In a sobering reminder of how far we have left to go for the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile AR game Pokémon GO has expanded some of the temporary stay at home bonuses through June 2021.

As early as April of this year Niantic made changes to Pokémon GO in response to the pandemic. Pokémon GO’s AR gameplay  encourages players to gather at certain areas for raid battles and to catch rare pokémon. New bonuses were put in place to promote social distancing, while still encouraging players to go outside, including halving the amount of distance it takes to hatch eggs.

These changes returned to normal in October, but today Niantic announced they’re introducing new bonuses:

  • Incense will work better and bring more pokémon to your location.
  • Buddy pokémon will bring more gifts, up to five gifts at one time and up to three times each day.

Both bonuses will remain in effect through the first half of next year. Other bonuses will arrive in the form of events, including the egg distance reduction, trade distance increases, and PokéCoin bundles.

“Over the past few months, we’ve been making temporary changes to Pokémon GO to adapt to the changing global environment. Some of these changes will remain implemented for the foreseeable future, such as the ability to raid remotely, changes to the GO Battle League, and the increased distance at which you can spin Photo Discs at Gyms and PokéStops,” states Niantic. “Additionally, we’re continuously monitoring the ever-evolving global situation and are working hard to reschedule previously planned live events to 2021.”

Pokémon GO is free to play on iOS and Android 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.