Pokemon Go Devs Plan to Remove Popular Pandemic Bonuses

Niantic, the developers of Pokemon Go, have announced that they’ll be removing some of the changes they’ve introduced during the pandemic. This has angered a lot of people from the player base, because the alterations actually ended up being pretty popular. Some of them have made the game objectively better, accidentally correcting for things like GPS drift. Add to that the fact the pandemic is absolutely still ongoing and the horrific heat in large swaths of the northern hemisphere, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

pokemon go devs plan to remove popular pandemic bonuses
Pokemon Go Devs Plan to Remove Popular Pandemic Bonuses

Niantic Lays Out Plans to Remove Pandemic Changes from Pokemon Go

When the pandemic began and we were all sitting at home in lockdown, playing Pokemon Go became a bit of an issue. To remedy this, Niantic introduced a slew of changes that made the game playable in the new circumstances. Well, they’ll be removing several of them after Pokemon Fest in July, starting in the USA and New Zealand. These are the features they’ll be removing, according to their post:

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  • Increased incense effectiveness will return to standard when stationary and will kick back in when moving.
  • Frequency of gifts from Buddy Pokemon will be reduced; you’ll have to go back to spinning PokeStops.
  • PokeStop and Gym interaction distances will return to standard “when it makes sense in different places.” It may be increased during future events and as part of certain features.

The reaction of the player base has been overwhelmingly negative, and for good reason. For one, while the pandemic is winding down at the moment, it is still very far from over. Not only that, but the pandemic changes have actually measurably improved the player experience. Granted, the developers have stated that they’ll be careful when getting rid of the changes regarding the general state of each region, but there’s absolutely no reason to remove them anywhere. We’ll see whether the blowback will make Niantic rethink their decision.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Niantic will keep some of the changes, as you can see in the list below. So, they are being relatively cautious still. Even so, come on, Niantic. Let people enjoy the game. It has enough problems as it is.

  • Incense duration will remain 60 minutes.
  • No walking requirement for GO Battle League.
  • Challenge any Trainer remotely with a QR Code, requirement to battle with friends remotely lowered to Good Friends.
  • Maximum number of Gifts you can carry in your Item Bag at a time remains at 20.
  • Trainers will be able to open up to 30 Gifts per day.
  • You will continue to receive three times the Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.
Author JoeTheBard profile picture
A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.

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