When the COVID-19 pandemic first started sparking stay at home orders on a large scale, Niantic announced some significant changes to the way Pokemon GO worked. Pokemon GO, of course, is a game that attempts to motivate players to get out of the house and go explore the world – something that’s both difficult and dangerous to do during a pandemic. So, Niantic made it easier to play Pokemon GO at home, and today we’re learning which of those changes are sticking around and which are being modified.
In a post to the Pokemon GO website, Niantic explained that several of the bonuses implemented at the start of the pandemic will remain in the game “for the foreseeable future.” Players will still be able to participate in raids remotely and spin photo discs at Gyms and PokeStops from an increased distance.
Niantic also says that the number of gifts players can carry in their bags will remain at 20. Incense duration will continue on at 60 minutes, and players will keep receiving triple the Stardust and XP from catching their first Pokemon of the day. All of those are pretty big bonuses, so it’s nice to see that they’re sticking around for time being. Niantic also says that Incubators will be included in boxes purchased from the in-game shop more often.
However, there are some features and mechanics that are reverting back to the way they were before the pandemic began. For instance, the hatching distance required for eggs will be returning to normal and, even though increased effectiveness for incense is still hanging around, it’ll only apply while walking. Concerning gifts, Niantic says that buddy Pokemon will only give gifts when you’re running low and that players won’t be guaranteed a gift when they spin a PokeStop (though the chance to receive one will still be higher than usual).
Niantic closes out its blog post by saying that it’s “continuously monitoring the ever-evolving global situation” and that it’s currently working to reschedule live events that were originally planned for 2021. We’re told to stand by for more details on those events, so we’ll let you know when the company shares more. In the meantime, you can check to see which bonuses are active in-game by looking at the “Special bonuses” section in Today View.