Pokemon Go Will Drop Some Exploration Bonuses Given to Players During the Pandemic

Pokemon Go has announced that they will roll back several features and in-game bonuses implemented during the pandemic, while adding several new bonuses designed to get players out and exploring the world once again. During the pandemic, Niantic made major changes to several aspects of Pokemon Go to limit the need for players to go to crowded locations or interact with other players in close proximity. With the pandemic starting to slow in some parts of the world, Niantic announced they will begin to roll back these changes to their pre-pandemic states starting at the end of July. Major changes to the game include the reversion of PokeStop and gym interaction distances back to their pre-pandemic level, a decrease in the number of gifts given to players by their Buddy per day, and a decrease in Incense effectiveness when players are stationary.

Niantic will roll back these changes on a country by country basis beginning with the United States and New Zealand starting at the end of July. To offset these changes, players who are affected will instead receive the following new exploration bonuses:

  • 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 PokeStop so long as they have not reached their maximum gift inventory.
  • Receive 10x bonus XP from spinning a PokeStop for the first time.

Additionally, Niantic announced that some bonuses added during the pandemic will remain a permanent part of the game. These bonuses include:

  • 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 Pokemon catch of the day.

Pokemon Go will also keep Remote Raid Passes, although they hinted that their purpose would "evolve" as they attempted to balance in-person and remote raids. EX Raids will also come back to Pokemon Go at some point in the future.

More details about these changes, including their official rollout dates for various countries, will be announced in the future.