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Pokémon Go: Pandemic bonuses are being scrapped - but not all of them

The world turned upside down when a global pandemic broke out in the spring of 2020, and Pokémon Go players were no exception. To accommodate fans of Niantic's pocket monster app, the developers made some sweeping adjustments to the game to allow as many players as possible to continue hunting for the Mon.

Now, over a year later, the folks at Niantic are looking to roll back some of the pandemic bonuses, but instead bring some new ones to the game as part of the Season of Discovery - and some customizations will stay with you permanently. Below is the rundown! Note: Changes will be made gradually on a regional basis and in consideration of the current pandemic situation, starting with the US and New Zealand. It is not yet known when the range of PokéStops will be reduced again.

New Discoverer Bonuses

Beginning July 1, 2021, the following bonuses will be activated in Pokémon Go first in the U.S. and New Zealand (with other regions gradually following) and through September 1, 2021, the end of the Season of Discovery:

  • You can get two free Raid Passes per day from shooting a PokéStop
  • Smoke is much more effective when you move around
  • You are guaranteed to receive a gift from a PokéStop if you have not yet reached your inventory limit of gifts
  • Turning the first PokéStop of the day will give you ten times the amount of XP

The folks at Niantic reserve the right to keep some of said bonuses active beyond the duration of the Season of Discovery.

Pandemic bonuses that are removed or changed

The aforementioned adjustments won't be made until after Pokémon Go Fest in July 2021, which is at the end of July, and these changes will also be made regionally on a gradual basis.

  • The effectiveness of smoke when you're not moving is restored to its default level
  • The frequency at which buddies bring you gifts from a PokéStop will be reduced again
  • The interaction distance of PokéStops and arenas will be restored to the original range; around 40 meters for PokéStops

Pandemic bonuses that remain

The following bonuses will stay with you for now:

  • Smoke will remain active for 60 minutes
  • You will not have to walk a distance to fight in the Battle League
  • You can still challenge other trainers to battle via QR code, and battle invites can still be sent from Good Friends onwards
  • The maximum number of gifts you can keep in your inventory remains at 20
  • The maximum number of gifts you can open per day is 30
  • You will still receive triple the stardust and XP for the first catch of the day
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Editorial Director
When Susanne isn't reporting on online and role-playing games - which she's been doing at Computec Media since 2009 - she's listening to music, writing stories, watching series and movies. And plays! Is something missing in the article? to the home page The links marked with * are affiliate links. Affiliate links are not ads, as we are independent in our research and selection of featured products. For product sales we receive a small commission, with which we partially finance the free content of the website. 0