Updated Pokemon Go For Pandemic Play at Home and Social Distancing

Listed below are the top 10 changes to Pokemon Go for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, Pokemon Go made several changes to enable safe socially distanced game play. Niantic now has announced that a lot of those play-at-home changes will be extended, if not permanent. 

Not Socially Distanced Pokeballs
The reason for these changes was to enable trainers to remain active in the game, and help foster social connections, which Pokemon Go does in the changed world required for the needs of social distancing.

10 Current (Maybe Permanent) Changes in Pokemon Go For Better Social Distancing and Indoor Game Play

The most important of the game changes that have been extended are as follows:

#1: Better Indoor Step Tracking

If you have played Pokemon Go for a while, you know that the game did not track short distances or walks involving a lot of turns very well, such as for Adventure Sync. To promote indoor exercise, the game has changed to enable much better indoor step tracking, like going up and down different floors in your house, or cleaning and cooking.

#2: Increased Interaction Distances

Increased distances enabled for interacting with gyms and pokestops. You don't need to get as close to spin the photodisk in a pokestop or gym, or to raid a gym. However, Niantic plans to gradually reduce the distances as the pandemic recedes. So, enjoy it for now!

#3: Long-Distance Raid Passes

With a long distance raid pass, you do not have to be standing at a location to conduct a raid. Instead, you can do it from far away, and even at home.

#4: Daily Free Gifts

Go to the shop and you will find some pokeballs or other free gifts every day.

#5: 3x First Catch Stardust and XP

Since getting stardust and XP is much more difficult if you are socially distancing or just staying at home, Pokemon Go made it a little easier to get some by awarding triple stardust and XP on your first catch of the day.

#6: Incense Price Decrease

Incense allow you to bring Pokemon closer to you, instead of having to walk around outside to find them. The price of incense was reduced to enable more indoor play.

#7: Incense Duration Increase

In addition to a reduction in the price of incense, the incense now last for 60 minutes instead of just 30 minutes.

#8: Gift Frequency Increase

You will no longer be guaranteed a gift every time you spin a pokestop. However, the frequency of the gift drops will still be much higher than before COVID-19.

#9: Gift Bag Increase

You can get a lot of pokeballs, berries and other valuable tools in gifts from friends. The number of gifts you can keep in your item bag has increased to 20.

#10: Go Battle League

Technically this is not a pandemic era change, since the Go Battle League was planned even before then. However it was introduced right around when COVID-19 started spreading out from its origins, and the worldwide social distancing phenomena was implemented. With the Go Battle League, you can do player-versus-player (PvP) battles from anywhere in the world, rather than being physically close to one another, or Pokemon Go friends.