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How to play Pokemon Go from home

How to play Pokemon Go without moving: Catch 'em all from home
(Image credit: Future)

Pokémon Go has received a number of updates that make catching 'em all during more compatible with being at home.

Anyone who plays Pokémon Go knows the game is best enjoyed outdoors. Getting to catch Pokémon, visit Pokéstops and dominate gyms in the real world helped Pokémon Go be as popular as it is today. But it might be worth knowing how to play Pokémon Go from home.

Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go (and other mobile AR games like Harry Potter Wizards Unite) took a number of measures to make it possible for players to enjoy the game when they're not walking around all the time.

Here's a deeper look at the game's stay-at-home updates and tips on how to play Pokémon Go from home. Be sure to check out our Pokémon Go Guide for more tips on how to be the very best.

How to play Pokémon Go from home

Niantic doesn't want its players taking unsafe measures to catch Pokémon while several parts of the globe are on quarantine orders. It made these changes to Pokémon Go:

  • A one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for 1 PokéCoin. Incense will also last for one hour.
  • 1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators during this time period
  • PokéStops will now drop Gifts more frequently
  • Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild

Niantic also offered two more changes to Go Battle League game play: 

  • "We are removing the walking and PokéCoin requirements to unlock sets of battles in the GO Battle League."
  • "For Trainer Battles with friends, we’ve lowered the Friendship level requirement so you can send battle invites to Trainers who are your Good Friends or Great Friends."

Each of these alternations makes playing Pokémon Go from home more plausible. It may sound like Pokemon Go is simply getting easier, but it offsets players being outside less.

Tips for playing Pokémon Go at home

There are a couple of ways you can still enjoy Pokémon Go while you're stuck at home. 

If your quarantine orders allow for outdoor exercise, see if there are gyms or Pokéstops within walking distance of your home. As long as you can get there safely and within the limits of your area's social distancing guidelines, walking to Pokémon Go landmarks is a good way to get some exercise and keep up with gameplay.

Keep Pokémon Go running as you go about your daily routine. You'll walk enough around your home to hatch eggs, and should even encounter some wild Pokémon thanks to Niantic's update. You can also use incense to lure Pokémon to you.

Now would be the perfect time to get in on Pokémon Go's online communities and local groups, too. You can add new players as friends, which lets you battle them and share supplies like Pokéballs and eggs. 

And if you've decided to take a break from Pokémon Go until the lockdown is over, you could always pick up Pokemon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch or check out the best mobile RPGs for your smartphone. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.