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Pokemon • Oct 01, 2019

Niantic react to Pokemon Go's changed spawn points

Niantic react to Pokemon Go's changed spawn points

Pokemon Go trainers are reporting that spawn points in the game have changed as of September 25 and now, Niantic have confirmed as much.

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Experienced trainers will have learnt where Pokemon spawn in their local area and often plan their Pokemon Go playing time around them. However, some players are going to have to rethink their routes as there are widespread reports of a complete spawn point shake up.

Those widespread reports have now been confirmed with Niantic acknowledging the changes in a tweet on their NianticHelp account. "We're always looking for new ways to optimize the Pokemon GO experience for Trainers. To this end, we've recently updated where Pokemon can be encountered. We strive to improve with every change and thank you for your feedback. Stay tuned for more details."

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While Niantic were rather vague on the details, opting not to say anything more that encounter points have changed, Pokemon Go Hub have been able to confirm the following:

  • Spawns have changed globally. We haven’t seen any confirmed reports that a specific area was skipped or ignored. It’s a sweeping change throughout the whole system.
  • Spawn points were added to places with higher in-game and cellular activity than previously recorded, especially in parks and non-residential areas (many reports)
  • Spawns were removed or reduced from areas where Pokémon were overpopulated in respect to the player count (multiple reports)
  • Some spawn clusters were reduced, while others were doubled. We are not sure why this happened, but most new cluster spawns come in the shape of 4 (or multiples of 4) Pokémon
  • It seems like S2 cell activity (a mathematical mechanism that helps computers translate Earth’s spherical 3D shape into 2D geometry) is still very much influential to the process of creating spawn points, but it’s hard to estimate how exactly that activity is calculated.
  • We’ve observed a peculiar phenomena where new PokéStops “draw” spawns from neighboring residential areas closer to the PokéStop location. It’s far too early to confirm it, but we’ve heard anecdotal reports from other players as well
  • Correlating spawns with Ingress Prime XM still works and proves to be the only “exact” visualization of potential spawn zones.
@SparkieJoy/@RizingPhoenix38
Rural players are loving Pokemon Go's new spawns...

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These changes have produced mixed results for trainers. It seems rural players have had the better of it while urban players, who are used to large pockets of spawns in specific locations, have been left a little disappointed.

Rural players are used to having to travel miles out of their way to be able to play Pokemon Go and this issue was even raised on our "Top 5 ways Niantic can improve Pokemon Go" article.

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One Pokemon Go player was particuarly thrilled and even shared a Reddit post about it: "Ok, so it doesn't mean anything to anyone but me, but after over two YEARS!! I finally got wild spawns at my house in BFE within the last hour. I probably missed some big news about an event or something, but it was a nice surprise when insomnia is keeping me awake. I went to clean out my pokemon storage and do a bit of organizing, and imagine my surprise when three moms were waiting for me!"

Unsurprisingly though, this was met with negativity from urban players. "New spawn system is unacceptable and must be reworked. They should not be removing large amounts of spawn points," j1mb0 said in another Reddit post.

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Niantic have the unenviable task of pleasing a massive fan-base in their Pokemon Go players, and while this is an almost impossible task, they appear to have taken a big step in at least appeasing their rural community.

If you were to read feedback online regarding the changes, you'd think the spawns are a lot worse now. They may well be but it will always appear worse than it is as players are more likely to go to a forum or social media to post criticism than applaud the changes. It will be interesting to see if Niantic do revert the changes or make some additional new ones.

Page last updated 09:42 EDT, October 1, 2019

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