A new feature that allows Trainers to power-up PokéStops has launched in test mode in New Zealand, just as Niantic mentioned in a yesterday’s blog post about “minor gameplay changes” being tested around the globe.

PokéStop power-up is a brand new system that Niantic is rolling out, and this is how it works in a nutshell:

  • Players can scan PokéStops in order to power them up. Scanning is creating a 3D model of the PokéStop with your phone. The interaction radius required to scan is 40 meters, not 80 meters.
  • Powered-up PokéStops last for a while, giving bonuses to everyone interacting with the Stop during that time
  • Each time you scan a PokéStop, you fill the PokéStop’s power-up bar by 10 Points (you need 50 / 100 / 250 points to reach each power-up level)

At present, it seems that only 1 PokéStop or Gym per S2 Level 14 cell can be powered-up. Read our comprehensive Guide to S2 Cells and Pokémon GO for more information on the cells.

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Here’s how different levels of PokéStop power-ups look like (the height of the PokéStop changes ever so slightly):

A reddit user shared a video of a Gym reaching Level 1 after being powered-up 5 times:

Video of a gym reaching level 1–It seems to last 2 days. Also, the blue ring indicator becomes larger at an aerial view. from TheSilphRoad

Unfortunately, powered-up PokéStops don’t level down after their time is up, they just revert back to normal (Level 0) – source.

PokéStop power-up Bonuses

You can power-up PokéStops and Gyms three times, up to Level 3.

Each level comes with different rewards for everyone interacting with the PokéStop, and each power-up level lasts differently:

Power Up Level Scans Required Duration Bonuses
1 5 48h Bonus Items on Spin
2 10 12h
  • Bonus Items on Spin
  • Buddy Bonus Heart
3 25 12h
  • Bonus Items on Spin
  • Buddy Bonus Heart
  • Bonus Spawns (Stops only)
  • Bonus Premier Balls in Raids (Gyms only)

Players have agreed that powering-up PokéStops beyond Level 1 doesn’t make much sense outside of events. Scanning 25 times takes a long time and the bonuses are not worth the hassle.

Niantic’s comments on the PokéStop power-up feature

In an interview with Eurogamer, Niantic’s Michael Sterenka shared a bit of the backstory about PokéStop power-up feature:

  • Features like the PokéStop power-up will enable Pokémon Go to continue to stay top of mind and the gold standard for AR games.
  • Niantic thinks that the augmented reality possibilities that can be unlocked in the future, by leveraging a 3D map of the world is something all Pokémon GO players are actually going to love.
  • AR features are always designed with an “optional approach” in mind – don’t force the player to use them if they don’t want to.
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