Keep Pokémon Go incense useful for players when they are stationary

Keep Pokémon Go incense useful for players when they are stationary

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Why this petition matters

Started by Froggo 14

Dear Niantic,

The community wish to voice our concern & disappointment over recent changes to the incense spawn rate in Pokémon GO.

While incense was increased due to an unprecedented global pandemic, the flow on effects of this in-game change have had a far greater positive impact on the community.  The spawn rate was increased 1 pokémon every 5 minutes to 1 Pokémon every 1 minute for the duration of the incense.  This has been in the game for almost 2 years now.  Some players will not have known any different and will be quite unhappy when their incense no longer spawns as frequently.

The increased incense spawn rate created the following benefits for Trainers worldwide:


A guaranteed spawn every minute means that a player knows when to expect one.  The spawn rate is set to increase at a certain speed but this has never been published and most people feel the pace is too fast.  Therefore, players will be have to go at a fast pace while looking at their phone, posing a danger to themselves and other members of the public.  General personal safety is important to avoid unneccessary visits to hospitals, which can be costly to the player in time and money.  The Pokémon Go app asks us to stay aware of our surroundings, but this is hard when we are trying to maintain a pace that allows for incense to be effective.  Before the pandemic incense was really only effective while travelling in a vehicle as a person could simply not go fast enough.  Reducing incense effectiveness may again encourage people to play from their vehicles to maintain the pace need to generate Pokémon spawns.  This could be dangerous to those players and other people.


Many Trainers could now interact with the game at home if they are unable to leave the house for whatever reason, including mandatory isolation during this ongoing pandemic.  Many trainers may not be able to go at the pace needed to generate spawns, especially those with mobility issues.  This effectively excludes them from enjoying incense.
Trainers with young children or in a position of care can still play and catch Pokémon without having to take their children outside on a long 90 minute walk at a fast pace, which would be difficult for younger children to maintain.


Greater courtesy and respect to the Pokémon Go community by respecting our wishes and
With how diverse and unique members of the Pokémon GO community are.  Some players cannot leave their house, or go fast enough to generate spawns.  Some players live in areas where spawns do not generate, like military bases.  New suburbs that are still marked in Pokémon Go as 'construction' sites do not generate spawns, despite construction having finished, sometimes years ago (Pokémon Go  spawn point tags have not been updated from Open Streets Map since March 2019).

In an update in October 2020 for Pokémon GO, incense was reduced from 1 spawn a minute to 1 spawn every 90 seconds, increasing to 1 spawn every 50 seconds when walking.  The overall consensus was that this was an acceptable compromise.

Incense spawning once every 5 minutes while stationary will, and is, impacting the community in countless negative ways.  The community view of incense before the pandemic was negative.  It was viewed as an item of little use.  The change to 1 spawn a minute made the item incredibly useful, driving sales and participation in the game. Players have suddenly found their incense stock is now effectively useless.

One of the three pillars of Niantic's core philosophy, as communicated by founder and CEO John Hanke, is exploration. Mr Hanke, exploration and the desire to explore was never negatively impacted by incense use. When we are exploring there is little need for incense due to abundant spawns.  Incense has fantastic use in allowing the game to be played when spawns are not abundant and a lure cannot be used.  Other factors will negatively impact exploration: a lack of natural features counting as poké stops; the weather (too hot or too cold); severe events, like flooding or blizzards; and the fact that some people will simply be unable to leave the house due to other factors in their life.

Response Required By: 

We request that incense remain an effective item when a player is stationary.  Having regular spawns is an excellent quality of life change in Pokémon GO.

We understand changes like this take time to discuss internally, and therefore look forward to your reply by Tuesday 8th of March 2022.

Yours respectfully,

The Pokémon GO Community

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