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Pokemon Go Reinvents Gym Gameplay for Stay-at-Home Players

Written by on | OpenCritic

Pokemon Go has once more altered the way it operates amid the ongoing pandemic. 

The game has, of course, historically been a great way to get players up and moving, but in the age of COVID-19, it's unwise and unsafe to leave the house so frivolously like that, so Pokemon Go has needed to drastically alter how it plays, not just to keep its player base active, but to keep them safe.

The latest reinvention comes in the form of new ways to earn coins in the game. Historically, this has required players to go and defend gyms, designated landmarks around their neighborhood, and more broadly, the world for the travel-heavy players. But beginning in a limited trial phase in Australia and soon to be rolled out worldwide is a new system that will grant players coins for completing activities other than going to gyms to play defense. 

Activities at home will soon grant players 5 coins for each session, while defending gyms is actually getting nerfed to just 2 coin per session, down from 6, seemingly in an effort to further dissuade players from strolling about town for virtual monsters.

Previously, Pokemon Go also shifted its Raid Pass system to work remotely, so players could embark on raids with other players without needing to gather in close proximity with one another. The game even saw the return of some Legendary creatures such as Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Virizion, with shiny variants dropping on occassion too. Collectively, it feels like the game once designed to encourage get up and moving is successfully, but drastically, reshaping what it offers its still massive pool of players, now four years on from its dramatic launch.

In case you missed it before, the ability to unlock Throwback Challenge Timed Research lines will go on through nearly the entire month of May. This week's event ends Friday. The Kanto research event ends this Friday, May 8. Johto will run from May 8 until May 15. Hoenn Starts on May 15, and ends on May 22. Finally, Sinnoh will run from May 22 through May 29. 

During these times, players will run into Pokemon from the respective region more often in the wild. Eggs will contain that region's Pokemon. Trainers will also have the chance to catch a shiny version of a Pokemon from that respective region. 

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