One consistent element of the Pokémon Go community over the last several months, alongside consistent updates and new events, has been rising concern surrounding Niantic reverting gameplay mechanics back to their pre-pandemic functionality. However, fans do have less to worry about than they initially expected.
According to Niantic director Michael Steranka, the developers are currently putting a focus on creating new methods to encourage players to explore rather than “continuing to diminish the experience anyone has from home” through reversions.
Some features will continue to see changes as Niantic finishes rolling back some of the changes it implemented as temporary measures during the pandemic, but certain areas will remain untouched. And, while Remote Raids have been slowly made less effective through those changes, Niantic has no plans to remove the feature.
Some players were worried Remote Raids were going to be eventually removed from the game, or at least further deprioritized following the announcement of a new raid type for June’s Deino Community Day event that can’t be accessed using Remote Raid Passes.
These raids, which are listed as unique four-star raid battles, will run immediately after three-hour Community Day ends with Zweilous appearing. Successfully clearing one of these four-star raids will result in Deino appearing more frequently within a 300-meter radius around the gym that hosted the raid for 30 minutes—with Community Day Shiny encounter odds.
However, this is one of those new incentives to try and get players out and playing Pokémon Go in-person, as shown by the set distance for Deino spawns, rather than something to devalue Remote Raids.
“That’s a unique experience we are setting up just for these extra bonuses during Community Day,” Steranka said. “We have no intention right now to remove Remote Raiding from the regular tier of raiding, so the one, three, and five-star raids. But, we haven’t been shy about the fact we’re gonna look for more opportunities to get players to play together in person again.”
Steranka noted Niantic’s approach moving forward will “generally” be to introduce new functionality and features to promote in-person play and activity rather than retiring features like Remote Raids, which he acknowledges the community “has come to love.”
Other content will also still be released that will allow players who are unable to attend specific events or get out and play to continue enjoying Pokémon Go to its fullest. This includes Global Challenges and Ultra Unlock content for the upcoming in-person Go Fest events in Berlin, Seattle, and Sapporo.