Can You Request a New Gym or Pokestop in ‘Pokemon GO’?

This picture taken on July 26, 2016, shows the 'Pokemon Go' app on the screen of a smartphone, in Paris, on July 26, 2016. The virtual hunt game "Pokemon Go" is officially available in France since July 24, 2016. / AFP / Thomas SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

How can you request a new gym location on Pokemon GO? (Getty)

How can you request a gym or Pokestop be added to a specific business or location in your region? Many Pokemon GO players and business owners are asking this question, especially after a large number of Pokestops have been removed following Niantic’s most recent update.

Here’s what you need to know.


Pokemon GO Isn’t Accepting Gym & Pokestop Submissions

For just a day or so a couple weeks ago, Pokemon GO allowed users to submit requests for new gyms and Pokestop locations. Gamestop reported that at one point in time, you could visit the support page to file a request for a new location, including a picture of the area. You used to be able to visit the official support page and choose an option called: “How do I create a new PokeStop or Gym?” You had to include an image, the exact name of the Pokestop, the type of location, and the address. Niantic did not explain what criteria they would use to pick a new location.

Sadly, this was taken down. Now all that remains is this screen:

niantic

(Niantic/PokemonGo)

It’s likely Niantic no longer has the submission process open because when it allowed portal submissions for its Ingress game, the company was flooded with submissions and the process was abused, resulting in a huge backlog. If Pokemon GO revives this option, you can look to Ingress to guess how it will choose which gym requests to OK. The Ingress map and portals were used to create the original base map for Pokemon GO‘s gyms and Pokestops.

For Ingress, you had to submit a form requesting that a location be turned into a portal, just like Niantic briefly did for Pokemon GO. Ingress stopped accepting submissions in September 2015. To become a new portal, the location had to meet one of these requirements:

  • The location has a cool story or it’s a place of educational or historical value.
  • It has unique architecture or art.
  • It’s a popular local spot where “locals” gather, but isn’t as well-known outside the community
  • It’s a tourist spot showcasing local culture or it’s an off-the-path tourist attraction
  • It’s an adventurous tourist attraction, such as an observatory, lookout tower, or a sign on a mountain peak.
  • The location connects people to one another, such as a libraries or places of worship

Some Players Are Submitting Help Requests as a Workaround

Owners of locations where Pokestops were removed are resorting to submitting a complaint to Pokemon GO, either by tweeting to Niantic Labs on Twitter or filling out a complaint form on Niantic’s support page here. Others are using this same form, or an in-game submission form, to request new Pokestops.

It’s unknown yet if any Pokemon gyms or Pokestops have been added from these submission forms. But it’s definitely worth a try if your Pokestop was removed or if there aren’t any stops in your area.The Pokemon Go subreddit has mentioned in the past that a user claimed he filed a report using ingame support and had a few Pokestops and gyms added to his small town. Another Redditor reported he did the same and got an email back saying they would respond once they decided what to do. None of these reports have been confirmed, however.

Another Redditor has suggested using Ingress to locate unclaimed portals and update the information. Because Ingress portals were used as a base for originally creating Pokemon GO gyms and Pokestops, this Redditor hopes they might still be used to update new locations. It’s a slim chance, but you can always try updating portals on Ingress and adding images to see if it works.


Niantic Will Add Sponsored Locations to Pokemon GO

Niantic had sponsored locations in Ingress, and it’s already announced plans to have sponsored locations in Pokemon GO too. Chief Executive John Hanke said, “There is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations.”

With Ingress, companies could pay to turn their locations into portals to attract more people. Circle K, Duane Reade pharmacies, Zipcar, and Jamba Juice were among the companies that opted to have sponsored portals. In Germany, every Vodafone store became an Ingress portal. If sponsors didn’t want to turn their location into a portal, they could also sponsor in-game equipment instead. It’s possible that Pokemon GO‘s sponsored system will work similarly.

To learn more about Pokemon GO, please see:

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