In the past year, developer Niantic made a number of gameplay optimizations in order to Pokémon Walk Developed to make the mobile game playable under quarantine conditions. Many of these changes were a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic that allowed players to enjoy the gotta catch em all game from the comfort of their own home. On Monday, Niantic said in a blog post that it plans to remove or change some of these bonuses while also adding new gameplay tweaks and keeping others.
The changes will first be introduced in the United States and New Zealand, where new cases of the coronavirus are on the decline
Many of the changes seem designed to be encouraging Pokémon Go Players to be on the go and to restore the game’s personal events (like EX Raids). That will change in the coming months.
New exploration bonuses
Players will soon:
- Earn up to two free raid passes per day by spinning photo discs in the gym
- Benefit from the increased smoking effect during exercise
- Receive guaranteed gifts while spinning PokéStops, as long as they haven’t reached their maximum gift inventory
- Get 10x Bonus XP the first time you spin a PokéStop
Change / remove bonuses
During the pandemic, incense was made more effective in order to attract Pokémon to players’ places more frequently. It will soon return to its original appeal when players are stationary, but it does increase in effectiveness while players are moving, says Niantic.
Players could reach PokéStops and Gyms from further away during the pandemic, but Niantic plans to roll back that change as well. The developer said the distance “can be increased for future events and for certain functions”.
Niantic also plans to reduce the number of gifts Buddy Pokémon deliver to players. It is currently being improved so that players can receive up to five gifts at a time up to three times a day, but players will soon see a lower frequency.
Bonuses that will last
Some gameplay changes that have been “well received” by the players will continue “for the foreseeable future”, according to Niantic.
- The duration of the incense remains at 60 minutes
- No walking obligation for GO Battle League
- You can remotely challenge any trainer with a QR code, and the requirement to fight with friends from afar has been lowered to Good Friends
- The maximum number of gifts you can carry in your item bag at one time remains 20
- Trainers can open up to 30 gifts per day (up from 20).
- You will still receive three Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day
Niantic plans to provide more details on changes to Pokémon Go, including remote raid development in the coming months.