Covid-19 Event & Feature Updates – Pokémon GO Guide

Last Updated: September 1, 2021

This article will be updated periodically with information related to the status of various in-game events and feature changes currently live in Pokémon GO.

For a list of features that allow you to play Pokémon GO where you are, check out this site.

Currently Active Changes to Items, Features, and Bonuses 

Starting September 1, all bonuses will be set globally and will be connected to the current Season in Pokémon GO. These bonuses may change at the beginning of each new Season, however some bonuses may roll over from Season-to-Season.

To see a summary of which bonuses are currently available to you, check out your Today View.

The following changes are currently available as part of the Season of Mischief:

PokéStops and Gyms

  • Receive 3x bonus XP from spinning a PokéStop or Gym for the first time
  • Lures installed at PokéStops will last twice as long, 1 hour increased from 30 minutes.
  • Boosted damage for Trainers battling remotely in Raids, matching Trainers battling in-person.
  • Up to 10 total Trainers can join a Raid remotely in a single lobby, up from 5.

EX Raids

  • Trainers won’t receive invites to new EX Raids.

Field Research and Special Research

  • Trainers will receive bonus Field Research tasks automatically.


  • Spinning PokéStops and Gyms are guaranteed to drop Gifts. 
  • Gifts will contain more PokéBalls than usual.
  • Your Buddy Pokémon will bring you Gifts each day, up to five Gifts at once and up to twice each day.


  • Incense effectiveness is increased, while stationary and especially while moving, attracting Pokémon to you more often.

Increased Pokémon Encounters

  • Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild.

Changes to Items, Features, and Bonuses that are now part of standard gameplay

  • Increased distance from which you can interact with Gyms and PokéStops.
  • The number of Gifts you can carry in your inventory increased to 20.
  • Open up to 30 Gifts per day, up from the previous 20.
  • Incense will last for 1 hour, rather than the previous 30 minute duration.
  • 3× Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.
  • No walking requirement for GO Battle League.
  • Challenge any Trainer to battle remotely with a QR Code.
  • Trainers can battle remotely with Good Friends (1 heart). Previously, this was only possible with Ultra Friends (3 hearts) and Best Friends (4 hearts).


September 1, 2021

  • Updated currently active changes to reflect updates from the Season of Mischief.
  • Removed regional-specific Exploration Bonuses.

August 26, 2021

  • Moved increased PokéStop and Gym interaction radius change from temporary change to standard gameplay.

August 25, 2021

  • Removed the PokéStop and Gym interaction radius change from Exploration Bonuses.

August 17, 2021

  • Removed New Zealand from receiving Exploration Bonuses.

August 1, 2021

  • Updated standard gameplay changes to include additional updates added as part of the Exploration Bonus Updates announcement on our blog, these updates were removed from the temporary bonus section.
  • Region-specific bonus updates and seasonal exploration bonuses were added as part of this announcement.

November 19,

  • Updated bonuses regarding Incense and Gifts brought by Buddy Pokémon – read more about these updates on our blog.

October 2,

  • Clarified Incense effectiveness bonus.
  • Moved the PokéStop/Gym interaction radius to the PokéStop/Gym section, as this bonus will be available for the foreseeable future but will not be permanent.

October 1,

  • Removed bonuses and changes:
    • 1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators.
  • Moved several bonuses to “Standard Gameplay”:
    • The number of Gifts you can carry in your inventory is increased to 20.
    • Incense will last for 1 hour, rather than the usual 30 minutes.
    • 3× Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.


Pokémon GO Game GUIDE