Pokestops and are the lifeblood of Pokemon Go, probably more so than the Pokemon that spawn at random around them. After all, if you don’t have Pokestops, you can’t get Pokeballs to catch Pokemon with, and gyms are both a way to earn coins and do raids. But while Niantic has been very slowly rolling out a way for level 40 Pokemon Go accounts to submit suggestions for Pokestops, what actually determines what is or isn’t a Pokestop is up to Niantic and people who play Ingress.
Ingress is Niantic’s other flagship game, alongside that strange Harry Potter game they released not too long ago. Ingress though is different from Ingress Prime. Ingress Prime is a lot more like Pokemon Go and doesn’t allow you to submit ‘portals’, which are real-world locations and places of interest. (A quick aside, I haven’t played the Harry Potter game because I really don’t have the mobile data for it, and mobile data packages are shit in Cyprus). Generally, what happens is that people in Ingress will make suggestions for portals to become Pokestops and Niantic eventually turns them into Pokestops in Pokemon Go and Inns and all that in the Harry Potter game.
When, how and where this happens though is honestly completely random. I went for ages not seeing any new Pokestops or Gyms, but in the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a TON of new Pokestops. Playing in the town center of where I live is almost like playing Pokemon Go in a big city. Almost. 5 minutes out of either the harbour or town hall and all the Pokestops and Pokemon spawns dry up. It IS getting a bit better, but there’s not quite a Pokestop on every corner yet. There totally could be since the whole city is a world heritage site, but oh well.
The strangest thing is that this seems to happen at random and is immediately noticeable in-game. The other day, I was happily wandering around at just before 9pm, waiting for people for a raid, and suddenly a couple of new Pokestops appeared, literally 1-2 minutes walk away from me. One of them was actually right next to a nice (and more importantly, not insanely expensive) cafe I go to rarely, so now I finally have somewhere I can sit and chill for Community Days.
What was stranger though was that one of the Pokestops that I almost always spin was now marked as undiscovered. The Pokestop in question is called Paphos Temple and is probably the first Pokestop I ever span. In fact, it almost certainly is because I downloaded Pokemon Go in the cafe mentioned above back in August 2018, and back then, that was the first Pokestop in the area. It turns out, Paphos Temple was marked as undiscovered because it had become a Gym. I had to restart the game to find that out.
Funnily enough, the guy I had met to do a raid with was somewhat miffed about it. He’d made the suggestions for new Pokestops on Ingress, but he couldn’t work out why that Pokestop had become a Gym. He’d recommended that a newer Pokestop, slightly further off, become a gym.
Oh well. Doesn’t matter. We always need more gyms. And it’s always nice to see real things become Pokestops, even if the text describing them isn’t always correct. Because that’s not really a temple and it’s definitely not a place of worship, it’s more of a monument to our history, right next to an old school.