New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…

Original story (published on August 3, 2021) follows:

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2019, Pokemon GO was one of the most popular mobile AR games. The thrill of finding and catching a wild Pokémon out in the world is something we all miss.

What makes the game stand out from the rest of the competition are its social features, which require people to group up with friends in real life to battle and raid.

Taking a closer look at the company behind Pokemon GO, we can easily see that all of Niantic’s games revolve around the idea of exploration and exercise.


After the pandemic completely changed how we interact with the world around us, Niantic introduced some COVID safety measures that made it easier for players to play the game.

The company significantly increased the distance between each Pokestop and Gym interaction distance, so players could enjoy the game while maintaining social distancing norms.

Niantic even went on to say that the changes would be permanent. But, with the June 21 update, the developers announced that they would revert the changes in the coming months.

They also said that the game would focus on setting a balance between remote and in-game play in the near future that will set the way for the return of EX raids.

Previously, PokéStop and Gym interaction distances were increased, to enable people to engage from further away. After this change the distance will revert back to the standard distance, when it makes sense in different places, though may be increased during future events and as part of certain features.

Remote Raids have become an important part of the game this past year and we’re going to continue evolving them. Our intention is to find the right balance between remote play and in-person play, so stay tuned for more details in the coming months. Many of these in-person raid changes will be to prepare for the eventual return of EX Raids.

It looks like the announcement made many people angry, who said that Niantic is irresponsible and that they do not care about the well-being of their player base.

Here is what some players have to say on the upcoming changes:


The removal of double distance is nothing short of a slap in the face towards the #PokemonGO Community. I’ll realistic and say I that I’ll quit GO if changes aren’t being made ASAP. I REFUSE to cover a game that doesn’t have it’s player base in its best interest.(Source)

My opinion on the Pokéstop radius hasn’t changed. It was a clear quality of life change that was only fully realised because of a (ongoing) pandemic. It has provided accessibility to disabled players, safety to all players, and NEVER affected our enjoyment of exploration.

Pokemon Go players have already filed a petition on demanding that the company adheres to the COVID safety measures it promised.

At the time of writing, the petition has almost 141K signs, making it one of the biggest petitions on the website.

We hope Niantic listens to its player base and reverts the changes it made concerning COVID safety norms.


Do you think Niantic should roll back the changes and keep on enforcing COVID safety measures for Pokemon Go players? Make sure to drop your opinion in the poll or speak out your mind in the comment section below.

Update (August 11)

12:25 pm (IST): The poll results are out now and all of you agree that Pokemon Go should retain these containment measures.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Gaming Section so be sure to follow them as well.

Featured image source: Niantic

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Anurag Chawake
1373 Posts

My fascination with technology and computers goes back to the days of Windows XP. Since then, I have been tinkering with OS, mobile phones, and other things. When I am not working on anything, you will find me enjoying video games on some Discord server.

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