After weeks of letters, hashtags, and even boycotts, Niantic has listened to its community and decided to increase back interaction distance for PokéStops and Gyms on Pokémon GO. This change comes amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic in many areas.

It all started when the Pokémon GO maker thought the pandemic was going to end so it wasn’t necessary to reward players with bonuses and the need to walk to interact with PokéStops and Gyms.

In June, Niantic wrote in a blog post that starting in July it would remove three key features from US and New Zealand players: decrease Incense effectiveness, reduce the frequency of gifts given by Buddy Pokémon, and revert back to the standard distance when interacting with a PokéStop and Gym.

The problem was: With the increase of the Delta variant cases rising, most players didn’t feel safe enough to go outside and play Pokémon GO. YouTubers, influencers, and the community overall started a movement asking the developer to hear them with the hashtag #HearUsNiantic.

Finally, last night, the Pokémon GO maker wrote a statement saying it was going to reverse its decision:

Trainers – we’re looking forward to sharing our plans as a result of the task force on September 1, but one thing does not have to wait! From now on, 80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally.

Thank you to everyone who made your voices heard. We’ve heard you and understand that this has been a welcome benefit to many players. We’ll share more next week.

With that, players can go back to the game and enjoy the app at a safer distance. As the Pokémon GO maker wrote, next week there’ll be more announcements for the game.

As for now, it’s happening a Sword and Shield Ultrabonus event where users can find Pokémon originated from the Galar region, the eighth region introduced in the Pokémon main series, and even capture the Legendary monsters Zacian and Zamazenta.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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