Niantic Is Changing Up Pokemon GO’s Exploration Bonuses In Response to COVID-19 Developments

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit early last year, Niantic made several changes to Pokemon GO’s exploration mechanics, making it easier for players to still catch Pokemon and get bonuses even from the confines of their own home. However, as more people are getting vaccinated and as the world moves slowly towards recovery, Niantic has announced that they’ll be rolling back some of those changes and bring the game back towards its original state.

Niantic’s announced some new exploration bonuses that will be rolling out first in the US and New Zealand next month, as well as some bonuses introduced last year that will be changed or removed.

New bonuses:

  • Receive up to two free Raid Passes per day from spinning Gym Photo Discs.
  • Benefit from increased Incense effectiveness while moving.
  • Be guaranteed gifts when spinning PokéStops so long as they have not reached their maximum gift inventory.
  • Receive 10x bonus XP from spinning a PokéStop for the first time.

Bonuses that are changing or going to be removed:

  • Over the past year, Incense effectiveness was increased to attract Pokémon to you more frequently, even if you weren’t able to leave home. After the change, this effectiveness will be set at the standard level when you’re stationary and increased effectiveness will kick in when you are moving.
  • Previously, your Buddy Pokémon brought you more Gifts each day, up to five gifts at once and up to three times a day. This was because we knew Trainers were running low on supplies like Poké Balls and berries to help them catch Pokémon. As we move to encouraging Trainers to play outside more, they can continue to receive supplies from spinning PokéStops. After the change, the frequency of these gifts from Buddy Pokémon will be reduced.
  • Previously, PokéStop and Gym interaction distances were increased, to enable people to engage from further away. After this change the distance will revert back to the standard distance, when it makes sense in different places, though may be increased during future events and as part of certain features.

Bonuses that will remain:

  • Incense duration will remain at 60 minutes.
  • No walking requirement for GO Battle League.
  • You can challenge any Trainer remotely with a QR Code, and the requirement to battle with friends remotely has been lowered to Good Friends.
  • The maximum number of Gifts you can carry in your Item Bag at a time will remain at 20.
  • Trainers will be able to open up to 30 Gifts per day, up from the previous 20.
  • You will continue to receive three times the Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.

Pokemon GO is now available on mobile devices.

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