Pokemon Go's roadmap phases out pandemic bonuses

Changes will be staggered across the globe.

Pokemon Go has lain out the roadmap for scaling back the bonuses added to make playing the game easier during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a year after it introduced them, developer Niantic has detailed a plan for how it will go about replacing the bonuses as certain regions are afforded more freedoms once more.

In the detailed roadmap, Niantic acknowledges that the pandemic situation is extremely different across the world. As such, the changes will be introduced region by region, starting with adjustments in the United States and New Zealand following Pokemon Go Fest 2021. That means players in these areas can expect changes from the end of July.

“We’re committed to doing this in a staggered way, when it makes sense for each place in the world, to help people play safely,” the post reads. “As we return to the outside world again, these changes are aimed at restoring the focus of Pokémon GO on movement and exploration in the real world. These changes will be introduced slowly and carefully to make it more exciting to explore the world around you.”

Pokemon Go roadmap pandemic
© Niantic

Some of the biggest changes include the removal of increased daily Buddy gifts and interactions with PokeStops and gyms from afar. But this isn’t a simple case of reverting back to how things were, however. Some adjustments introduced last year will remain, including first catch of the day bonuses, as well as GO Battle League and Trainer Battle requirements. In addition, Niantic wants to find a balance between remote and in-person play, so will continue to adjust systems like Remote Raids over time.

The areas that are opening up will also benefit from new “exploration bonuses”. These include two free Raid Passes per day for spinning Gym Photo Discs, increased Incense effectiveness while moving, guaranteed gifts from spinning PokeStops, and 10x bonus XP for spinning a PokeStop for the first time.

“We’ll make these bonuses available in other countries and regions as it’s safe to do so,” the post explains. “We understand that every place is different. Rest assured, we will be monitoring the situation and activating appropriate bonuses when and where available. Because of this, Trainers may experience different bonuses at different times.”

To know which bonuses are active in your area, Niantic recommends checking the Today View from within the Pokemon Go app.

As for the bonuses from last year that will be sticking around for good, Niantic has provided a handy list:

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

Head to the roadmap blog post on the Pokemon Go website for further details on the upcoming changes.

“Thank you again,” the roadmap post concludes. “The path ahead will have some twists and turns, but we are committed to being clear about how and why Pokémon GO will evolve in the future.”

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry@moonrock.biz, or catch him on Twitter.

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