This article records all the actions taken by Niantic in Pokémon GO due to the global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Initially, the changes to events only affected players in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic continuously increased through early 2020, leading Niantic to make decisions affecting global trainers.

Currently active bonuses

These are bonuses that are visible in the Today View and labelled Special Bonuses.

Play Where You Are

Niantic published a site with motto Play Where You Are that included tips and notices about in-game features that are being changed and adjusted to allow Trainers playing at home.

The website is available at: https://pokemongolive.com/en/play-where-you-are/.

Early 2020

Feature changes

On March 12th, 2020, Niantic announced a blog about couple of updates of gameplay experience and global events.[1]

  • Abra Community Day was postponed from March 15th to April 25th.[2]
  • Egg Incubator is 2 times faster
  • Double duration of Incense with 50% discount, the spawn rate has been increased to 1 Pokémon per minute. This also includes the Meltan Mystery Box making it even easier to get Melmetal.
  • PokéStops drop Gifts more frequently
  • Pokémon habitats increase and more Pokémon are appearing in the wild

On March 23rd, 2020, Niantic announced more updates.[3]

Since March 31st, 2020, the distance for interaction with Gyms has been temporarily doubled, being able to spin the Photo Disc, participate Gym and Raid Battles.[4] Since April 27th, 2020, the distance bonus is applied to PokéStops too.[5]

Raid Battles

Following Raid Battles were adjusted:[6]

Trainer Battles

Following measures are taken when the Season 1 of GO Battle League started:[11]

  • Do not require walking or PokéCoins to unlock battle sets in GO Battle League
  • Trainers can send challenge invites to their Good Friends, which normally required to be at least Ultra Friends

Research tasks

Shop special offer

There is a one-time purchase special offer for 30 Incenses in the shop regarding to this pandemic.[14]

On March 23rd, 2020, Niantic announced the 1 PokéCoin bundles will be changed weekly.[3]

Visit List of shop special offers and promotions/2020 for a complete list.

On April 6th, 2020, Niantic released a game code "EMRK2EZWLVSSZDC5" to give player 8 Poké Balls, 4 Golden Razz Berries and 4 Silver Pinap Berries. It was active until April 10th.[15]

On April 25th, 2020, the Abra Community Day, Niantic released a game code "MDWC4SNGUFXS2SW9" to give player 20 Great Balls and 20 Razz Berries. It was active until April 26th.[16]

Late 2020

In late September, Niantic announced updates to temporary bonuses. The following bonuses were modified after October 1st, 2020.[17]

The following features were announced to be permanent:

On November 19th, 2020, Niantic announced the return of the following bonuses to at least June 2021:

  • Increased effectiveness of Incense
  • Buddy Pokémon brings more Gifts each day, up to five gifts at once and up to three times a day

Japan, South Korea, and Italy

Addition measures are taken in these three countries since March 2nd:[18]

Raid Battles

Following Raid Battles were canceled:

Events

From March 2nd to 19th, the following events were canceled:

The event-exclusive Pokémon appearing in raids and in the wild of GO Battle League Season 1 Launch Celebration did not occur, but event bonuses still applied.[20]

Safari Zone

Trivia

  • After the Gym distance update, a bug was causing PokéStops to appear as though they are within interactable distance when they were not. They were spinable but only message "Try again later." displayed.[23]
  • GO Fest 2020 was entirely virtual this year due to this pandemic.

References

  1. Updates to events: Abra Community Day. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-13.
  2. Abra Community Day rescheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020 Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-04-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Increased Daily Bonuses, changes to Gifts, and rotating 1 PokéCoin bundles. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-24.
  4. Temporary changes to Pokémon GO: Gym interaction distance has been doubled. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-04-03.
  5. NianticHelp. Trainers, we made the following temporary changes: - Doubled the distance from which you can interact with PokéStops to match Gym interaction distance. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-05-07.
  6. Special Raid Weekends update—Cobalion and Lugia raids extended!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-13.
  7. Updates to events: Lugia Raid Week. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-24.
  8. NianticHelp. Trainers, for community safety, we will be temporarily halting invites for EX Raids. Those who currently have invites will be able to complete their EX Raids, but for the time being, new invites will not be issued.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-14.
  9. Updates to events: Raid Hour. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-18.
  10. Try out a new Remote Raid Pass during Altered Forme Giratina Raid Hour!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-05-07.
  11. NianticHelp. Trainers, for the next 30 days, we will be making the following changes for GO Battle League and Trainer Battles with friends:. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-14.
  12. NianticHelp. Trainers, due to the current public health situation, we have temporarily removed select Field Research tasks from the game that could be difficult to finish from home.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-29.
  13. NianticHelp. Trainers, we are extending the end date for this month's Team GO Rocket Special Research, "The Shadowy Threat Grows," until the end of April, to allow for more time to finish the tasks and encounter Shadow Entei.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-29.
  14. Winter Box!. /r/TheSilphRoad. Retrieved on 2020-03-13.
  15. NianticLabs. For those unable to add us as a friend you can redeem this code in the in-game store (limited to one per Trainer). Stay tuned as we continue to work on features to help you help you play in and around your homes. EMRK2EZWLVSSZDC5. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-04-08.
  16. NianticLabs. Surprise! Brain teasers are fun but so are free items! Here's a code for your #PokemonGOCommunityDay that you can redeem at https://rewards.nianticlabs.com/pokemongo/ until 8 am UTC on April 26 Left-pointing magnifying glassMDWC4SNGUFXS2SW9.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-04-29.
  17. Updates to temporary bonuses. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-10-02.
  18. 日本・韓国・イタリア地域における3月のコンテンツについて. Pokémon GO Live Japan. Retrieved on 2020-03-03.
  19. NianticHelp. Nidorino and Gengar Raid Day has been canceled in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Please stay tuned to our channels for updates.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-02-29.
  20. GO Battle League Season 1 begins Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7). Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2020-03-05.
  21. PokemonGoApp. The #PokemonGOSafariZone in St. Louis has been postponed.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-13.
  22. PokemonGoApp. The #PokemonGOSafariZone events in Liverpool, UK & Philadelphia, USA have been postponed.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-03-18.
  23. NianticHelp. Trainers, a bug is causing PokéStops to appear as though they are within interactable distance when they're not. This is a side-effect of the temporary interaction distance change made to Gyms, as we develop ways to join Raids from home.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2020-04-03.
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