Pokémon Go is making a few temporary changes to the game to discourage players from putting themselves in danger during the coronavirus pandemic.
Developer Niantic told Polygon it’s “prioritizing updates to Pokémon GO features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.” There will soon be more habitats so trainers can see more monsters without having to stray too far away from home.
Incense packs, which generate more monster spawns, will also be discounted by 99%, and will last an hour when active. Incubators, which require players to accrue a certain number of steps before hatching an egg, will also work twice as efficiently. PokeStops are also releasing gifts at higher frequency than usual.
Niantic says all of these changes are already live. “While we’ve made these updates based on the current global health situation, we also encourage players to make decisions on where to go and what to do that are in the best interest of their health and the health of their communities,” the developer added.
Back when the game first launched in 2016, there was a string of criminal incidents involving players. Indeed, Pokémon Go was such a sensation, armed robbers used the game to lure in victims.