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Pokemon GO Players Upset with Niantic After Recent PokeStop Changes

Pokemon GO Players Upset with Niantic After Recent PokeStop Changes

Pokemon GO continues to iterate and become far more than what it was upon initial release. However, while some players are only worried over the release of Golurk and its weaknesses, others have a big complaint.

This complaint centers around changes made in Pokemon GO by its creator Niantic in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes were made so that players did not have to go outside and be near each other as much as Pokemon GO usually requires. They included increased incense effectiveness, to draw more Pokemon to players, more gifts from Buddy Pokemon, and, critically, doubled interaction distances for Gyms and other Pokestops.

With the number of cases lessening in some countries and states, these features are being rolled back by Niantic. In the United States and New Zealand, they have officially been repealed. Players are upset with this reversion, mostly with the Pokestop interactivity distance reduction. Players on Twitter and Reddit point to a host of problems solved by the reduction in interactivity distance and describe the decision as Niantic reversing one of its best changes in years. The tone of many of the comments is bitter and frustrated, something the upcoming Mega and Legendary Raids likely won’t fix.

Among complaints about the change is how it makes players less safe. Despite COVID-19 not being the terror, it was over the past year, it is still present and dangerous in many places. Second, the increased distance made it easier to interact with Gyms and Raids in general, eliminating issues like finicky positioning for GPS drift. It also allowed players to continue moving rather than stopping in awkward places. Finally, it allowed players with health or accessibility issues to reach Pokestops they could not normally get to. On top of changes to Pokestops players already wanted, reversing this change has made the game less palatable to many.

A petition surfaced to reverse the distance drop on, gathering almost 125,000 signatures from players who wanted the increased distance to be permanent. With more August events on the way, players want to experience the game as safely as possible.

More than just a bad change, this decision signals a disconnect between Niantic and the player base for many players. With a lack of response, even though players asked for the change to be permanent before the reversal rolled out, said players feel Niantic is not listening. Considering how much Pokemon GO means to players of all ages, hopefully, Niantic will reverse its decision for those players’ sake.