It seems like there’s nothing that hasn’t been affected by the Coronavirus. Movies are getting delayed, Broadway has shut its doors, and pretty much every event in the near future has been cancelled or postponed. But for those of us who are still looking for ways to retain normalcy and stay distracted, there’s good news in the form of Pokémon Go which announced Friday it’s making critical changes that will allow fans to keep playing, despite the growing pandemic. Noting that “the safety of our global player community is our top priority,” Niantic, the company behind the popular game, assured fans that it’s doing its best to help the world adjust to the drastic changes brought on by COVID-19 by “putting our focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting and that also encourage exploration!”
The safety of our global player community is our top priority. COVID-19 is challenging us and the world to adjust. We’re putting our focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting and that also encourage exploration!— Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) March 13, 2020
Although Pokémon Go postponed its upcoming Abra Community Day, an event which would’ve put hundreds of people on the street and probably in close contact, it made specific changes that will make it easy and safe to play along at home. They include the following:
—A one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for 1 PokéCoin (available through March 30). Incense will also last for one hour.
—1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators during this time period
—PokéStops will now drop Gifts more frequently
—Players can now hold up to 20 gifts and open up to 30 gifts per day
—Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild
—A one-time purchase bundle of 100 Poké Balls for 1 PokéCoin (available through March 30)
—3x Stardust and 3x XP for players’ first catch of the day
—Rotating 1 PokéCoin bundles will be available in the shop every week, with new ones arriving on March 30
Trainers, we've made changes to @PokemonGoApp until further notice, including adjusting gifts and adding Weekly bundles for 1 PokéCoin (featuring 100 Poké Balls this week), see the full list of changes here:https://t.co/Mz626yqg4t— Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) March 23, 2020
According to Niantic, these changes are effective immediately and will be instituted “until further notice.” While we may not be able to actually go out and explore the wide world, at least we can still find a way to inject some cuteness (and let’s be honest, stress relieving measures) into our lives. It’s the little things.
The company also postponed its Harry Potter: Wizard Unite! March Community Day, though no further information has been released.
Featured Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company
This article was updated on March 24, 2020.