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Niantic has confirmed controversial changes to how remote raids function in Pokémon Go. We previously reported that data miners had found code in an update for the mobile game allowing a limitation of how many remote raids a player could participate in daily.

This change, alongside a few other measures, has now been officially announced – and the game's players are furious.

What are these changes? At the moment, a Remote Raid Pass costs 100 Coins and a pack of three Remote Raid Passes costs 300 Coins. You can also do as many raid battles as you want remotely.

Once the changes go live on April 6, 2023, however, one Remote Raid Pass costs 195 Coins and a three-pack costs 525 Coins, almost doubling the price for the items. Keep in mind that users are only allowed to earn a maximum of 50 Coins per day.

Players will also be limited to fighting in five raid battles per day remotely with the stipulation that this “maximum may change and increase for special events.” Note that Niantic writes “change and increase” – ambiguous wording to keep the door open to reduce this limit further.

Why does Niantic introduce these unpopular changes? Here’s the company’s official reasoning:

“Since their introduction in 2020, Remote Raid Passes have come to dominate the experience of playing Pokémon GO in a way we never intended. Rewarding Trainers with additional Candy XL and adding other new features are two of the ways we hope to further incentivize playing Pokémon GO in person with your friends, family, and community.

We plan to keep Remote Raid Passes as part of Pokémon GO. However, we believe this change is necessary for the long-term health of the game, and we do not make it lightly. We feel this is a necessary step toward our goal of preserving and improving the unique experience of playing Pokémon GO—a game we hope you continue to enjoy long into the future.”

Why are players upset about this? There are a variety of reasons for this, but it mainly has to do with the actual user experience for most players being nowhere near Niantic’s dreamland, where it’s still 2016.

While Niantic seems to think remote raids are a force of evil keeping players bound to their sofa at home and their limitation will liberate users to go to in-person raids again, this is far from what’s going on in reality. Players in rural areas and even cities heavily rely on remote raiders to be able to even fill up their raid parties to complete these battles. Apps like Poke Genie are the bread and butter of many Pokémon Go communities, allowing small amounts of users to go to Gyms and then call in help from remote raiders to complete the battle – many rural players have no other choice but to play this way, because there simply are not enough other users around.

Limiting the amount of remote raids per day and making them less accessible will reduce the amount of active community members available to do raids. Niantic’s changes won’t magically fix the fact that people have work schedules keeping them from going to raids in person or that users simply live at locations where no Gyms are.

These changes don’t just screw over remote raiders, but also many in-person raiders hosting these battles for others. Niantic claims that “this change is necessary for the long-term health of the game” – practically, though, this is a fantastic way to give a deathblow to many of the small communities around the world, which survive on remote raids. While the “goal of preserving and improving the unique experience of playing Pokémon GO” may be a noble one from Niantic’s perspective, the company seems to struggle with the fact that this experience has been gone for years now. It’s not 2016 anymore and the clock can’t be reverted to pre-Covid times.

Players are calling these changes the “worst in the game’s history” with over 2,500 comments discussing the news on a popular subreddit about Pokémon Go and sharing their views on this update.

Here is the full list of changes announced by Niantic.

Pricing adjustments

  • The price of the Remote Raid Pass three-pack will increase to 525 PokéCoins.
  • The price of single Remote Raid Passes will increase to 195 PokéCoins.
  • A Premium Battle Pass three-pack will be added to the shop for the price of 250 PokéCoins.

Remote Raid participation limits

  • Trainers will be able to participate in a maximum of five Remote Raids per day.
  • This maximum may change and increase for special events.

Remote Raid Passes

  • Remote Raid Passes will be included in the pool of potential rewards for Research Breakthroughs.
  • Remote Raid Passes earned via Research Breakthroughs will still be subject to the existing inventory limit of three Remote Raid Passes per Trainer.
  • If a Trainer earns a Remote Raid Pass from a Research Breakthrough while at the three Remote Raid Pass limit, they will receive a Premium Battle Pass instead.
  • Purchases of Remote Raid Pass 3-Packs will still allow you to hold up to 5 Remote Raid Passes if you purchase it with 2 Remote Passes already in your inventory.

Candy XL

  • Trainers who participate in five-star raids in person will earn more Candy XL than before.