Amidst the global pandemic, a game like Pokémon Go is bound to suffer. When the whole world is being asked to stay indoors, a game made to encourage people to head outdoors finds itself in somewhat of a limbo. However, developer Niantic isn’t one to take it lying down. In the face of COVID-19, the company has been releasing a steady stream of updates that are allowing players to get into the game without venturing out. So what if playing it from your couch defeats the whole purpose, at least you’re playing it, right?
An outbreak of this proportion would really have been a challenge for the folks over at Niantic. They have taken things in their stride, however, and have been regularly doling out new updates that are focused on allowing you to catch Pokémon right from the confines of your home. The first big change introduced by the developer was the reduction in the price of Incense. These are incense sticks that you can use to attract Pokémon towards you. Players were allowed a one-time purchase of 30 such sticks for just 1 PokéCoin. Additionally, the number of minutes these sticks will be effective was also increased to 60 instead of 30.
Overall, the update also took care that you wouldn’t have to wait too long for random Pokémon to appear in the wild. As for eggs, their hatching distance was reduced by half, while Pokéstops were updated to drop gifts more often. All these changes made sure that there was much more incentive for a Pokémon Go player to jump back into the game as they wait the coronavirus storm out by staying at home.
The biggest change to the game came this week, with a feature that was being teased for quite a while – Remote Raid Pass. Raids in Pokémon Go allow a group of players to confront an over-levelled Pokémon located in a gym. As you’d imagine, this activity would normally require them to gather together at a particular outdoor location. With this new feature, they can purchase a Remote Raid Pass in exchange of 100 PokéCoins. This would allow up to 10 people to take part remotely in a raid. Niantic is also in the process of developing the ability to invite others from your friends list to the lobby.
As you’ve seen, Pokémon Go has been blessed with huge changes following the global lockdown, and that’s giving fans new reason to jump into the game. This game was first launched in 2016, and had gone on to become a massive phenomenon. What appealed to most was the ability to roam around in the real world, stumbling upon Pokémon and catching them with an augmented reality mini-game. Over the years since its launch, Pokémon Go has changed by leaps and bounds, and that has perhaps helped it have such a loyal fan base till now.
It’s this fan base that Niantic is attempting to maintain with this slew of new updates. Do you happen to be one of them?