Pokemon Go Makes Massive Changes in Response to Coronavirus

Pokemon Go has announced a new wave of changes designed to help players continue to play the game [...]

Pokemon Go has announced a new wave of changes designed to help players continue to play the game during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, Niantic announced several upcoming changes to Pokemon Go, which will allow players to participate in raids from the comfort of their homes, and use Adventure Sync to track indoor movements and activities. The changes will impact just about every aspect of Pokemon Go, which was originally designed around a social, outdoor experience. No timeline was given for these changes, but it's likely to rollout in a manner of days if not weeks.

Niantic's announced changes to Pokemon Go include the ability to track steps indoor, so activities like clearning the house or running on a treadmill count toward game achievements. Players will also be able to team up with friends to take on Raid Battles without leaving their home. Niantic is also working on ways to help players "virtually visit" their favorite real world places, and are working on a way to proceed with their annual Pokemon Go Fest without players leaving their homes.

Pokemon Go developers have rapidly changed the focus of their game in response to COVID-19. As more and more countries and communities go on lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, Pokemon Go has shifted to gameplay that can be enjoyed without leaving home. In addition to making its GO Battle League free to play without needing to walk, the game has also added additional rewards (like Legendary Pokemon) and reduced the walking distances needed to hatch eggs. The game has also begun offering certain items at severely discounted rates to help mitigate the need to regularly spin PokeStops.

We'll have more details about the changes Pokemon Go plans to make as they are announced. In the meantime, the game is hosting a Psychic Spotlight event with new Pokemon, and is about to add a new Legendary Pokemon to battle and capture.