Niantic is introducing several new social features for Pokémon Go, along with new bonuses for players competing in local raid battles to incentivize more in-person play and some changes for the item shop.
The biggest changes are updating the rewards for players who actually participate in raids locally with other players on-location. This includes adding Mega Energy and Rare Candy XL to the rewards for winning raids when they are done in person.
Additionally, Niantic is also updating the 1 PokéCoin Event Boxes that are always offered during new events to all players.
Instead of the previous offerings, 1 PokéCoin Event Box will no longer include Remote Raid Passes, starting on May 23. Instead, that spot in the box will be replaced by a rotation of other items, likely changing depending on the type of event.
Niantic is also aware of some issues players in certain areas might have with access to good locations to play and are going to continue working on solutions.
“Trainers all over the world have helped Pokémon Go continue to thrive and grow over the past two years. Now, we’re excited to get back to playing together in person,” Niantic said. “To support players who have difficulty reaching Gyms, we will continue to work on solutions such as tools for community leaders to organize local events and faster approval for new Gyms.”
The social experience portion of this update involves Niantic’s plans for building a “real-world metaverse” through augmented reality (AR.) These features have been tested by Ingress agents over the last several months and are now being included in the closed beta of a standalone app, which you can learn more about on Niantic’s website.
Once these are implemented, Niantic hopes they will “make it easier for Trainers to communicate with each other, discover new communities, and enjoy local raid battles.”