For a game that is focused around getting people out of the house and playing with friends, Pokémon GO is doing pretty well for itself during a global pandemic in which all of its players are supposed to be staying inside. That’s due to the fact Niantic has been incredibly pro-active and has not been afraid to tweak major elements of the game. Pokémon GO is currently very playable for people playing alone, and even playing from home in many cases. Here is a definitive list of all the ways trainers can continue to play Pokémon GO while also maintaining their social distance.
Go Battle League: Home Edition
In terms of timing, it’s hard to determine whether the launch of Pokémon GO‘s Battle League was perfect or disastrous. Initially, trainers were meant to have walked 3 km before doing battle in the new league. However, as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened almost instantly, Niantic waved the walking fee. That means more trainers are competing in the Battle League than anyone could have imagined, but the walking part is really what Pokémon GO is all about.
Remote Raids and Increased Radiuses
While Battle League is definitely the most fun way to pit your Pokémon against others in Pokémon GO, it isn’t the only way trainers can do so while social distancing. One of the first changes Niantic made to the game was to double the radiuses of all Gyms and Pokéstops. That means players can take part in raids, drop off Pokémon, and battle Pokémon left by other trainers from twice as far. The only thing they can’t do is spin that Gym/Pokéstop’s disc.
As of this week, trainers can also battle in Raids remotely. That means any Gym with an active raid that can be seen on the map can be accessed by a trainer, massively opening up how far away from that Raid they can be. The only problem with this feature is at the time of writing this, the only way to get a Remote Raid Pass is by paying 100 PokéCoins for one in the game’s store.
Doubles And Halves
The purpose of Pokémon GO is for trainers to go out and find Pokémon. In these unique circumstances, Niantic has tweaked that so trainers can make the Pokémon come to them. Not only is the game’s Incense stronger, but it also lasts for an hour rather than the regular 30 minutes. This is the best way trainers can play from home. They can literally kick back on the couch, fire up an Incense, and spend 60 minutes catching whatever shows up.
For anyone who can still get out of the house and go for a walk while not putting themselves or anyone else at risk, the next best way to up your Pokémon intake is via eggs. Eggs take a lot of walking to make them hatch. However, until this pandemic is over, the hatching distance of all eggs has been cut in half.
Spawn Rates, Research Tasks, And Community Days
Pokémon won’t just spawn at a higher rate for trainers who have sparked up an Incense. They’re spawning more in general right now. Not only so those going on shorter walks can benefit more, but also so there’s a higher chance of Pokémon appearing near people’s homes, even without Incense.
Research tasks have also been tweaked, something some trainers might have already noticed. In the past, many tasks have revolved around working with or meeting up with fellow trainers. All of those tasks have temporarily been removed. If you have one lingering that requires some sort of social interaction, it must be leftover from before the changes were put in place.
Pokémon GO is all about events, something it can’t really do right now. However, Niantic has been trying its best not to alter its calendar too much. It went ahead with Abra’s Community Day earlier this month and did a great job of making it worth players’ while. It also had an Incense Day which is something we would personally like to see become a permanent monthly addition to the game.
One PokéCoin Is Worth A Lot Right Now
The key here is to keep people playing. If trainers assume Pokémon GO has become unplayable due to the current climate and leave, they may never come back. The easiest way to make sure players keep coming back even when they can’t leave the house is to give them free stuff and offer up sweet deals. Every week, a different bundle is reduced to one PokéCoin in the store. The amount of Stardust and XP for the first catch of the day has been tripled. And last but not least, keep those friends close (figuratively) as until all this craziness is over, trainers can open 30 gifts and give 20 gifts per day.
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