Pokémon Go creator Niantic is doing its part to keep players inside with temporary tweaks to the game that will make it easier to play without leaving home. The developer told Polygon that the team is prioritizing updates for features that make it easier to play in “individual settings” due to the novel coronavirus. “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,” a spokesperson said.
In order to curb rising cases of the novel coronavirus, which is now classified as a pandemic, health officials are asking people to remain at home, or at least six feet away from other people, wherever possible. Pokémon Go, on the other hand, is meant to be a social experience that requires players to go outside to seek out specific locations. Niantic’s updates include increasing habitats and pokéstops that drop gifts at a higher frequency. The developer is also offering incense packs, which ramp up spawns, at a 99 percent discount and increasing the effectiveness of incubators to hatch eggs twice as fast.
Updates are already in effect and will last until further notice. They aren’t guaranteed to keep anyone inside, of course, but perhaps it’ll help players with cabin fever who are trying to keep busy. Seriously, stay home.