A game that forces you to walk around outside is probably the last thing we need to be playing during the coronavirus pandemic. To help alleviate these issues (avoid losing players), Niantic is making several changes to Pokémon GO.

“We have always believed that our games can include elements of indoor play that complement the outdoor, exercise and explore DNA of what we build,” states Niantic. “Now is the time for us to prioritize this work, with the key challenge of making playing indoors as exciting and innovative as our outdoor gameplay.”

Adventure Sync works indoors just as much as outdoors, tracking steps taken to hatch eggs as long as you have your phone while doing chores or exercising. Future changes will improve Adventure Sync with indoor movements.

Hatching eggs is now much easier, as the requirement for hatching all eggs placed in incubators has been halved. This should fit perfectly with the annual Springtime egg event, which doubles the amount of candy upon hatching, and increases the length of Lucky Eggs to one hour. Unique Field Research rewards include encounters with Alolan Exeggutor and Azumarill, and flower hat-wearing Pikachu will appear in the wild. The Spring event ends April 16.

The distance to interact with Gym battles has also been temporarily doubled, including spinning them as PokéStops from much farther away. For some reason, that double distance does not apply to regular PokéStops, however.

The GO Battle League offers PvP battling from the comfort of your own home. The walking requirements for admission have been reduced to zero, along with discounted prices on poké balls and incense.

Pokémon is free to download on mobile devices.

Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.