Billions of people in the world live in rural areas, and whilst I’m sure not all of them play Pokemon Go that’s a lot of potential players struggling to play. Whilst I’m sure not all rural players struggle in all of the problems, they are all problems felt by a large percentage of the community.
Lack of Spawns
The simple lack of enough or any spawns is a fairly fixable problem by Niantic. They could just, similar to Draconius Go, put spawns everywhere in the world, at set coordinate points or in the middle or corners of set S2 cell levels. They could discount any water which was too far from land. They should do this without touching current spawns. So nobody who has good spawns gets them removed. They’ll just get new ones. This wouldn’t solve the rural-urban balance but would improve quality of life massively for some rural players.
Lack of Pokestop(s)
This is possibly more difficult to address, because the idea of copying Draconius Go seems a lot less pretty here. It would involve having Pokestops randomly placed anywhere, not just landmarks. So a Pokestop Submission System seems imperative here. Where this gets difficult is making it benefit rurals who can’t get past level 10 because of no pokestops, but not allowing for easy multi accounting spam. Perhaps a system like that seen in Ingress is the best idea here. The minumum level for requests would be level 10, for those who have no Pokestops within 10km of their “home location” which could be set when starting the game and changed once per week. The home location would need to be verified by the game being turned on there on 4 different days for 15 minutes each time. For everyone else, above level 20 would get 1 pokestop request per month. Everyone above level 25 would get 2, above 30 is 5, above 35 is 10 and 40 is 15. Anyone above level 35 could request to become a Pokestop Moderator, and if 3 moderators approve your Pokestop request, then your Pokestop appears on the map. The rural level 10s would get 2 pokestop requests total, until hitting level 20.
Lack of Gym(s)
The lack of any gyms could broadly be fixed in the same way above, using the S2 cell system currently used for gyms.
Lack of Raid Players
A lack of players to raid with. This is the reason why Articuno Day to an extent feels like a step in the wrong direction. The real way to fix this is to make sure there is a backup. Unless Niantic change raids to make them possible for solo players (which will probably and hopefully never happen) this remains a problem. They should fix this in the form of research tasks and other events to allow people to get legendaries without raids. Niantic seem to be straying from this idea. Field research boxes which were previously being used for giving legendary Pokemon to solo players have changed to being just rare Pokemon. If legendary level 5 raids changed to Snorlax people probably wouldn’t be happy but this is what has happened in the research boxes. It isn’t only the research boxes which are not working for rural players in this situation. The recent Articuno Day and likely Zapdos and Moltres Days can work for people without this problem, but it’s the equivalent of putting a Pokemon in raids so difficult that 100 people couldn’t beat it, but the raid limit is still 20.
This is where Niantic made things much better, but they seem now to be going backwards.