Niantic will make Pokémon GO more stay-at-home friendly with remote raids

Pokémon GO was built to be played outside, with friends, as you wandered around and explored interesting landmarks around you — or, you know, the exact opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing right now.

Niantic has been working on transitioning the game into something that can still be played from your couch (Pokémon StayTheHellAtHome, if you will), and today it detailed one of the bigger upcoming changes: remote raids.

Raids, first introduced in 2017, allow players to band together to take down massive, super-strong and often quite rare Pokémon. If the group wins, everyone gets the chance to catch the Pokémon.

Up until this point, raiding meant going to a specific location at a specific time to meet with up to 19 other players. That idea… doesn’t really work anymore. Thus, remote raids!

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Once the change goes live in the coming days, you’ll be able to join any raid you can see on your “nearby” screen. You won’t actually have to go to the location, just be close enough for the game to show it to you (a few blocks away, generally.)
  • For achievements/tasks/etc., remote raids will count the same as standard raids.
  • Taking part in a remote raid will require a remote raid pass which, of course, will be a premium item. They’ll cost 100 Pokécoins each when bought individually, or about a dollar.
  • At first, remote raiders will be just as strong as those actually on-site. It sounds like as the need for remote raids goes away (that is, presumably, once shelter-in-place orders are eventually relaxed), remote raiders will still be welcome but won’t do as much damage as those on location.
  • Eventually, Niantic says they’ll allow you to invite friends to raids regardless of where they are. Need an assist from a friend who is miles away? Hop into the raid, then invite them.

Read a deep dive of Niantic on Extra Crunch

Niantic also mentioned that they’ll be giving each player one daily stay-at-home-centric “Field Research” task, and that Buddy Pokémon will now bring you item-packed gift boxes to send to friends rather than requiring you to visit Pokéstops. Items, meanwhile, will now be stackable in their duration. Know you want incense drawing Pokémon to your location for the next two hours but don’t want to have to remember to fire one off every 30 minutes? Trigger four at once, and they’ll stack.

Niantic hasn’t given a specific time frame for when remote raids will roll out, saying only that they’re “coming soon.”