Pokémon Go adds remote raids and other changes to let people play from home

Image: Niantic/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go players will soon be able to take part in raids from the comfort of their own homes, as developer Niantic updates the mobile game to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing. A new item, the Remote Raid Pass, is coming to Pokémon Go’s in-game shop, which will let players battle in raids that are visible in the Nearby screen.

Niantic explained that Remote Raid Passes will initially act similar to the game’s standard Raid Pass. Up to 20 players can join the same raid battle, but the number of players who can join with a Remote Raid Pass will be limited (to a number that Niantic did not specify). At some point, Pokémon Go players using a Remote Raid Pass will see their attack power decreased, as Niantic explained:

At launch, Trainers battling in raids remotely will have the same attack power as Trainers who are able to battle at the raid location in person. At a later time, the attack power for Trainers battling remotely will be reduced. Afterward, a Trainer battling at the raid location in person will have higher attack power than a Trainer battling remotely.

Niantic says it will continue to adjust the features of Remote Raid Passes, including how players can invite each other to raids using the stay-at-home raid option.

Remote Raid Passes will be available for a “special discounted price of 100 PokéCoins,” Niantic said, but a “1 PokéCoin bundle that will feature Remote Raid Passes” is also coming to the in-game shop. Niantic has released a handful of bundles, including Poké Balls and other items, that cost just one PokéCoin since social distancing measures began.

Niantic is making other changes as well. Each day, players will receive a bonus research task without having to spin a PokéStop. “These tasks will be different from Field Research tasks you receive from PokéStops and will focus on activities that you can complete from home,” Niantic said.

Elsewhere in the game, players will also receive in-game Gifts — normally acquired by spinning PokéStops — from their in-game buddy Pokémon. Players will also be able to use multiples of Lucky Eggs, Star Pieces, and Incense to increase the duration of their respective effects. Finally, Niantic is making it easier (and quicker) to power up a Pokémon using candy and stardust.

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