One of Niantic's biggest challenges - Pokemon Go in Rural Areas

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.


I have found out Articuno on Articuno day was beatable in a group of 3. However as rural areas often have less xp than urban ones the levels would be lower. What I said there still stands true.


Articuno day (and CMDs) are managable by going to a big city
Its 3 hours, not a lifetime


I must clarify that not all rural players have these problems and a nearby city normally fixes some of them but many people live places without cities


While I understand the frustrations by rural players, I personally, think it’s fine the way that it is. I live in a rural area (by California Standards) and I think the there is a great amount of pokestop a, gyms and players. I understand that compared to other areas in the world where I live would definitely not be considered rural. Thats just my personal opinion though


I live in a rural area without the first 3 problems but which definitely suffers on the fourth. There are no level 40 active players and more than half our 10 players are very inactive or have quit


I hope for better events for rurals soon. XP event pretty good for now.


I think when a System for Requesting PokéStops does eventually come out that it should give Rural Players at least 1 Month head start before City and Suburban Players get the System.


Solution to all rurals’ problems: POI submission and the Lucky Raid Pass.

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How would Niantic know the difference? :stuck_out_tongue::cowboy_hat_face:

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And for areas with low density of stops, they should provide generic stops at each intersection on the main roads. At least until genuine points of interest are created.

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In rural areas they really do have some issues but most of them are fixed afterwards, rural players also mostly 1 month head.


But… Niantic is against bot accounts, but not against friends… If you can play with a few friends, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a good group going.

I think pokestop submissions from lvl 10 pogo players is a bad idea, and It probarly wont happen.
Thats gonna be a lot of troll submissions and stack the huge queue in OPR only more and more.
Even if it would be only 1 submission per 2 weeks per player untill lvl 30, Players would just create more smurf accounts for more submissions since lvl 10 pogo is really easy to each.

Pokestop submissions is not something you should just hand out to every player imo.
Its a huge aspect of the game and it should be rewarded to players that put a lot of time and effort in the game.
Imo Pokestop submissions should not be granted to players below Lvl 40, The recent updates and friend system made Lvl 40 already become pretty easy actually.
An Review system/OPR access should have an even higher requirement, I still hope Niantic raises the level cap to 45/50 some day.

I’m personaly lvl 12 Ingress and have access to both submissions and OPR reviews. Getting Lvl 10 ingress is quite an effort but do-able if you have some will-power and pull through. Lvl 12…Well that requires real commitment…

As an positive end note.
Ingress OPR reviewers are inclined to give poor/weak submissions in rural areas with very few portals, higher reviews than in dense areas.


I guess…

But I think it should be 35 plus or 30 plus…


I guess maybe with every new account is a low priority, single submission. That way secondary accounts isn’t as much a problem as level 30+ players would have higher priority.

Well,the whole point of the system is to implement a fair and equal gameplay to all areas…
I do agree about the consequences on giving trainers of lower level the ability to nominate portals…
But i also think that the system could be refined such that level 40 players also get to assess and evaluate the nominations which can inturn be a support to the heavy workload of ingress agents…
I personally had felt the need for portal when i was in lower-level in pokemon go…
So I can’t simply accept the idea to neglect the low levelled trainers.
Maybe there can be a decent cut off level of 15…
just my opinion!!!


I respectfully object the lower level vs higher level POI submission access. It is not always a 100% that a Level 10 would spam the system and that a Level 40(Pogo) or Level 10 or higher in Ingress would guarantee a good submission. I take that on my own experience with the actual stop/gym already in-game here in our sub-rural area and even in the midst of the cities.

I myself is a late PoGo gamer so I was still low level but since day one of my PoGo life, I have already dreamed of someday be allowed to submit POI in PoGo. That’s the reason I have also played Ingress but got no chance to go passed Level 4, the game is not economically justifiable in my situation.

I am currently a Level 5 Google Local Guide so in a basic sense, I do have what it takes to submit a quality POI and also doing a weekly edits, eliminating trash scattered along Google Maps in our place. I already have a non existent gym relocated, a pokestop deleted in PoGo through my Level 3 Ingress account. That only shows that a high level Ingress player had submitted false spot and have it approved, so that’s a proof of NOT ALL HIGH LEVEL is better than a LOW LEVEL who have the good intention and idea to contribute to PoGo address some problems specially of those in rural areas.

I myself is open if ever Niantic will monetized POI submission because if ever I will try it to do via Ingress, that would also cost me a lot in mobile data besides a great deal of time and effort.

So please, I respect anybody’s opinion of a possible low level mess but please don’t marked US ALL. :grin:

Addition, also please please please, if only it could be, Niantic should not burden the POI submission screening and approval to Ingress (OPR) players. Maybe initially since there were already an existing process on their side but in the REAL SENSE OF THE WORLD, PoGo players should decide what they need, what they want and what should be in PoGo.


I agree.

I think everyone over level 20 should get a chance, one per 2 weeks :grin:.