways in which Pokémon Go has been altered so you can play without leaving the house.
Pokémon appear more frequently
The first major way that Niantic has switched up Pokémon Go is to increase the spawn rate of creatures. Pokémon generally only appear as users move around in the real world. That’s changing somewhat with the spawn rates increased. This means that Pokémon should appear more frequently on the in-game map. The wild creatures will also show up in locations they normally wouldn’t giving players more chances to catch them at home.
Remote Raid Passes, so you don’t have to visit the gym
Raids were some of the most requested features in Pokémon Go before they eventually launched. The timed events occur regularly but usually require a player to go to a specific gym. In order to get around that limitation, Niantic is introducing Remote Raid Passes. These items will allow anyone to join an ongoing raid that shows up in their nearby menu. They can then battle with their Pokémon and the events will count towards any rewards and badges.
Special store packs that cost just 1 coin
Pokémon Coins are a great way to get access to extra items. While it is possible to buy the currency with real-world money, most players tend to utilize gyms to get coins. With the current lockdown, getting to gyms is not always possible. So Niantic has made special offers available in the in-game store. Every week sees a special pack of items on sale for a single coin. These include items such as Pokéballs, incense, and candies.
Bonus field research tasks that don’t require visiting a Pokéstop
Field Research tasks are a way to unlock special rewards and get access to bonus items. Although, they do require a player going to a Pokéstop and spinning it to get the tasks. Changes mean that one Field Research task will be provided to each player every day without this requirement. That will allow players to continue making progress without needing to leave their homes.
Item durations have been extended so they last twice as long
One way to attract new Pokémon to a specific location in Pokémon Go is to use incense. This essentially makes creatures spawn at your location, getting rid of the need to move around. Unfortunately, incense and other similar items only last for a short amount of time. To combat this issue during the lockdown, time-limited items now last twice as long. That means incense and lucky eggs will work for up to one hour rather than 30 minutes.
The Battle League lets you fight other trainers remotely
In the middle of March, Pokémon Go received an update that added the Battle League. This is a remote tournament that players can use to battle with other trainers. Winning a certain amount of fights will reward players with rewards that they would otherwise not have access to. While there are fewer options with these remote battles, the Battle League is a great way to earn extra items.
Gifts drop more frequently
Players generally have to travel to Pokéstops that are located in the local area to get new items. Of course, this is not exactly possible for the vast majority of people at the moment. Therefore, Niantic has added a few extra ways to get your hands on additional items. Extra gifts will now drop in the game, allowing you to send and receive them more often. Buddy Pokémon will also go out and recover many more items than they normally would.
Players can hold and use more gifts
Pokémon Go usually has a low limit on the number of gifts a user can send and receive each day. With the changes, players are now able to use gifts much more often. In fact, each person can now open up to 30 a day. In addition to this, Pokémon Go is also allowing players to hold more items in their backpack.
Walking distances for hatching eggs has been halved
One of the main ways of getting new Pokémon outside of catching them in the wild involves hatching eggs. Players do this by putting the eggs into an incubator and then walking a set distance, usually between 2 and 10 kilometers. However, Niantic has now added a modification to the eggs so they require less walking. Distances have effectively been halved on all eggs so they will hatch twice as quickly.
In-game events and tournaments have been canceled or postponed
Pokémon Go regularly has tournaments and in-game events that encourage players to go outside and play. Many of these events have been canceled or postponed so that people don’t feel like they have to go outside. This includes the Pokémon European International Championships along with several community days. Some will show up during the lockdown but will not require going to specific locations to complete.