Pokemon Go players furious as Season of Alola change hits stay-at-home trainers

Ash Ketchum from Pokemon anime next to Pokemon Go Season of Alola promotional art screenshot.The Pokemon Company / Niantic

The Pokemon community is outraged after Niantic overhauled Incense spawn rates in Pokemon Go. Players claim the new Seasons of Alola change punishes users who stay at home.

After years of anticipation, Pokemon Go is finally getting Gen VII’s Sun & Moon Pokedex added to the mobile title with the launch of Season of Alola

Excitement for some was short-lived, however, after Niantic revealed that they would be implementing new spawn rates that drastically changes the way Incense works. 

Pokemon Go Season of Alola promotional wallpaper screenshot.Niantic / The Pokemon Company
The Season of Alola made a major change to spawn rates and Pokemon Go fans are not happy.

Pokemon Go Incense spawn rates slashed for Season of Alola

The Seasons of Alola has officially kicked off, but on the eve before its launch, Niantic surprised players by revealing that they were making changes to Incense spawn rates. 

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“We wanted to give you a heads-up on some adjustments that we’re making on March 1, 2022. For the Season of Alola. The stationary Incense bonus will be removed, but a new bonus that increases Incense duration from 60 minutes to 90 minutes will take its place,” the blog post read.

While the increase in time might seem like a positive, Serebii owner Joe Merrick pointed out that stationary players will actually encounter less Pokemon as a result. “So the Pokémon GO Incense has gone back to 1 spawn every 5 minutes unless you’re moving a lot. This pretty much breaks the game for a lot of people again. Why does Niantic continue to make decisions that don’t benefit the actual players?” the site owner tweeted.

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Merrick further broke down the math for players and explained how some could see less Pokemon. “Yes, they increased the time, but do the math. Before: 1 spawn every 90 seconds = 40 spawns per Incense. Now: 1 spawn every 5 minutes = 18 spawns per Incense,” he wrote.

The Go community reacted to the changes in anger on social media. “Did they seriously silently do this after saying they wouldn’t?” a player wrote.

“Such a s**t idea. For rural players like me it just kills Pokemon Go again” and “It’s really upsetting they are changing this. It’s been such a gamer changer” two others tweeted. 

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Pokemon Go players react to Incense Spawn change in Season of Alola screenshot.

Many Go users voiced their concerns about how the Incense change would impact Trainers with disabilities.

“Aaaand uninstalled. As someone who lives with disabilities that affect my ability to travel, the changes made to Go have made it impossible for me to keep up,” a tweet read. 

Pokemon Go players concerned about users with disabilities with Season of Alola spawn rate chance screenshot.

At the time of writing, Niantic has yet to respond to the backlash. Because the change wasn’t explicitly outlined in their blog post, some users are only finding out after seeing the topic trend on social media.

While many are understandably excited about the launch of Season of Alola, the major change to stationary play will no doubt dampen the mood for Trainers who cannot participate.

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