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Niantic updates Pokémon Go to help players stay inside

Updated on April 22, 2020
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Lee is a Masters in Management graduate who has been working as a freelance writer and researcher since 2009.

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With the Corona Virus still wreaking havoc globally, governments have asked its citizens to either stay indoors or practice social distancing. The lockdown goes against Niantic’s most popular game— Pokémon Go’s objective of encouraging people to explore the outdoors while connecting with other players in real life while playing. To keep up with the prescribed home quarantines, Niantic tweaked its games to help its players to stay indoors while keeping them active. Here are some of the updates that Niantics are planning to ensure their games stay relevant during this pandemic and beyond.

According to Niantic CEO John Hanke, “We have always believed that our games can include elements of indoor play that complement the outdoor, exercise and explore DNA of what we build.” He further adds, “Now is the time for us to prioritize this work, with the key challenge of making playing indoors as exciting and innovative as our outdoor gameplay.”

Here are some of the updates that Niantic has in the pipeline for Pokémon Go:

  • Go Battle League. This feature reduced the walking requirement from 3km to zero. This means you get to complete objectives without having to leave your house.
  • Discounted select items. Incense and Poké balls prices are heavily reduced to allow players to catch Pokémon while staying indoors. Storage has also been increased so players can receive and send more gifts.
  • Virtual Pokémon Fest. Before the Corona pandemic, players congregate in live events to team up for raids during Pokémon Fests. Niantic is now working out a way for players to come together on famous real-world locations virtually.
  • Improved Adventure Sync connection. This enhancement will let your smartphone track steps even when you’re not playing. This will help uses earn in-game rewards faster. Thus, simple indoor tasks like cleaning the house, gardening, or running on a treadmill counts for game achievements.

What other updates would you like to see on Pokémon Go to help you stay indoors during the pandemic?

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