Niantic is testing out lowering the level requirements for Pokemon Go players to review PokeStops. Earlier today, Niantic announced that they were lowering the level requirements to review Wayspots on its Niantic Wayfarer platform. Beginning today, Level 39 Pokemon Go players and Level 11 Ingress Prime players can start reviewing Wayspots, which are real-world locations tagged by players to be turned into PokeStops and/or gyms. Currently, only Level 39 players from certain regions can participate, but if the trial is successful, more players should be able to access the Wayfarer platform in the coming weeks and months.
While it certainly seems that just about every notable local landmark has a Pokemon Go PokeStop or gym associated with it, there are still parts of the world that are missing these all-important in-game locations. Because Niantic uses a volunteer system to tag locations for possible inclusion in its games, rural areas and other spots with low populations often lag behind denser, urban populations in their games. One of the most common complaints about Pokemon Go is that it is unfairly slanted against rural players, so lowering the capstone to review and submit locations should help players add more locations and receive more benefits.
In order for a place to be added to the game as a Wayspot, it must first be nominated by other players using the Wayfarer system. Niantic discourages locations that are on public spots, are dangerous to get to, or are located on school grounds. Once a spot has been nominated, other players rate the spot on the Wayfarer using a 5-star system that ranks its visual uniqueness and safety, along with its supporting information and location accuracy. If a spot receives enough strong ratings, it'll eventually be added to Niantic's games.
Opening the door to more players means that more locations will likely get approved, which means more PokeStops and gyms. Hopefully, players in low population areas see the results of Niantic's decision soon.