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Niantic is planning quarantine-friendly adaptations for its mobile AR games

Niantic aims to help fans cope with the pandemic. (Source: Niantic)
Niantic aims to help fans cope with the pandemic. (Source: Niantic)
Fans of games like Pokemon GO or Ingress may find it harder to pursue this kind of augmented-reality (AR) gaming while self-isolating against the risk of Covid-19. However, their maker Niantic has announced that it will shortly introduce new updates that make them more compatible with playing while stuck at home.

Smartphone games that use AR can be a useful way to keep active and distracted, 2 things many people affected by Covid-19 lockdown or quarantine measures may be after these days. However, these apps also typically incentivize high-volume or long-range travel on foot, something the same individuals may be restricted from these days.

Niantic has addressed this by releasing a new road-map of feature updates to its games that take the need to self-isolate into account. For example, in Pokémon GO, the normal minimum requirement to walk 3 kilometers in order to unlock GO Battle League has been rescinded. In addition, steps taken around the house as normal (or using home fitness tech) will soon count towards more achievements.

The company is also looking into a way of allowing Raid Battles to be conducted from homes. Furthermore, the normal Portal count needed to advance during a session of Ingress is to be reduced. In addition, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will update to bring more content (e.g. potion ingredients) nearer to the user.

Finally, these AR games should also continue to be fun for players in need of some outdoors time - in conjunction with local health authority advice and adequate social distancing, of course.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Niantic is planning quarantine-friendly adaptations for its mobile AR games
Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-03-31 (Update: 2020-03-31)