Most of Pokemon GO’s Pandemic Changes Should Be Permanent

To Niantic’s credit, the developers of Pokemon Go have done quite a good job when it comes to a game that requires going outside. Many of Niantic’s changes have been great for everyone. Pandemic or otherwise, it’s been weird playing Pokemon Go indoors and enjoying it! But as some countries begin to open up again and things slowly and hopefully return to normal, some of these changes need to stay. Then again, it’d be fine if some of the changes went away. The question is, what is good, what is bad and what is too good to get rid of?

Many additions should absolutely stay!

A lot of Pokemon GO’s changes have been great for casual and hardcore players alike. For example, the distance required to interact with Pokestops and Gyms. The distance was doubled, meaning that you can now reach all those stops that were just a little bit too far away as well.

Gifts were also changed drastically. Not only were they changed so you get more varied stuff (namely Pokeballs), but they are now easier to obtain. A Pokestop will give you a guaranteed gift if you have space. And you can currently hold up to 20 gifts, which means sending gifts to lots of friends is slightly less tedious.

Some things might not be the same.

The most notable and early change is that of Incense. Incense currently spawns one Pokemon a minute. It originally spawned one Pokemon a minute… only if you had moved 200 or so meters. Most of the time, you’d get 6 to 8 Pokemon from your 30 minute incense. That’s nothing compared to what we have now. Not only do we have far more spawns, but an Incense lasts an entire hour.

While this change is amazing, I don’t think it will stay as it is. I can see Incense returning to its old 30 minute duration, but that’s still 30 guaranteed Pokemon, compared to the 6-8 from before. And while I doubt that we’ll see a disappearance of the Incense-based events, I think they’ll become rarer, especially as we get more events involving raids and hatching again.

Remote Raid Passes will also probably fall into obscurity. Unless we get the ability to invite people from far away, I don’t think anyone will reasonably use them. It will be even worse when the “remote pokemon do less damage” bullshit gets activated. No one will want to do remote raids at all when doing them in person will always be better.

The Pokemon Go Battle League will have even MORE problems if things revert to normal.

One of the more problematic changes though is how the Go Battle League (GBL) works. Currently, you can play up to a certain number of sets per day. Each set consists of 5 matches. Before the pandemic though, you had to walk to unlock anything past your first set of 5 matches a day. To unlock your next set, you would need to walk 3km (originally 5km). But the distances walked never seemed to stack right. So after your second, unlocked set, you’d have to walk 3km further for your third set.

Already, there’s been reports of season 2 of GBL not being that popular. Even if walking properly stacked, so you could walk (for example) 9km and get 3 sets, I think GBL would die miserably. People were only interested in GBL originally because of the rewards and its easy accessibility. Taking away that accessibility will be another nail in the coffin of a game mode that just isn’t particularly fun to play.

There’s only a few things I’d miss.

Some things I don’t mind disappearing. I never even noticed the extra spawns. My buddy bringing me gifts is something I can happily do without as well, since gifts are common elsewhere. The daily research task is alright, but when people can go out on the regular, we can get research on the regular too.

Frankly, the only real thing that can happily go away is the halved egg hatching distance. When (if) things are all back to normal, we’ll be able to walk normally. Sure, it’ll suck having to walk 7km just to get another damn Lileep, but I’m sure most people will be walking more.

We can go back to more interesting rewards.

I suppose on the plus side, once these things are over, we can go back to having more of everything. Not just events, but more interesting Pokemon too. The weekly research breakthroughs, raid battles and events in general have been pretty mediocre during the lock down. But at the same time, you don’t want to add anything too exciting to the game, not without making people want to break quarantine. All the cool stuff has been saved until things go back to normal.

But at the same time, I hope we get to keep the majority of these quality of life features. Because it’s been both fun and weird, playing Pokemon Go perfectly fine indoors…


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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