Since the very first days of the Pokemon GO phenomenon, one of the biggest complaints has been that the game caters exclusively to players who live in (or near) cities. Rural players receive fewer Pokestops and fewer spawns and have felt left out of the fun for almost a full year now. According to some recent intel, it sounds like the situation has just gotten a little less dire for rural Pokemon GO players.
A recent server side update kicked off the McDonald's sponsored event for players in Japan, but so far U.S. gamers have been left out of that particular party. Although there were no official patch notes to analyze, many players on Reddit are reporting that they are seeing upwards of a 10-15% increased spawn rate in some rural areas. That may not sound like a lot, but for players who rarely see anything other than a Pidgey or Zubat, but this could be a serious game-changer.
Increased spawn rates in rural areas have been expected since rumors started to swirl in December that Niantic was close to implementing a fix for the ongoing unintended punishment to non-city dwelling players. It's possible that the developer is just rolling out the changes slowly and that Niantic will make a more official announcement about the improvement once it has been released everywhere.
In addition to the increased spawn rate in rural areas, Pokemon GO min-maxers on Reddit have also compiled the following data about the updated spawning patterns and timelines...
15-minute spawn-rate per location now depreciated30-minute spawn-rate in playPokemon remain in place between 30 and 60 minutes
These are all server side changes, hence the lack of patch notes or any new data to mine. That also means that all of these estimates are based only on user data, so be sure to take it with a healthy serving of salt. That said, a fix for the rural players has been a long time coming, so we are hopeful that much is true.
Are you excited about the increased spawn rates? Have you noticed a change in your local area? Let us know in the comments.
Pokemon GO is currently available for Android and iOS devices in select regions.