Pokemon Go incense not working issue explained; seasonal guaranteed gift or rival trainers on PokeStops missing too

Pokemon Go, the game based on augmented reality (AR) from Niantic, is experiencing issues with some items and PokeStops.

First, many Pokemon Go players aren’t getting the seasonal guaranteed gift or rival trainers to face at PokeStops. Also, the incense is not working properly since the new season started, but this has an explanation.

Pokemon Go seasonal guaranteed gift or rival trainers missing on PokeStops

A PokeStop is a point of interest that is usually located in places that stand out in the real world (such as historical buildings, museums, well-known businesses, and others).

PokeStops fulfill various functions in the game. One of the best known functions is to obtain items and receive tasks during events. There is currently a daily seasonal guaranteed gift from spinning at PokeStops.


Seasonal guaranteed gift issue

That said, many players are not receiving the gift according to multiple reports (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).


@NianticHelp still looking for resolution on this one. I was not able to complete the collection challenge that had Celebi because I wasn’t able to get any gifts yesterday from spinning stops to actually catch Celebi. Will there be a make up event for this bug/oversight?

This issue is especially problematic for those who need to receive the gifts to complete an event or goal.

Rival trainers issue

There is another issue with Pokemon Go where players are not getting opposing trainers to face on PokeStops. For those who don’t know, beating trainers is a requirement to complete the Johto Battle Challenge.


Pokemon Gym Trainers

What are these gym trainers I’m seeing in my Johto timed research? I need to beat a flying type gym trainer. I googled it and it said they’re at poke-stops, but I went to spin the Poke-stop nearby me and my bag is full so nothing happens.

This issue is frustrating many as they are unable to complete the Johto Battle Challenge (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11). Some players even spent real money to meet the requirements faster, but they are facing the glitch too.

@NianticHelp I paid £10 for the event and couldn’t get past the second stage of one of the research because despite walking for hours and spinning many many many stops, I couldn’t find any trainers to battle? This is a joke.

Pokemon Go incense not working, Pokemon not spawning or taking too long

‘Incense’ is a Pokemon Go item that allows you to temporarily attract more Pokemon near you. This way you can ‘farm’ common Pokemon or catch special ones during events or in certain locations.

However, lately the item hasn’t been working properly as it takes a long time to take effect or doesn’t attract as many Pokemon as before, according to multiple reports (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).


Incense not working properly

Anyone else having trouble with pokemon spawning from incense while not moving. 2 spawned at the beginnen, since then already 7 minutes nothing spawned.

It is an expected behavior, this is the explanation

It seems that this is actually a new intentional behavior. For those who don’t know, the incense effect was boosted a few years ago. This caused Pokemon to spawn eleven per minute.

The boost was especially useful when the COVID-19 pandemic started, as players could lure more Pokemon directly to them, without the need to go outside.

Now, it seems that Niantic decided to nerf the incense and give it back the effect it had in the pre-covid era. That is, now a Pokemon will spawn at a time every 5 minutes if you stay in that place.


So, Pokemon Go players should know that this is not a glitch, but an expected behavior since the most recent Pokemon Go season started.

There is no official acknowledgment from Niantic about the PokeStops issue. It is also unknown if they will consider returning the effect of the incense to how it was until recently.

We will update this story as events unfold in the future.

NOTE: You can also check the Pokemon Go and Battle League bugs/issues tracker.

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC