During the pandemic, Niantic made some adjustments to Pokémon GO to allow players to maintain their streaks during quarantines or when they are unable to leave the house. There were a lot of changes to the gameplay that occurred in order to improve the user experience. Among the changes, players were able to interact with Pokéstops, gyms, and Pokémon further away. Pokémon Buddy Pokémon would give the player more gifts per day, eggs would hatch sooner, and incense would work better if the player stood still (such as using one at home).
After the success of the upcoming Pokémon GO Fest 2021, Niantic has decided to return changes to the game's states prior to the launch of the Pokémon GO outbreak to the United States and New Zealand.
In the global pandemic, countries are doing a better job of handling it now than they were a year ago. They never addressed whether they would continue to implement any changes should the pandemic worsen in other regions.
While some fans were less than enthusiastic about the changes, especially as the world wasn't entirely out of the water, most others were excited by the news. It's been stated that some of the new changes, including this one, will remain, and here are details:
- For the GBL there are no walking requirements
- The incense pots last an hour
- Item bags can hold up to 20 gifts
- Having the ability to open 30 gifts each day
- Bonus Stardust and XP when you catch your first fish every day
- The ability to challenge trainers remotely
- Battling friends who have Good Friend status or higher from a distance
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