Pokemon Go PokeStop and Gym Distance Changes Are Live

Monday, August 2nd, 2021 8:31 am

Players need to be closer to real-world locations to interact with them in the game.

As part of its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, introduced a number of changes in Pokemon Go that made it easier for players to enjoy the game from home. Or, if players did go outside, these changes made it easier for players to enjoy the game while remaining at a safe distance from other people.

One of the biggest changes (and arguably the best) was an increase in the game’s interaction radius for PokeStops and Gyms, which allowed players to interact with these in-game features from farther away. Whether players enjoyed the game indoors or outdoors (or even in a vehicle), being able to interact with PokeStops and Gyms without being as close to them was a huge bonus that many players hoped would become a permanent part of the game.

Unfortunately, in June 2021, Niantic announced it would make a number of changes to the “Exploration Bonuses” that it had introduced as part of its COVID response. One of those changes would remove the increased interaction radius for PokeStops and Gyms. Niantic said it would test this change (among others) first with players in the U.S. and New Zealand.

Now, this change has gone live in Pokemon Go, meaning players in the test regions need to move closer to PokeStops and Gyms in the real-world to interact with these features in the game.

Again, this change is being “tested” with players in New Zealand and the U.S., which means Niantic may still make changes to the feature before all is said and done. In a recent news post on the Pokemon Go website, the developer said “We will remove or change [certain bonuses] on a rolling basis in other countries and regions over time, and at the same time introduce new exploration bonuses.”

Niantic also said, “After this change the distance will revert back to the standard distance, when it makes sense in different places, though may be increased during future events and as part of certain features.”

So, while this bonus is gone in certain regions for now, it may not be gone forever. We’ll make sure to let you know if any additional changes are announced related to this feature or any others in Pokemon Go. Keep checking back with us!

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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