Trainers all over the world rejoice! If you’ve been itching to have one of your country’s famous locations turned into a Gym or PokeStop, your chance may have just arrived. Provided, of course, you meet the minimum requirements Niantic has laid out. The mobile AR company has finally launched its Wayfarer program, admittedly a few days later than anticipated, to players worldwide to give eligible Trainers the opportunity to change the shape of the Pokemon GO world, hopefully for the better.
It might be lost on more casual players, but Pokemon GO Gyms and even PokeStops are located at places of interest or popularity. That includes not just the usual culprits of famous landmarks but even malls. Given the global nature of the game, however, it’s almost impossible for Niantic to know about all potential spots that could be used to bridge the real and the virtual.
That’s what Niantic’s Wayfarer program was made to address. Building up on Ingress’ Operation Portal Recon, the Wayfarer program invites Pokemon GO veterans to suggest such places that can be turned into hot spots for the AR game. Of course, not all Pokemon GO players, no matter the familiarity with the game, can become a Wayfarer nor will all submitted places become PokeStops.
As detailed in our coverage last week and reiterated by Niantic’s announcement, interested players have to be at least level 40 in Pokemon GO, just to satisfy the presumption that you can be considered an expert. Places need to also be interesting, have local significance or high foot traffic.
Of course, Niantic has to carefully screen such submissions to ensure they won’t be violating local regulations or endangering people and places. What its criteria for approving such nominations, it hasn’t revealed yet. Do expect new Gyms and PokeStops to popup in the near future, hopefully in interesting ways.