Niantic to implement new social features in Pokémon GO

Pokemon Go Raids
Pokemon Go Raids (Image credit: Niantic)

What you need to know

  • Pokémon GO is a mobile game developed by Niantic, where players can use Augmented Reality to catch Pokémon in real-world locations.
  • Niantic announced that new social features would be coming to the game shortly.
  • The company also announced that Remote Raid Passes would no longer be available in the daily 1 Coin Box, but would be replaced by other items.

Pokémon GO is not only a singleplayer game that tasks you with catching 'em all, but it has tons of multiplayer social features like Gyms to occupy and even Raids, where players collaborate to defeat and catch very powerful Pokémon. There's even the option to invite faraway friends to Raids via Remote Raid Passes, which were especially helpful in the onset of the global pandemic that's still going on today. Players can trade, battle each other, and otherwise simulate what life as a Pokémon trainer would be if they were real.

Niantic announced in a blog post that new social features would be coming to the game "sometime in the next few months." It explains that some of these social features will be available within a separate Naintic app, but gave no details on what that would look like or entail.

Players who complete Raids this month will receive Mega Energy and Rare Candy XLs to help improve their teams, something dedicated players would no doubt be happy about. On a less happy note, Remote Raid Passes will no longer be available in the shop's daily 1 Coin Event Box starting today, meaning that players who couldn't go out to gyms themselves won't be able to raid remotely via their friends for a cheap price. They are still available in the shop, but are significantly more expensive. Instead, the 1 Coin Event Boxes will feature a rotating set of items.

Niantic stresses that it is "excited to get back to playing together in person", but doesn't seem to take into consideration that this is still not safe for immunocompromised, disabled, and players with pre-existing conditions to do. This move to take away easily accessible Remote Raid Passes forces players to either put themselves in a potentially harmful situation or spend more money on passes than they'd like. We'll be sure to keep you up to date with news as it comes in, though it's unlikely that Niantic will walk back this decision.

Nadine Dornieden

Nadine is a freelance writer for iMore with a specialty in all things Nintendo, often working on news, guides, reviews, and editorials. She's been a huge Nintendo fan ever since she got to pet her very own Nintendog, and enjoys looking at Nintendo's place in the video game industry. Writing is her passion, but she mostly does it so that she can pay off her ever-growing debt to Tom Nook. Her favorite genres are simulation games, rhythm games, visual novels, and platformers. You can find her at @stopthenadness on Twitter, where she'll more than likely be reposting cute Animal Crossing content.