Niantic is doing its bit to entertain gamers while they engage in social distancing, by making it easier to play their augmented reality games from home. So far, they’ve implemented some changes to their trio of games, while also promising further things to come.
Pokémon GO has now got something called GO Battle League, which reduces walking requirements from three km to zero. It also brings with it “deeply discounted” Incense and Poké Balls. “Gifts have more useful content and we increased storage so you can send and receive more gifts,” Niantic added.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has more content that’s near players, and other changes will make Foundables spawn at their homes. Meanwhile, Ingress has less of a need for interaction with multiple Portals, while those Portals have been “tuned to encourage at-home play”.
The company is also planning to roll out some changes to their games and live events, which they’ve listed as:
- Exercise: you can track your steps indoor with Adventure Sync so activities like cleaning your house and running on a treadmill count toward game achievements. We’re going to make improvements to Adventure Sync so it works even better with indoor movement and activities.
- Social: we’re enhancing our in-game virtual social features to enable players to stay in touch when they can’t meet in real life. You’ll soon be able to team up with friends and take on Raid Battles together in Pokémon GO from the comfort of home.
- Explore: we’re also looking into how we can help players virtually visit and share memories about their favourite real-world places, until they can once again visit them in person.
- Live Events: we’re re-imagining what it means to participate in a Niantic live event this summer, and putting our creative energy towards bringing the excitement directly to your home. That means we’re working on an entirely new way to enjoy Pokémon GO Fest. More details coming soon!
With all this, it looks like you can still enjoy Pokemon GO without actually going anywhere outside of your house. There are other changes for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress too, which you can read about at Niantic’s post here.
As long as it helps prevent incidents like this one Italian guy from breaking lockdown laws for goddamn Pokémon GO, we’re all for it!