Pokemon GO players will soon be able to participate in Raid Battles from home with the Remote Raid Pass, stopping the spread of COVID-19 while still having fun playing in Raids together.
Update: It looks like everyone can purchase Remote Raid Passes from the in-game shop after initially being only available to level 40 players.
Players can use the Remote Raid Pass to access any Raid Battle they can see from the Nearby feature, according to an email sent by the Pokemon GO team. Basically, if you can see a Gym with an active Raid Battle from the overworld and tap it to zoom into it, you can participate in it regardless of your distance from it.
Players will be limited in the amount of Remote Raid Passes they can carry in their inventory, but only one pass is required to join each Raid. While up to 20 players can join a Raid, only a certain amount of Trainers using a Remote Raid Pass can join the Raid. When the feature launches players will have the same attack power whether they use a Remote Raid Pass or a regular Raid Pass, but in the future players using a regular Raid Pass to join a Raid right where it takes place will be stronger than players who join the same Raid via a Remote Raid Pass.
Niantic will make changes to the feature as players use it, including updates to the number of players who can join remotely, the ability to invite friends regardless of location and the limit to attack power for players who battle remotely. Niantic will announce any changes on official channels.
Players will still make progress toward Research Tasks and achievements that have Raid-related tasks if they use a Remote Raid Pass to join a Raid.
The Remote Raid Pass will be available in a limited one PokeCoin bundle or a special discounted price of 100 PokeCoins from the in-game shop once they launch. They have not mentioned how much the price for passes will go up in the future.
In addition to Remote Raid Passes, Niantic announced other features to help players playing the game from home. Players will soon receive a bonus Field Research Task once a day without having to spin a PokeStop, allowing them to complete a Research Task a day for seven days so they can earn a Research Breakthrough reward. The tasks will appear every midnight and will focus on things you can do from home. If you already have Research Tasks filling up all three slots in your list, then the daily Research Task will appear in a fourth slot. If all four slots are filled, however, you won’t receive a new one.
Buddy Pokemon will soon be able to walk to nearby PokeStops and bring back Gifts to send to friends if you’re low on them. You’ll know your Buddy Pokemon got a gift when a notification appears over its portrait on the main screen. Buddy Pokemon of any Buddy Level will bring back Gifts.
Niantic will soon introduce other quality of life features for general use – not just for making it easier to play the game from home. Players will also soon be able to raise a Pokemon’s CP to a certain amount by using all the required Candies and Stardust at once as opposed to raising it little by little by pressing a button over and over. They’ll also be able to use a Star Piece, Lucky Egg or Incense consecutively and while an item is active to extend the effect beyond 30 minutes, meaning you’ll no longer have to wait for the item to expire before you can activate another.
They also teased an improved battle screen design where HP bars will consistent across battle systems. Also, the shop icon in the main menu will soon show a notification indicating there’s new items or updated boxes in the shop.
“As we work to continue improving your gameplay experience, we wanted to express our gratitude for your continued support,” the Pokemon GO team said. “Our team is working hard to address your feedback, as well as create new and exciting gameplay that can be enjoyed both from home and when we’re able to go out and explore together again.”
Be sure to practice social distancing!