April 28, 2020 Niantic has released the remote raid pass feature, which lets you raid from the comfort of your home. To celebrate, there’s a big new event, and you can read about it all right here.
It’s safe to say that Pokémon Go was one of the most at-risk games to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a game that rewards its players for getting out into the open air, socialising with each other, and visiting nearby key locations to interact with many of the game’s mechanics. You need to venture far afield to catch the rarest Pokémon, participate in PvP battles, and join in with the community in a raid or two.
Developer Niantic is smart though, and has made a slew of changes to the way the game fundamentally works so that you can continue to play and progress in Pokémon Go without having to leave the house. So successful were these changes, that Niantic managed to increase sales by a whopping 66% despite the various lockdowns in effect right now. While we’ll dig into them in greater depth later, these generally involve increased rewards, decreased physical requirements, and loads of new bundles that provide you with items that you can’t get from wandering about.
While new measures are still being implemented regularly, Pokémon Go is now largely functioning as normal, even if the wider world isn’t. If you’re one of those players that’s struggling to get the most out of it during the lockdown, we’ve put together this guide to progressing despite it.
To help you navigate to the section you’re most interested in, we’ve included the following links to get you there faster.
Before we move onto providing tips on how to make the most of the changes, let’s take a quick look what has actually changed. We may well end up updating this as Niantic introduces more changes, so we recommend bookmarking this post and referring back to it regularly to check.
- Battle screens will be polished, with changes to HP bars and Pokémon types being displayed on-screen. You’ll also be able to check if a move will be super effective or not very effective
- The shop icon in the main menu will display a notification if there are new items in the shop
- Adventure sync will soon better track short bursts of activity and stationary exercises, like running on a treadmill
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Remote raid passes are here, and with them a big celebratory event that returns a select few popular Pokémon to five star raids. Here are all of the updates:
- Remote raid passes are available in the shop for 100 Pokécoins individually, or three for 250
- There’s a single purchase Pokécoin bundle that provides three remote raid passes for one Pokécoin
- Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Virizion are returning to five star raids in three different events running between April 28 – May 19
- Niantic has released a new Pokécoin bundle that features 20 ultra balls, 15 pinap berries, and 15 razz berries
Community days will now last six hours, up from three, and are now easier to play at home. Here’s the rest of the changes for community days going forward:
- You’ll receive triple stardust for catching Pokémon
- Incense will last for three hours
- Buddy Pokémon that are at least great buddy level will bring you items during the event
- You can purchase a special bundle for 1,280 Pokécoins, which includes an elite charged TM, 30 ultra balls, three super incubators, and three incense
- You’ll receive a special surprise for taking a snapshot during the event
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- Incense will now last for an hour, up from 30 minutes previously
- You’ll receive a daily bonus field research task without having to spin a Pokéstop. These bonus tasks will focus on challenges you can complete at home
- If you run low on gifts, your buddy Pokémon will venture out and grab gifts from Pokéstops for you
- You can now directly power up your Pokémon to a specific CP level using the required amount of stardust and candies in one simple move
- Incense, star pieces, and lucky eggs can now be used multiple times to increase the 30-minute duration up to a maximum limit of 24 hours
- Eggs now hatch in half the typical distance while in an incubator
- The distance from which you can interact with gyms has been temporarily doubled, allowing you to challenge raid bosses and spin the photo discs from further away
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- 50 great balls bundle is available in the shop for a single Pokécoin until April 6
- Thundurus and Cobalian in five star raids has been extended until Tuesday, March 31
- Raid hour on Wednesdays has been cancelled until further notice
- Triple stardust and XP bonuses for your first Pokémon catch of the day
- You can now open 30 gifts per day and carry a maximum of 20 in your inventory
- Gifts will now include many more Poké balls
- Lugia raid week and raid hour events have been cancelled
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- Abra community day has been postponed
- New Pokécoin bundles will appear in the shop each week for a single Pokécoin
- The first Pokécoin bundle features 30 incense
- Incense now lasts for one hour, up from 30 minutes previously
- Pokéstops will now drop gifts more frequently
- An increased number of Pokémon will now appear in the wild
The biggest Pokémon Go-related frustration during this lockdown is the inability to go outside, which effects a vast portion of the experience. You can’t visit gyms, participate in raids and community days, and it’s harder to hatch eggs than usual, as you’re limited to your house, which probably isn’t over a kilometer long.
While there’s no official way to replace the walking aspect of Pokémon Go, and we certainly don’t condone to resorting to nefarious methods like hacking, we have got a bunch of tips and trips that will help you to continue to progress in Pokémon Go while playing at home.
- Read through the notes above. Niantic has already made a bunch of changes to help you progress while at home, including halving the distance required to hatch an egg and doubling the distance from which you can interact with a gym.
- Keep Pokémon Go live on your phone as often as possible, allowing you to continue to catch Pokémon and track all movement while you’re chilling at home.
- Activate ‘adventure sync’, which allows you to sync up your steps while Pokémon Go isn’t open on your phone. It traces the data from Apple Health or Google Fit, so you’ll need to have your phone on your person at all times to benefit from this.
- Use a smartwatch like an Apple Watch to ensure that your steps are being recorded even when you forget to pick up your phone. Over time, this can actually have a profound effect on the number of steps you record.
- Life hack: activate adventure sync and walk on your treadmill to get steps without actually leaving the house. We appreciate that this isn’t an option for everyone, but if you do own a treadmill you might as well make the most of it. Alternatively, exercise bikes can work, but you have to keep the speed right down to a walking pace.
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Thanks to the new remote raid pass feature, you can now raid from the comfort of your home. The remote raid pass is a premium item available from the shop that costs 100 Pokécoins individually, or 250 for three. You can also grab three right now for a single Pokécoin thanks to a celebratory bundle.
You can learn all about how the remote raid pass works by reading our Pokémon Go raids guide.