Huge changes made to Pokemon Go amid Coronavirus concerns - More to come? - Dexerto

Huge changes made to Pokemon Go amid Coronavirus concerns – More to come?

Published: 13/Mar/2020 11:24 Updated: 13/Mar/2020 18:15

by Paul Cot


The Coronavirus pandemic has caused schools to shut down and events of all varieties to be canceled across the world. Now, Niantic have announced notable changes to Pokemon Go in the wake of COVID-19.

Video games are one of the only things immune to the Coronavirus. You could even argue they benefit from it whereby more people will be at home and more games will be played.

However, as Pokemon Go is a mobile game that is largely based on walking in the real world and interacting with others, it is in somewhat of a different situation. Niantic have been forced into a corner, making much needed changes to combat the virus.

Abra Community Day Postponed
Pokemon Company
The Abra Community Day has already been postponed…

Changes made to Pokemon Go

Alongside the announcement of the Pokemon Go March Community being postponed, the following changes have been made to the mobile game with immediate effect.

  • 30 Incense can now be purchased for just one PokeCoin – this is a one-time purchase and they will last for one hour
  • 1/2 hatch distance for eggs placed in incubators for the time period
  • Gifts can be obtained from PokeStops more frequently
  • Pokemon “habitats” will increase and more will appear in the wild

As of writing Niantic haven’t announced how long these changes will go on for. We can presume they will be indefinitely though, while COVID-19 is only expected to get worse.

Incense One PokeCoin30 Incense now cost just one PokeCoin!

Other items to follow?

A datamine indicated that others items could follow suit as well. Changes were found in the Pokemon Go code that changed several notable items from ‘found in the Pokemon Go Shop’ to capable of being found in PokeStops and quests.

Incense was one of these, which is now available for essentially nothing. The other items were both types of Incubators, Lucky Eggs, all variations of Lure Modules and Star Pieces.

Like Incense, the expectation was Niantic would make one or many of these items more readily available. This would be in an apparent attempt to encourage players to play from their homes and therefore removing the need to walk around in public.

Only time will tell if Niantic implement any of these changes into the game. With the Coronavirus fallout expected to last several months though, we could see Pokemon Go become an increasingly stay-at-home friendly game.


Pokemon GO Battle League Season 6: rank changes, new Cup, rewards

Published: 30/Nov/2020 23:55 Updated: 30/Nov/2020 23:58

by Brent Koepp


Pokemon GO’s Battle League Season 6 is getting a major overhaul to its rank system. The new update coincides with the mobile game’s epic Season of Celebration which kicks off in December. 

Pokemon GO players have a lot to be excited for with its massive Beyond update going live on November 30. To launch the major expansion, Niantic is kicking things off with the Season of Celebration which will run from December to March.

However, it’s not only the core game that is getting major changes, as the Battle League is also receiving some interesting overhauls to its ranking system. Here is everything you need to know about Season 6, including rewards, events, and changes.

Pokemon Go Beyond update promotional art.
Pokemon Go
With the new Beyond update, Pokemon GO also launches Battle League Season 6.

Rank changes

The biggest change coming to the Battle League is an increase of ranks from 10 to 24. Players will progress levels 1-20 by “participating in battles” and scoring victories.

Those looking to claw their way to the very top, however, have to get a special rating to secure 21-24, the requirements for which are listed below:

  • Ace: 2,000
  • Veteran: 2,500
  • Expert: 2,750
  • Legend: 3,000

New Cup

This season’s new competition is the Holiday Cup which will begin at the very end of December, and end at the start of 2021. Below we will list the schedule and the specific rules for the contest:

  • Holiday Cup: Starts on December 28, at 1:00PM PST and ends on January 4 at 1:00PM PST (GMT −8). The CP limit for the Cup will be 1,500, and only Normal, Grass, Electric, Ice, Flying, and Ghost types will be allowed.

Rank reward updates

Screenshot of Pokemon GO Season 6 rewards featuring Black & White trainer N.
Pokemon Go
Season 6 rewards include items based on popular Black & White Trainer N.

There has also been some tweaks to how rank rewards are being given out. Rank 5, 10, 15, and 19 will require players to win “one set of battles” in order to move up to the next rank.

  • Rank 5: Mystery items
  • Rank 10: Stardust/Pikachu Libre avatar items
  • Rank 15: Rare Candies
  • Rank 19: Pokemon encounters

Guaranteed Gen VI starter encounters

Screenshot of Gen V starter Pokemon in GO's Season 6.
Pokemon Go
Trainers that reach top Season 6 ranks are guaranteed to run into these beloved Gen V starters.

Season 6 will give fans a chance to capture popular starter Pokemon Froakie, Chespin, Fennekin from sixth generation titles X & Y. Trainers that manage to reach their way to the top are guaranteed to encounter them at the following levels:

  • Rank 16: Chespin
  • Rank 17: Fennekin
  • Rank 18: Froakie

Legend rank rewards including Pikachu Libre

Screenshot of Pikachu Libre in Pokemon GO.
Pokemon Go
The adorable Libre Pikachu makes its return as a Season 6 Legend rank reward.

According to GO’s official site, rank 20 will feature a surprise Pokemon that will be revealed during the second half of Season 6. Those that manage to get to 24 will get their hands on the adorable Pikachu Libre, which is the only time it appears this season.

Determined Trainers will also be rewarded with avatar items and poses based on the popular Black & White rival. Players will also have encounters with ‘mon from his team based on seasonal conditions. Fans of the Gen V RPGs will not want to miss out on this.

  • Rank 20: Mystery Pokemon, encounter with the Legendary monster that is available to battle in five-star raids at that time
  • Rank 24: Pikachu Libre

With Pokemon GO’s latest Beyond expansion, the mobile app is undergoing some pretty substantial changes. While the Battle League’s updates are not as radical, it does appear Niantic is taking steps to make each season more exciting.

Stay locked in for Dexerto’s Pokemon coverage. We will keep you updated with the latest news and the best strategies for reaching Rank 24, as well as taking on the much anticipated Holiday Cup at the end of December.