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‘Pokémon GO’ reveals new exploration bonuses in response to pandemic changes

By Maria Pamela Reyes Published Jun 22, 2021 6:04 pm

With the pandemic still at large, the formerly popular Pokémon GO has seen a decline in its use due to the high-risk nature of the game, heavily reliant on a system of outdoor exploration and interaction with fellow players.

But with the world trying to return back to normal, the Pokémon GO team has decided to switch things up a bit.

In the augmented reality game's new update, major things are about to happen. New exploration bonuses include extra gifts and movement-based perks which Pokémon trainers from the US and New Zealand can test out by the end of July this year. Trainers will be able to:

  • Get up to two free Raid Passes per day from spinning Gym Discs.
  • Acquire increased Incense effectiveness while moving.
  • Be given gifts when spinning PokéStops.
  • Receive 10x bonus XP from spinning a PokéStop for the first time.

However, developer Niantic will be removing bonuses that were implemented last year after the Season of Discovery wraps up on September 1, 2021. This includes incense effectiveness will be set back to standard; receiving gifts from Buddy Pokémon will be reduced, this is to encourage trainers to head back outside; and finally, PokéStop and Gym interaction distance will revert back to normal.

Good news for the Remote Raid sequence of the game. Niantic still plans to evolve it further since it has become an integral part of Pokémon GO since the pandemic started.

“Our intention is to find the right balance between remote play and in-person play, so stay tuned for more details in the coming months. Many of these in-person raid changes will be to prepare for the eventual return of EX Raids,” the Pokémon GO team said in a statement.

Bonuses that Niantic introduced last year that they plan on keeping are:

  • Incense duration will remain at 60 minutes.
  • No walking requirement for GO Battle League.
  • Players 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 a player can carry in their 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.
  • Trainers will continue to receive three times the Stardust and XP for their first Pokémon catch of the day.

For different regions of Pokémon GO, updates may differ depending on the area’s situation.

“We understand that every place is different. Rest assured, we will be monitoring the situation and activating appropriate bonuses when and where available,” the Pokémon GO team explained.

(Images from Niantic)