Pokemon Go Permanently Extends Its PokeStop And Gym Interaction Radius (Again)

Pokemon Go Permanently Extends Its PokeStop And Gym Interaction Radius (Again)

Pokemon Go will permanently go back to the interaction radius implemented for the pandemic after player feedback.

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Niantic is reversing its decision to revert Pokemon Go’s PokeStop and Gym interaction radiuses back to pre-pandemic distances after feedback from players.

Back in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began, developer Niantic addressed safety concerns around Pokemon Go’s core mechanics that encouraged players to walk close to landmarks, stores, and other facilities that could be crowded and unsafe during a public health crisis. The changes sent Pokemon Go player spending skyrocketing, making the mobile game more popular than ever. Fast forward to 2021, and the pandemic is still a serious health threat, with hospitalizations in some countries at an all-time high. Still, Niantic proceeded with plans to remove many of its new features, including slashing the interaction radius in half.

And now it looks like you’ll be getting those radius changes again, as Niantic’s latest update promises the base PokeStop and Gym interaction range will permanently return to the same distance implemented for the pandemic, 80 meters. That’s double the usual 40 meters you were accustomed to in years prior, making it easier to interact with locations in your area without getting too close. This change is global but has already been implemented in New Zealand as the country returned to lockdown.

Prior to Niantic’s reversal, the Pokemon Go community has spent weeks protesting the decision. At the beginning of August, players flocked to add their signature to a massive petition, and fired back at the developer on social media with the hashtag campaign #HearUsNiantic.

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In the days following the backlash, Niantic addressed player concerns with an open letter outlining its plans to keep the game safe and investigate how it can further implement features enjoyed by the community. As part of these plans, the developer announced it would create a task force to document feedback and communicate with Pokemon Go community leaders. The results from its task force aren’t available just yet, but Niantic says it will make those available on September 1.

This isn’t the first time Niantic has had to adjust around the ongoing pandemic, as Pokemon Go’s Okinawa event saw another delay when Japan entered its fourth COVID-related lockdown.

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