Niantic to make big changes to Pokémon Go in July, includes new exploration bonuses and updating play-from-home elements

Niantic is finally pushing changes to the game in certain regions to promote in-person play again.

Image via Niantic

Niantic has detailed some new updates that will be pushed out to Pokémon Go in the coming months for the game’s exploration bonuses and a few other areas. 

These bonuses are part of the developer’s continued efforts to iterate on and reimagine the core mechanics of Pokémon Go that have been evolving since COVID-19 forced them to change how players can participate in raids, events, and other aspects of the game that typically required in-person action or participation.

Now, with more countries continuing to open up and return to normal activities with the introduction of COVID vaccines and other protective methods, Niantic is ready to push some additional changes live. The first of these is some additional bonuses for players. 

New exploration bonuses are going to be introduced to reward players who are going back outside. This will apply to spinning PokéStops, playing at in-person raids, and meeting distance milestones, with players in the United States and New Zealand seeing them first. 

Here is what you can expect when these new bonuses go into effect near the end of July. 

  • Receive up to two free Raid Passes per day from spinning Gym Photo Discs.
  • Benefit from increased Incense effectiveness while moving.
  • Be guaranteed gifts when spinning PokéStops so long as they have not reached their maximum gift inventory.
  • Receive 10x bonus XP from spinning a PokéStop for the first time.

These bonuses will end when the Season of Discovery ends on Sept. 1, though new ones might be added at the start of subsequent seasons of content. 

Niantic will also be reevaluating certain changes made to the game over the last year, with plans to change or remove certain bonuses that were introduced post-Pokémon Go Fest 2021 last year. Here are the specifics for which bonuses are being removed or changed, with these also being implemented in the U.S. and New Zealand first. 

  • Incense effectiveness when stationary will revert to standard, while it will increase when moving. 
  • Buddy Pokémon Gift frequency will be reduced since players will be collecting more items from PokéStops outside.
  • PokéStop and Gym interaction distances will revert back to normal, though may be increased in certain circumstances or during events. 
  • Remote Raids will also be getting an overhaul in the near future as Niantic tries to balance them with in-person raids. 

Additionally, other bonuses added last year will be kept, including the first catch of the day bonus, various updates to the Go Battle League and Trainer Battle requirements, and more. Here is a full list of what Niantic is keeping for now. 

  • 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.

More information will be shared as Niantic continues to mess with certain elements of Pokémon Go moving forward.