Niantic removes select Field Research from Pokémon Go due to COVID-19

The developer hopes to make the game more accessible for those stuck at home.

Pokemon GO Incense

As more places issue stay at home orders, Niantic has removed select Field Research tasks from Pokémon Go.

While video games and Netflix are seeing more users, some games are not compatible with the changing societal necessities. Recognizing the dangers of social activity, Niantic removed some Field Research tasks from Pokémon Go to make the game easier to play at home.

Pokémon Go was designed to get players outside, give them some exercise, and encourage social contact and cooperation. It’s a noble goal in the typically sedentary video game world. With COVID-19 surging through the global population, though, that goal is unsafe. In recognition of the events, Niantic announced on Twitter that it is removing “select Field Research tasks” that could be difficult to complete while in isolation. If players already completed them, they can still collect the rewards.

Previously, Niantic took other measures to make the game more accessible in social isolation: Incense, an item that causes wild Pokémon to spawn around the player, costs one coin in the shop, letting players catch Pokémon from home. Events were canceled to reduce social contact in busy areas. So far, Poké Stops haven’t been affected, and players still need to find a way to visit them to earn the rewards.

Niantic did not specify which Field Research tasks were removed. Details may emerge in the game or in future updates.