On Reddit, a group of Pokémon GO gamers has assembled to lament the fact that the game does not work well in rural areas. Niantic’s massively popular augmented reality mobile game has gathered a massive following over the years, but it is in the unique position of having its gameplay related directly to the environments of its many users. While this can lead to some Pokémon GO players getting really lucky, it does not always work out.
Gyms and PokéStops play an important role in Pokémon GO, in addition to the basics of discovering and catching Pokémon. PokéStops provide players with important resources such as PokéBalls and Eggs, which are necessary for progression.
Players can take their Pokémon to Gyms to challenge the current Gym Leader after catching and leveling them up. PokéCoins, an in-game currency that allows players to purchase more items and cosmetics, are awarded for defeating these Leaders.
The successful player will also become the next Gym Leader, giving players even more reason to approach these Gyms and train their Pokémon. Gyms and PokéStops, in addition to the many events hosted by Pokémon GO, are inextricably linked to the core experience for many users.
Unfortunately, it appears that many Pokémon GO users are losing out on these important elements. Several users vent their frustrations about how Pokémon GO appears to favor players in cities over those in rural regions in a Reddit thread created by Moistur-. Moistur- mentions in the body of the post that they have a hard time finding uncommon Pokémon, and that the nearest PokéStop is around an hour away. Worse, according to Moistur-, the nearest Gym is around two hours away. Moistur-‘s criticisms are echoed by fellow gamers in the comments section.
The recent nerfing of Pokémon GO’s Incense products, which allow players to attract Pokémon, is unlikely to help with the problem of finding Pokémon in low-population areas. When it comes to the lack of nearby PokéStops and Gyms, fans may discover that the issue is more intimately linked to the game’s core. Because each of these sites is linked to real-world organizations or monuments, resolving the issue of scarcity in rural areas may necessitate a more significant redesign of the game’s systems.
It will take time to see if and how Niantic responds to these concerns. Since Pokémon GO has been available to the general public for several years, these issues are not new. However, missing out on rare Pokémon, PokéStops, and Gyms can ruin the Pokémon GO experience, so ideally the creators will figure out a method to better serve the game’s rural gamers.