Niantic has finally detailed its plans to make Pokémon Go easier to play during the current pandemic, following last month's announcement that changes were coming. In short, we're getting new Remote Raid Passes that let us join nearby raids without actually having to go there in person. But Niantic isn't doing this out of the goodness of its own heart, each pass after the first will cost you 100 PokéCoins — or up to a dollar.

Remote Raid Passes will be blue (top right). Image via Eurogamer

New kind of raid pass called the Remote Raid Pass that will let you join any raid visible from your map screen or "Nearby Raid" view in the game. But, those using Remote Passes will also be subject to further limitations beyond your usual raid. For one, they won't be able to fully fill the 20-person raid lobby. Only a certain (unknown) number of people in the lobby can be using Remote Raid Passes. And although they'll do full damage to start, eventually Remote Raid Pass players will be re-balanced to deal reduced damage in the fight.

As you'd probably expect, Niantic isn't giving us this new feature for free or as a favor. Outside your first Remote Raid Pass, which will cost just 1 PokéCoin as part of a promotional bundle, every additional one will run 100 PokéCoins. The press release says that's a "special discounted price," so it will probably go up eventually. That's a real-world cost of between $0.69 and $1, depending on what quantity you buy your PokéCoins in.

Other changes in a future update are also planned. If you cant visit PokéStops for Gifts, now your buddy Pokémon will be able to zip out and pick some up for you. There will also be a daily bonus Field Research task you can get once per day (at midnight) without needing to visit a PokéStop. It will get its own new bonus slot on top of your existing three, and it won't require going out and about in the coronavirus-infested world to complete it. Faster power-up leveling and series item activation (i.e., setting several Incense or Lucky Eggs to go off in a row) are also coming, plus some interface improvements around health bars and super effective move labels in-battle. To help you spend even more money, the shop icon will also start showing notifications when there are new boxes/items available.

Press Release

New ways to raid, power up your Pokémon, receive Gifts from your buddy, and more

Niantic is excited to announce upcoming changes to Pokémon GO. In our continued efforts to prioritize Pokémon GO experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings wherever you are, Trainers will soon be able to enjoy the following.

  • Access to nearby Raid Battles from wherever you are with a Remote Raid Pass.
  • A bonus Field Research task that you’ll receive daily without having to spin a PokéStop.
  • As you run low on Gifts, your buddy will venture to nearby PokéStops on your behalf to bring some to you.
  • The ability to power up your Pokémon to the desired CP by feeding them Candy and using Stardust just once.
  • Stacking the number of Star Pieces, Lucky Eggs, and Incense you’d like to use in an extended play session and past the regular 30 minute limit.
  • Other updates including improved battle screen design and performance.

Access Raid Battles that are nearby

With the Remote Raid Pass, an upcoming new item, Trainers will be able to join Raid Battles as soon as they begin, as long as the raid is on the Nearby Raid view or tappable on the Map View. Only one Remote Raid Pass will be required to join the raid and you’ll only be able to hold a limited amount of Remote Raid Passes at a time. Be quick—while 20 Trainers can still join the same Raid Battle, only a limited number of Trainers can join with a Remote Raid Pass. Raid Battles that you complete with a Remote Raid Pass will still count towards any raid-related research and achievement medals.

At launch, Trainers battling remotely will enjoy the same attack power as Trainers who are able to battle at the Gym in person. This increase in attack power for Trainers battling remotely is temporary and will be reduced at a later time, after which a Trainer with their Pokémon battling in a Raid at a Gym in person will have higher attack power than a Trainer battling remotely.

We will be adjusting this feature over time, including the ability to invite friends to raids regardless of their location along with the mentioned adjustment to Trainer attack power from remote locations and the number of Trainers who can join remotely. We will announce all changes and improvements via official channels, so please stay tuned for further announcements and updates to this feature.

Want to give this new feature a try? Keep a look out for a 1 PokéCoin bundle that will feature Remote Raid Passes, coming soon to the shop! At launch, the Remote Raid Pass will also be available to buy individually at the special discounted price of 100 PokéCoins.

Receive 1 daily bonus Field Research task

At midnight every night, if you have an open Field Research slot, you’ll receive a bonus task without having to spin a PokéStop! These tasks will be different from Field Research tasks rewarded from PokéStops and focus on activities that you can complete from wherever you are. If you don’t have an open Field Research slot, then a fourth slot will open up to accommodate the bonus task for you. However, if all four Field Research slots are filled, you will not receive the bonus task.

Buddies will bring you Gifts to send if you start to run low

Gifts are an important way to stay in touch with friends and share items. Your buddy wants to help you wherever it can so it will soon be able to bring Gifts to you! As you run low on Gifts, your buddy will start going to nearby PokéStops to get you more for you on your behalf. You’ll see a notification above your buddy’s portrait when they’ve returned, gifts in hand (or paw). A buddy of any level will be able to do this for you!

Power up your Pokémon faster

Currently, powering up your Pokémon can take quite some time. With this new update, you’ll be able give your Pokémon all of the Candy and Stardust needed to power it up to your desired CP level at once. Now, you can focus more of your time towards honing your battle skills in GO Battle League!

Activate multiple Star Pieces, Lucky Eggs, and Incense at a time

Trainers who enjoy playing Pokémon GO for extended amounts of time and optimizing on active bonuses will soon be able to rest easy. While Star Pieces, Lucky Eggs, and Incense have a normal limited 30 minute duration each, this update will allow you to stack the activation of multiple items at once. You’ll be able to activate 200 of each item at once but be careful! Once an item is activated, it will disappear from your inventory and can no longer be returned. Use them wisely!

Other updates

Here are some other updates to Pokémon GO that Trainers will be able to experience soon.

  • Battle UX has been polished. The way health bars appear has been updated and will now be consistent across battle systems. Pokémon types will also now appear on the battle screen, along with text that tells you whether a move is “super effective” or “not very effective”.
  • The Shop icon in the Poké Ball menu will soon show a notification if there are updated boxes or new items in the shop.

Thank you, Trainers

As we work to continue improving your gameplay experience, we wanted to express our gratitude for your continued support and feedback. Our team is working hard to address your concerns and create new and exciting gameplay that can be enjoyed both from home and also when we are able to go out and explore again together. We can’t wait to get out and GO!

Please be aware of your surroundings when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help centre article