Niantic is changing its approach to Pokémon Go to keep the game alive due to ongoing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic. The developer is working around the idea that players will be more sedentary and unable to go outside to play Go, which means that a lot of the game’s mechanics are now being altered.
Along with postponing March’s Community Day, Niantic is now decreasing distance requirements for hatching eggs, increasing Pokémon spawn rates across the board, and giving players a greater number of items per PokéStop spin. All of these changes are promoting player safety by giving trainers a way to continue playing the game, but in a slightly altered way.
Prior to the update, Niantic said that the goal moving forward is giving its players a good experience that will still allow them to explore without putting themselves at risk.
“We’re putting our focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting and that also encourage exploration,” Niantic said.
Some of the mechanics that have already been changed in the update include cutting the hatch distance when eggs are placed into incubators during this time period in half, causing gifts to drop more frequently from PokéStops, increasing Pokémon habitats, and making more Pokémon appear in the wild.
Players can also do a one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for one PokéCoin in the shop. An Incense attracts Pokémon to a trainer’s location for a full hour after activation, so providing this along with the other changes is a great way to keep the players happy and playing the game.
More updates surrounding the Go Battle League and other aspects of the game might come as a result of prolonged social distancing if nothing changes in the coming weeks.