Pokemon Go Removing Some Pandemic Bonuses

Niantic is changing some of the in-game bonuses it implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and introducing a few new ones to encourage players to play outside.


Pokemon Go developer Niantic is making some changes to the game's bonuses. As detailed on the official Pokemon Go blog, Niantic will be rolling back and tweaking some of the in-game bonuses it introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's introducing some new ones in their place.

After Pokemon Go Fest 2021 in late July, Niantic plans to remove or change some of the temporary bonuses it implemented last year to make the game easier to play from home amid lockdown restrictions. First, Incense will only have increased effectiveness while you're moving; it will no longer attract more Pokemon while you're stationary. Additionally, Buddy Pokemon will no longer find gifts as frequently as before, and Niantic is reverting the distance from which you can interact with Gyms and PokeStops "when it makes sense in different places."

Not all of the temporary pandemic bonuses are being rolled back, however. Niantic confirmed that Incenses will continue to last for 60 minutes, and there will not be a walking requirement to participate in the Go Battle League. On top of that, you'll still receive triple Stardust and XP for the first Pokemon you catch each day, and you'll be able to open up to 30 gifts from friends daily.

Niantic is also introducing a handful of new bonuses to the game. Beginning in late July, you'll receive up to two free Raid Passes when you spin the Photo Disc at Gyms. You'll also get 10x bonus XP when you spin a Photo Disc at a PokeStop for the first time, and you're guaranteed to receive a gift from the PokeStop so long as your gift inventory isn't maxed out.

Niantic says it will begin rolling back and implementing the aforementioned bonuses first in the US and New Zealand before implementing them in other regions. "We'll make these bonuses available in other countries and regions as it's safe to do so. We understand that every place is different. Rest assured, we will be monitoring the situation and activating appropriate bonuses when and where available," the studio wrote.

In the meantime, Pokemon Go's Bidoof event kicks off on June 25. As part of the event, Bidoof will be appearing much more frequently in the wild and in Raids, and you'll have your first chance to catch a Shiny Bidoof in the game. The next big event after that is July's Community Day, which takes place July 3 and features the Gen 5 starter Tepig.

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