A new season of Pokémon Go alters the effectiveness of the Incense item, reducing the spawn rate and duration.
On March 1st, a new season kicked off in Pokémon Go, a switch that often includes new content like Pokémon, quests, and recurring themes throughout the season. An exciting time for many players, with this time focusing on the Alola region first introduced in the Pokémon Sun & Moon games. This time, one seemingly small change affects the game’s incense effectiveness, with the community complaining on social media and on Reddit, calling on Niantic to revert it.
Incense is an item in Pokémon Go that will attract Pokémon to your location, causing them to spawn near you. Initially, these items were most effective while walking, but during the (still ongoing) pandemic the effectiveness was greatly increased by increasing the spawn rate and duration. This not only allowed players to safely play from home, but it also provided a much-needed boost to disabled players who were given a more equal chance to catch them all.
The recent change reverts this effectiveness, to where only 1 Pokémon will appear every 5 minutes and the duration has been changed from 60 to 90 minutes. In terms of numbers: a player now gets 18 spawns instead of 60, if they are unable to play on the move.
Adding fuel to the fire, the change was announced just one day in advance, rather than at least one month in advance as promised when they were introduced. A petition to Niantic calling to revert the change to incense in Pokémon Go has been signed hundreds of times, and many are calling out to Niantic on Twitter as well, using the hashtag #HearUsNiantic.
At this time the company has yet to respond to player concerns. Last year the interaction radius was reduced, following an earlier pandemic-fueled expansion, but after the community raised concerns Niantic announced that the extended radius would remain in place.
Pokémon Go is available on iOS and Android.