Pokémon GO emerged as one of the hottest apps of the year, but some groups definitely got to play more than others. The sad truth was people living in rural areas granted fewer access to wild Pokémon due to the way the game was structured. Well, that looks like it’s about to change.
The game’s official Twitter account confirmed that more Pokémon are coming to parks and other outdoor settings in both rural and urban areas. That means people living in the countryside may not have to travel miles in search of wild Pokémon. That’s especially good news as winter sets in, because who wants to walk a mile just to catch something other than a Rattata?
Players have anecdotally confirmed that the number of wild Pokémon available in an area is often tied to population density. There still can be plenty of PokéStops and gyms, if enough volunteers submit local landmarks over time and get them approved, but Pokémon spawning in general is seemingly based on population. Basically, even if you have a bunch of gyms, if there aren’t a lot of people in your town there aren’t going to be many Pokémon.
Of course, the whole “winter” thing does have its downsides. Sure, there might be more wild Pokémon sightings in outdoor parks, but subzero temperatures aren’t exactly conducive for going out on long Pokéwalks. Plus, the Generation 2 Pokémon that recently joined the game are only available as eggs, meaning you have to walk around in order to hatch them.
Niantic has been working on turning indoor stores like Starbucks and Sprint into PokéStops, seemingly at least in part to encourage people to keep playing during the winter months. It might be weird to see a bunch of people stalking around a Starbucks trying to hatch an egg, though.