Pokemon

Did Niantic change these Pokemon Go settings because of Coronavirus?

by Paul Cotton
Niantic

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It looks like Niantic may be preparing Pokemon Go in case the Coronavirus causes a worldwide quarantine situation.

The Coronavirus is all anyone can talk about right now amid real concerns of a pandemic. Should the worst case happen, then it's entirely possible that a majority of the world will need to go into a state of quarantine.

The virus originated in Wuhan, China, so it isn't exactly surprising that this was the first place to impose a quarantine. Since then though, on Monday, March 9, Italy has become the second country to extend the emergency measure of a quarantine.

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Pokemon Coronavirus Events
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How does this affect Pokemon Go?

Well, Pokemon Go is a game you play outside your home. If players are restricted, or put-off, leaving their homes then there will be less players playing the mobile game.

This is something Niantic do not want. After all, if there are less people playing Pokemon Go, then the revenues the game generates will decrease.

Niantic appear to be well aware of this and it looks like they may have taken measures to combat the possibility of more quarantines around the world.

Pokemon Go Items Coronavirus
Pokemon Go Items Coronavirus
Could items that usually cost such as Incense, Incubators and Lures be made free in Pokemon Go?

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Curious changes to items

The notorious PokeMiners have discovered that several notable items have had their "Trainer Drop Level" changed from 100 to 1. In Layman's terms this means they have the potential to be found in PokeStops or in quests.

However, there is also the potential that this means nothing at all. While the code has changed it doesn't guarantee their appearance outside of buying them from the Pokemon Go Shop.

The items that have changed are as follows:

  • Incense
  • Incubators - Basic and Super
  • Lucky Egg
  • Lures - Normal, Glacial, Magnetic and Mossy
  • Star Piece

It is suspected that this change could be a measure to encourage trainers to continue playing the game in the event travel becomes even more difficult than it is. More readily available Incenses, Incubators, Lucky Eggs, Lures and Star Pieces would give players a massive incentive to continue playing - even if it is from seclusion of their homes.

As one Redditor, Dramlin, explained: "This just gives Niantic the ability to add these to spins and other random reward mechanics whenever they feel like it." So, we'll have to wait and see whether these items do become free. It would certainly be huge Pokemon Go news if they did.