Pokemon Go has announced that it is restoring the distances needed to interact with Poke Stops and Gyms and making them the new default for the game moving forward. Niantic announced the major changes today via social media, effectively reversing their decisions made a month ago. Moving forward, players will only need to be within 80 meters of a Poke Stop or Gym's geographical location in order to interact with them through spinning Photo Discs, battling defender Pokemon, or participating in raids with a standard pass.
Trainers - we’re looking forward to sharing our plans as a result of the task force on September 1, but one thing does not have to wait! From now on, 80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally. (1/2)— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
Thank you to everyone who made your voices heard. We’ve heard you and understand that this has been a welcome benefit to many players. We’ll share more next week. (2/2)— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
Niantic originally increased the interaction distance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made gathering in close proximity unsafe. The changes were incredibly popular at the time, with many players commenting that it improved accessibility for the game in addition to the necessary public health benefits. However, earlier this summer, Niantic announced that it was reversing the changes beginning in the United States and New Zealand. Niantic stuck with this decision despite wholesale condemnation by the fanbase and many players commenting on the recklessness of the decision in the face of the surging Delta variant of COVID-19. After a boycott and several prominent Pokemon Go streamers announcing they were quitting the game, Niantic announced plans to start a task force to look into the decision.
The announcement on Twitter has already sparked a "#ThankYouNiantic" hashtag and also hundreds of comments from grateful fans. We'll see what other changes Niantic's task force has in store for Pokemon Go, but the new distances have already been ennacted within the game, so this will be the norm moving forward.
Are you happy that Pokemon Go reversed their decision? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to listen in to next week's episode of A Wild Podcast Has Appeared, our official Pokemon podcast, to hear a full breakdown of the news