Niantic, who developed mobile game Pokémon GO, is ending its temporary benefits that helped players still take part in the game while staying at home. Features like raids and photo disc spins will no longer be able to be accessed remotely, and will return to stricter location-based access.
On the Pokémon GO Updates blog, the Pokémon GO Team stated “When possible, people are generally encouraged to spend time outside, go on walks, and exercise for their mental and physical health—all while social distancing and abiding by other health and safety recommendations.”
Niantic is keeping a few of the bonuses in place, however, at least for the time being. Incense duration will stay at 60 minutes, the maximum number of gifts you can carry will stay at 20, and you can continue to get three times the XP and Stardust for your first daily Pokémon catch.
Other bonuses are being modified on Thursday, October 1. Egg hatching distance will return to normal, and incense effectiveness will only apply while you’re walking around. Your Buddy Pokémon will only bring you Gifts when you’ve nearly run out, and when you’re at a PokéStop, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a Gift but there won’t be a guarantee you’ll get one. Incubators will also be included in a higher number of boxes from the game’s shop.
Niantic is still monitoring COVID-19 and other global events regularly, and is hoping to reschedule previously-planned live events to 2021, if health and safety allow. If you want to get in on the fun, you can download Pokémon GO on iOS and Android devices.