Pokemon GO Secretly Adds Speed Cap

By | 4 weeks ago 

Pokemon GO developers release a stealth update that restricts playing the game while moving at certain speeds, even if the player identifies as a passenger.

Pokemon GO has been getting a lot of positive attention from the community lately with its first successful Halloween event drawing in additional players and revenue and highly-anticipated features finally arriving in the mobile AR game. There is even even evidence in the code that Niantic is preparing to introduce gen 2 Pokemon to the environment soon. Under the cover of all of that positive news, Pokemon GO’s creators managed to slip in an update that some fans aren’t quite as happy about…

Safety has been an issue for Pokemon GO players since the initial summer craze kicked off. The month after the game’s launch was full of stories about muggings, car accidents, and people walking into hazards. Niantic needs to cover its liabilities in that sense and has made some feature changes and additional warnings screens to try to encourage players to stay safe while hunting. The latest change takes one of those safety measures to the next level and adds a hard speed cap to catching Pokemon and visiting Pokestops, even for players who identify themselves as passengers after the speed warning pop up.

Before the latest update, players could still play the game while traveling in a car, bus, or train by clicking ‘I’m a passenger’ and then carrying on like normal. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to stop drivers from clicking that same safety opt out as well. Although it wasn’t mentioned in any patch notes, Niantic seems to have stealthily removed the ability to play while speeding. Don’t worry, players are still free to visit the Shop and spend money while on the move though…

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This change may sound logical to most people, but it does seriously impact the game experience for players who commute to work on public transportation every day. There is no safety concern if players are actually just passengers, but it seems like Niantic isn’t willing to take that risk any longer. From a safety standpoint, it’s the right move, but hopefully the developer can introduce a better alternative that allows for passengers to player and drivers to be locked out.

Part of the frustration from the GO community comes from Niantic’s silence on the topic. The company has been getting better about communication, but its representatives seem to only talk about and release press notes for positive changes and still remain silent on controversial or negative news.

What do you think of the changes to Pokemon GO? Will they impact your commute? Let us know in the comments.

Pokemon GO is available now on Android and iOS devices.

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