Pokémon Go Makes It Easier For Players To Stay Put During The Pandemic

Illustration for article titled Pokémon Go Makes It Easier For Players To Stay Put During The Pandemic
Illustration: Niantic

Pokémon Go encourages players to go out into the world and meet each other, but that’s not the best idea when the world is trying to slow the spread of coronavirus covid-19. Developer Niantic has implemented temporary changes in the game to make catching Pokémon without going anywhere easier.


Along with postponing the Abra Community Day event originally scheduled for March 15, Niantic has made changes to the game to increase players’ ability to catch Pokémon in one place. First off, players can purchase an inexpensive bundle of Incense, an item that attracts pocket monsters to their location. The duration of Incense has been doubled from 30 minutes to a full hour. The distance players have to walk to hatch eggs from incubators has been halved. PokéStops refresh faster, encouraging players to stick around rather than travel from stop to stop.

Along with an increase in Pokémon habitats and increased appearance rates, these changes should make staying in one place less painful for Pokémon Go players.

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Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.


I wish they would introduce an item that could make a temporary PokeStop. I live in the woods and have to DRIVE six minutes to get to the closest stop, let alone walk. Nothing even shows up on the radar until I’m about 2 minutes away from it. There are days were I have to go out of my way to find a PokeStop which makes getting the 7 day streak a real nuisance. Kind of wish that reward wasn’t tied to consecutive days and just it would happen on the 7th day, regardless of how many days it took you. OR, give me an item that can make a five minute PokeStop.

I really don’t understand why rural areas aren’t as littered with PokeStops as urban ones are. Do these stops cost Niantic money? I can walk around the city and easily hit ten stops in a quarter mile. Why is city walking more valuable than woods/farm walking? I don’t get it. Same thing with Pokemon themselves. When I’m walking in the city, I find all the same Mon as I do around my town, but I also find ones that I’ve never seen back home. I don’t see what they have to lose by evenly blanketing the world with stops and pokemon (I get gyms, you want a lot of turnover in gyms, so putting them out in the middle of nowhere just makes it so you have your Pokemon sitting in there for days or weeks or even months).