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Pokémon Go’s next special event is changing so players can do it solo

With players practicing social distancing, Niantic is adapting

Artwork of Genesect from Pokemon Go Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

While Pokémon Go special events, like a planned Safari Zone and the Abra Community Day, have been postponed or canceled, developer Niantic is going ahead with this weekend’s Special Research story event based on the mythical Pokémon Genesect. In response to the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, however, Niantic is making changes to that event so players can complete the required research tasks on their own — and likely from the comfort of their own homes.

Niantic has made a series of changes to the Genesect event that will let Pokémon Go players complete the required Special Research tasks solo. Those new tasks will include the following challenges:

  • Catch Pokémon of various types
  • Play with your Buddy
  • Power up Pokémon
  • Battle another Trainer (this includes Go Battle Leauge)
  • Hatch Eggs

The Genesect Special Research story event will run from Friday, March 20 at 8 a.m. through Thursday, March 26 at 10 p.m. To take part in the Genesect Special Research story event, Pokémon Go players need to purchase a ticket to the event. That item costs $7.99 and grants access to the “A Drive to Investigate!” story event, as well as cosmetic and in-game consumable items: five Premium Battle Passes, three Super Incubators, three Charged TMs, three Fast TMs, three Incense, three Star Pieces, one Poffin, 15 Rare Candies, and one Glacial Lure.

Previous Special Research story events that have required paid access have involved tasks that require players to compete in raids or hunt down certain Pokémon.

Niantic recently made other changes to Pokémon Go to adapt to the coronavirus and players quarantining themselves. Those changes include heavily discounted Incense (so players can lure Pokémon to their location), as well as an increase in habitats, more gifts from PokéStops, and halved Egg-hatching distances, so players don’t have to venture too far from home.

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