Big Pokémon Go changes mean you'll be able to play even when stuck inside your house

Pokemon go update (Image credit: Niantic/Pokemon Company)

Pokémon Go is a game that usually encourages its players to get out and about but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this isn't necessarily possible for players to do. But, have no fear, Niantic, has temporarily changed some mechanics to allow you to continue to play Pokémon Go from inside your home.

In a statement to Polygon, Niantic said it is currently “prioritizing updates to Pokémon Go features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.” 

These changes, which are effective immediately, include increasing habitats so that players have a better chance of catching Pokémon from their homes. But what else is changing?

What's changed?

(Image credit: Niantic)

Well, Niantic is offering 99% off incense packs - which are bought with real life money and increase Pokemon spawns. These packs will also last an hour when they're active rather than the cur30 minutes.

In addition, incubators will allow players to hatch eggs "twice as fast". Incubators require players to take a certain number of steps before an egg will hatch, but this number has now been decreased. And, last but not least, PokéStops are dropping gifts more often.

As Polygon points out, coronavirus concerns have already seen Niantic postponing its Abra Community Day alongside other real-world events. However, events like Battle League are allowing players to compete with each other remotely. Meanwhile the upcoming Special Research Adventure will apparently involve tasks that players can complete solo.

“While we’ve made these updates based on the current global health situation, we also encourage players to make decisions on where to go and what to do that are in the best interest of their health and the health of their communities,” Niantic told Polygon.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.