Every Pokémon GO Exploration Bonus change coming in 2021 explained - Dexerto

Every Pokémon GO Exploration Bonus change coming in 2021 explained

Published: 22/Jun/2021 1:19

by Bill Cooney


Pokemon GO has a number of changes coming to Exploration Bonuses in 2021 following feedback from players, and we’ve got all the info on when they’ll be arriving, and what they’ll contain, right here.

One of the core parts of Pokemon GO is getting outside to catch ‘mons, visit PokeStops, and meeting up with friends to raid or battle with one another. You certainly can play from the comfort of your couch, but you definitely won’t unlock all the game has to offer.

That being said, Niantic announced in a blog post on June 21 that they’ll be doing three things over the rest of 2021: adding new exploration bonuses, along with removing some of the bonuses added in the last year, while keeping others. We have all the info on what’s in store right here.


Pokemon GO new Exploration Bonuses

Pokemon Go Incense
One of the new changes will be increased Incense effectiveness while moving.

Starting at the end of July, according to Niantic, a number of brand-new exploration bonuses will roll out for Trainers to test – first in the U.S. and then in New Zealand. When these go live, Trainers will:

  • Receive up to two free Raid Passes per day from spinning Gym Discs.
  • Receive increased Incense effectiveness while moving.
  • Be guaranteed gifts when spinning PokéStops so long as there’s room in their gift inventory.
  • Receive 10x bonus XP from spinning a PokéStop for the first time.

The above bonuses will expire when the Season of Discovery wraps up on September 1, 2021. Niantic might choose to keep some of them rolling into the following season, along with adding new bonuses as well – but so far what those will be is unknown.

Bonuses from last year being removed from Pokemon GO

Orange Incense
Niantic / The Pokemon Company
Incense will be losing the boost it got last year when many Trainers weren’t able to travel much outside their homes.

Most of the changes being removed by Niantic over the next few months were introduced during ongoing global events that made traveling outside difficult for a lot of Trainers. Like the new bonuses being added, these will also be removed first in the U.S. and New Zealand before being rolled out elsewhere.


Pokemon Go changes from the last year being removed include:

  • Incense effectiveness, added to attract Pokémon more frequently, will be set at the standard level while stationary and increased effectiveness will now kick in while moving.
  • Frequency of gifts from Buddy Pokémon will be reduced, to encourage Trainers to head back outside.
  • PokéStop and Gym interaction distances will revert back to the standard distance, though may be increased during future events and as part of certain features.

One thing that isn’t being touched from the last year are Remote Raids, which Niantic say they’re going to continue “evolving” in order to “find the right balance between remote play and in-person play.”

Whenever more details about Remote Raids come out, we’ll be sure to provide an update.

Bonuses from last year staying in Pokemon GO

Pokemon Go Stardust
The increased Stardust bonus for catching your first Pokemon of the day isn’t going anywhere.

Finally, Niantic has decided to keep some of the changes from last year which they say will remain part of Pokemon GO “for the foreseeable future.” They include:

  • Incense duration will remain at 60 minutes.
  • No walking requirement for GO Battle League.
  • Can still challenge another Trainer remotely with a QR Code, and requirement to battle with friends remotely has been lowered to Good Friends.
  • The maximum number of Gifts you can carry in your Item Bag at a time will remain at 20.
  • Trainers will be able to open up to 30 Gifts per day, up from the previous 20.
  • Trainers will continue to receive 3X the Stardust and XP for the first Pokémon catch of the day.

That’s all we know about what bonuses are being added, which ones are being taken away, and which ones that aren’t going anywhere. For more Pokemon GO info and guides, be sure to check out Dexerto’s official Pokemon page.