You know what’s weird? Despite the ability to remotely invite people to raids being out for a while… I received my first raid invite only yesterday. Most of the time, it’s me who’s at the raid location, trying to invite other people. So, finally, I actually got to see what a remote raid via an invite felt like.
It’s… good and bad. I’ll discuss both.
The best thing by far is that you can do raids nearly anywhere. As long as someone is at the raid, they can invite up to 5 other people. I’ve been invited to 5 raids so far and fought in 3. Four of them were at gyms I’ve never visited before, which is neat. Two of them were in different countries!
In fact, this massively opens up the available raids one can do. Assuming you have people to invite you to raids. Luckily, community-based solutions are apparently coming out, and if you have a local raid group already, then getting an invite is even easier.
There are some downsides though. The biggest one I noticed is definitely latency issues. I’ve found that I can’t reliably dodge while in remote raids that are far away. There’s definitely a lot of latency and lag. Things just don’t quite happen in time.
This is a distance thing more than anything else. Out of the three raids I did, one was within 10km of me, another was within 100km of me and the last was all the way in the UK. And I could definitely tell the difference. The 10km raid actually went quite smoothly, although I had a lot of the spinning, loading Pokeball symbol while trying to catch my 68% Deoxys.
The 100km and UK raids though were very different. The 100km raid, also for a Deoxys, was somewhat smooth, but I noticed chunks of health would just vanish from the boss. It was a pretty full lobby with 15 players (not that common for me) so that tends to happen anyway. But it did happen more than normal. With the UK raid, all I could really do was tap the screen and hope, because dodging was pointless and the boss’s health and my Pokemon’s health were both jittery. There’d be a delay when the damage often arrives.
Dodging is the biggest issue, because it simply doesn’t work. In a raid with 6+ people, that’s fine. But I see the laggy, broken dodges being an issue if you are low on players. Luckily, Deoxys only needs 3 half-decent players to beat.
While the invite system is cool, it’s not guaranteed you’ll end up in the same lobby as whoever you invite. The timer for each raid will tick down no matter what you do. Each of the three raids I did, I entered with less than 60 seconds left. One raid, I had 20 seconds to pick a squad, and found that I couldn’t swipe to my pre-made team. Luckily, Recommended gave me Tyranitars. Unluckily, the Deoxys had Hyper Beam, so Giratina would have been better.
But the time it takes to get into a lobby and the static 2 minutes causes issues. What we really need is a way to extend the timer in a lobby (perhaps with a vote) so that more players can get in, should something go wrong. This is made worse by the fact that you have 60 seconds to join a raid invite, and rejoining can be a bit weird.
The worst problem is that remote raid passes aren’t free. You don’t have a free daily remote raid pass that you can use. So if you want to join in, you HAVE to spend money or hope you haven’t used the handful of free remote raid passes that were given out at previous events.
And frankly, the cost of passes quickly begins to add up, especially during raid hours. At least with normal passes, you get a free one once per day. There’s no such thing with remote passes. And, ironically, remote raid passes are best used by people who don’t have access to many raids in the first place, which means they lack gyms, which means they probably don’t get many coins, making it a vicious circle.
You can’t really win.
On the plus side, I am enjoying the ability to do these remote raids. It is definitely better than nothing. Just need to iron out the kinks a little.