Pokemon Go: Is Pokemon Go Helping The Social Distancing Cause?


David Mudd

Pokemon Go is also feeling the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s completely understandable why it would, too. Niantic designed the game entirely around the concept of players walking around in the real world, interacting with other players.

Managing The Lockdown

Now, with various parts of the world under lockdown, players won’t be able to do that. Even if they can leave, the importance of social distancing makes many aspects of the game irresponsible. For example, to catch legendary Pokemon, trainers can partake in raids. These raids, however, require lots of people to congregate in one spot.

Pokemon Go

This won’t fly in the current climate. So, what can the players do in this scenario? What plans does Niantic have to keep the game alive through this time? For starters, they’re cancelling most of their public events. They’ve already called off the March Community Day event and they may likely do the same for the April Community Day event.

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Adjusting Event Completion

On top of that, they’ve tweaked how they’ve changed the mechanics of their on-going Special Research event, called A Drive To Investigate. Now, instead of having to head out of the house to complete some of its requirements, players can simply purchase a ticket to chalk it off.

That on its own won’t be enough, though. Even if they cancel or modify these events to avoid people gathering in one spot, the game itself is built around exploring the real world. What about players who can’t even leave their own homes? Well, Niantic does have plans for these people.

Pokemon Go

Increasing Rewards

They’re adjusting certain aspects for the game to ensure that they can still find and catch Pokemon from within the confines of their house. To do this, they added a special item to the store. It’s a bundle of 30 incense which players can purchase for just 1 PokeCoin. Each incense will attract Pokemon to your location.

There is also going to be a new 1 PokeCoin bundle every week. For now, it nets the player 100 Pokeballs. Players will especially welcome this move. Before, they could only get Pokeballs by spinning PokeStops, or by opening gifts. However, the number of Pokeballs available in gifts is quite limited for a single day. Not everyone has the luxury of PokeStop right outside their house, either.

John Hanke, Niantic’s CEO and founder, did say that they’d be bringing more adjustments on Twitter, and they did. Things like increased XP and Stardust for the 1st catch of the day should make playing the game from home more convenient.

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Go is available for free on iOS and Android.

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