Written by InstinctMike

First of all, I know some fellow trainers will have their own point of view about this (“go to the city to play”), but let us be honest: Pokémon Go should offer the same game play no mater where you live!

This is a summary of my own adventure, my own “battle” with rural play. But at this point …. All my Pokémon keep fainting and I wanted to share my story with everyone.

The struggle begins

I’m playing Pokémon Go since summer 2016. Right after the release in my country. And yes, I never missed one day of spinning and catching. Even when we traveled to Indonesia September 2016 we used the hotel WiFi to set incenses, lures and to catch/spin.

Our USA badge haul

Summer 2017 we did a road trip in the USA (California) and we did manage to end up with more gym badges in the USA during those 18 days, compared with the gym badges collected in our own region and far beyond.

Soon after the release of the game, we noticed that playing in our own town wasn’t that great. Walking +2km’s to find one Pidgey or Rattata, nearly no stops and gyms, etc…

We found a solution for that: traveling a lot with our car, by public transport, just to get to cities and explore them. Drove for hours to grant ourselves some decent game play.

Cities have a crazy amount of Pokéstops, gyms and spawn points compared to rural areas.

Since the beginning of Pokémon Go, Niantic did add stops and gyms to the game on several occasions. I saw that new content popping up in those cities already packed with content over and over again. Rural areas were left behind once more, time after time.

With the introduction of raids the difference between game play became even more visible: as rural players are struggling a lot to get a raid done, urban players are dividing themselves in teams of the same color, teams of 20, teams of however you want to slice it.

In addition, a lot of rural players gave up and stopped playing Pokémon GO, so it became even more difficult to get things done.

In meantime the cities get the EX Raid invites…. We never saw one in a rather rural or semi-rural community.

The fight begins

It got to a point where I had enough of it and decided to do something about it. I had two options in my mind:

  • I’ll start Ingress, leveling up fast to Level 8, where I can submit new portals all over the area. I was well well aware this Pokérush on Ingress isn’t a thing Ingress players like, but in my mind it was simple: if we “ruin” one game, the other one will become better
  • I’ll do this another way, probably a lost case, but worth trying

As my heart and passion is with Pokémon Go, I decided to go with the option number two.

I didn’t want to divide my time between Ingress and Pokémon GO and I didn’t want to invest in one game to have a result in the game I love playing on a daily base.

Playing Ingress only to be able to submit portals feels  like using a tracker to spot perfect IV Pokémon – it actually feels like cheating to have something to do.

I decided to do this the other way around.

Adventures on foot

So… that cold Sunday, I put on my walking shoes, took my phone and a notebook with me and I went walking and exploring my own city.

Although it was only a few degrees Celsius outside, I had a great time: I discovered a few things I never noticed before, took a lot of pictures, made a lot of notes, even googled extra info about art and statues in town.

At the end of the day I collected a ton of data about my town and Points of Interest inside it:

  • Coordinates
  • Explenation
  • Safety check of the spot
  • Added a picture

This list was sent to the Pokémon Go Customer Service with the needed info. Info stating a lot of point of interest were in town to boost the game play in this rural area.

I did explain the lack of stops/gyms and even the fact that in the only park we have in town, nothing Pokémon related has been set.

Although communication and Customer Service went to a higher level recently at Niantic, the answer I got on my first e-mail was just a standard e-mail template.

I already told them that nearly no Point of Interest in town are a Poké stop or gym. So why this standard copy-paste answer?

I did notify Customer Service about my original remarks. Their answer on this one gave me the feeling they don’t care…

I made it clear I did understand the point Customer Service was making, but I did ask them more info about rural play and what Niantics plans will be with it.

Also asked if they had the contact of someone who could have a discussion about this with me, but I was blocked once again:

I tried to get more info why it was so difficult to implement new stops or gyms, I tried to get an idea why Pokémon Go doesn’t have a thing as Ingress for portal submissions, but no relevant info came from Niantic’s side.

But then, Niantic tweets out the following statement:

Unfortunately, this news had no effect on the rural regions I visited the last few days at all:

  • no new stops,
  • no new gyms,
  • nothing new

However, I also visited 3 (big) cities: new gyms, new Pokéstops, new content in all of them! Niantic’s action boosted game play in cities once more, it didn’t boost a single thing in rural areas. At this point, I become extremely curious about what was available in my own town in Ingress.

In order to check, I downloaded that game and went for a walk. And what did i see? Yes! A lot of portals were present in Ingress, but not migrated to Pokémon Go.

Why not? Why only extra migration from Ingress to Pokémon Go in cities and not in rural areas? Why boosting Pokémon Go in places where a boost isn’t needed? And forget, once more, the places who need the boost?

A new mail was sent to Pokémon Go customer Service with my new remarks and concerns. Their answer just repeated things I already knew, but didn’t answer the questions I had.

In addition, the sentence – “Any new Pokéstops/Gyms you may have noticed were due to the recent refresh we did in a couple of areas in an effort to add more locations for players to explore.” – made me laugh out loud.

So they did do an effort to add more locations in cities already packed with them. A city with 30+ gyms really needed some more? And rural areas don’t need anything extra?

For this one I had a last answer ready:

“Your latest “refresh” to boost some areas…. I don’t know if you guys realize this, but I saw new stops and gyms popping up in cities where they already had a huge amount of them. No single rural area I got to had new stops/gyms.

So once more: rural players are left behind?

I can visit parks, statues and other points of interest in my region as much as I want, no single one of them is a Pokéstop or Pokégym. You guys keep adding that content to cities”

But it was the last and final answer from Niantic Support who did make me disappointing the most:

The battle ends

To all my fellow Pokémon Go players: if you want things to change in your own region, without knowing for sure if it will have an effect at all (as not all Ingress portals are migrated to Pokémon Go), you need to start investing in Ingress.

Why? I don’t know. Because that’s the only way rural play can be boosted, because that’s the only way you can create portals and the only thing Niantic uses for Pokemon GO. However, as for now, most new content and POIs were added in cities, at least as far as I can see.

With this info, with Ingress 2.0 being announced, one has to wonder: why does Pokémon Go keep the link between Ingress that obvious? Does Niantic want to boost Ingress and the number of players being active?

Is it all about money? Is it about having better numbers for investors across all products?

I don’t know. But I have a lot of question marks on this.

Ingress players, sorry, but your game will be “abused” by Pokémon GO players, only to have our own game play boosted.

As far as my own personal battle to improve rural play goes, I think the only option is to give it up or to start playing Ingress. However, the second option is not cool in my opinion – I don’t want to invest in other things to have a decent game play.

Maybe one day …

InstinctMike

  • Vinni Erb

    This is exactly how the game is for so very many! And the worst part is that it doesnt need to be Niantic just sucks

    • Matthieu Oldfield

      A PokéStop every 50m, what’s hard to understand Niantic? They must be dumb.

      • Foli

        Every 50 meters?? That wouldn’t be fun at all… There has to be a better solution. Maybe a point of interest submission embedded in Pokemon go. I would totally do that

        • Achi

          But in cities every single meter is fun ?

        • Matthieu Oldfield

          This is the case in cities. Why not everywhere?

          • Higher_Ground

            It’s not the case for the entire city. Sure, downtown areas have them fairly close together but if you count the entire city (including it’s neighborhoods) then they’re generally more spread out than 50 m.

            I live in medium density residential area and there are no stops at all. Only stops in my entire neighborhood are at a few businesses on the one commercial road.

            Downtown is indeed covered with them, though. The gap in density between downtown / suburban / rural is insane. And like the article mentions, it seems that most new additions just further increase the divide.

          • peponzio

            This exactly. Niantic needs to take into consideration demographics. I’m sure there are quite a few places in your neighborhood that could become stops/gyms but probably you lack numbers. The more people that validate a portal the more relevance it gets.

            But if there are few Ingress players in low density areas the portals are probably not getting enough recognition.

            Player density Niantic!

        • Peter Edwards

          Most pogo players would like to submit but Niantic refuse to listen to any players and use Ingress to supply sites. It matters not to Niantic that Ingress detest Pokémon players as well as the game itself. It saves them having to actually work for their profits

      • Chanderule

        Thats a retarded idea

        • Peter Edwards

          Surrounding many rural communities there are random stops scattered across fields and at the side of roads. No historical feature is used, no place of interest or such like. Who stuck them there and why. They could and should have been placed in the communities. A stop 2 or 3 miles from home in the middle of no where is not worth traveling to. What a waste

  • KatyCro

    Wow, those answers are one slap in the face after the other. Not only does obviously nobody care about what another person answered before them (or maybe doesn’t even know), but even if the same persons responds, answers are contadicting eachother. (e.g. Sorry, there are no stops, but please enjoy them). In terms of customer service Niantic has a lot to learn and they should learn quickly. Gen 3 isn’t gonna keep people playing like this forever.

  • Foli

    I’m not a rural player, but reading this really bummed me out…

    • Wayren

      Dude, seriously. Damn.

    • Higher_Ground

      really, i sort of want to boycott for them.

      Though at this point I don’t think anything will make them actually try to fix the problem.

      • Bunny

        As a rural player, instead of boycotting, i’m seriously thinking about getting very hardcore at ingress (sorry again ingress players) and submitting so many portals in my area they’ll regret i didn’t send a polite mail. This is so infuriating.

        • Garrett

          Do you really want to give them your time and energy? They’ll be able to attract more players if you add more stops where there are none, and you will have worked your butt off for a company that straight-up doesn’t care about you (even if you invest money) and they won’t give you a penny after all that either.

          They can continue to say that they don’t have to care about you or any rural player either if enough people do what you’re considering.

          Why take rural players’ angry emails seriously when the only result is them not holding onto the fact that they should prioritize self-respect, and instead end up support Niantic twice as much in two games?

          That’s why I deleted my PoGo account and only came to the comment section to voice my concern before moving on from anything to do with Niantic entirely – no matter how much I love pokemon… Self-respect is always more important, no matter who you are.

          • Bunny

            yes but i’m very petty.

          • Jarome Allen (Sofakat)

            Don’t care and don’t give you anything? Lol. Look, their customer support may be trash… But they are providing people with a completely full featured free game to play.. (Two.. Games at that) on their dime.. Yet you want to complain about their FREE service to you.

            You want more pokestops, you have the avenue (currently through ingress) to populate them. Be it you level all the way to be able to submit or just go spend some time in the local community and ask your local ingress player to submit some for you. I’m sure they would be more than happy to submit portals they haven’t seen..

            But don’t get pissy over support on something you don’t pay for at all.

        • Jarome Allen (Sofakat)

          Thing is, with OPR (Operation Portal Recon) and submitting portals, the ingress players approve or deny the submitted portals. Most are pretty diligent in making sure they are proper submissions. soooo… a.) your “so many portals” will only boost ingress player’s OPR badge. b.) your fountain in your front yard will get denied. c.) the only people you’ll affect are the actual ingress players.

          That’s not to say that rural ingress players don’t have the same problem. I’m sure some rural ingress player would love to have more portals in their small town. This is the same situation we see on our side of the game. lots of small towns lack portal density.

          as for the emails… We’ve all (ingress players) have dealt with ingress support for years. It’s all form responses and getting any sort of legitimate human response is frustratingly impossible. We can’t even get proven cheaters banned and just get a generic response after a report. It sucks, but if you want to use the product you have to deal with the (lack of) customer support.

          My opinion though, go hardcore in ingress, get to level 11 (not 8) to submit) or even L12 so that you can review the portals that were submitted in OPR. Who knows, MAYBE you’ll like ingress as much as you like PoGo.

          I’m an veteran Ingress player who crossed over a bit in to pokemon-go and found PoGo to be way less social than Ingress (at least in our area), maybe you’ll make some good connections and participate in an operation or adventure. 😉

          • Bunny

            thing is, the fact that there are no stops/portals in rural areas doesnt mean there’s nothing interesting to see. quite the opposite to be honest. and i’ve seen a lot of very dumb stops in the town where i go to play, like a totally ordinary bus stop, or a flamingo in someone’s yard (i’m not even joking, so my front yard fountain may stand a chance there!).

            Anyway the thing is we just dont have any other way to get niantic to get their heads out of their butts on this matter anyway, so i’d rather try that instead of whining alone in my empty green hills :’)

  • Coltonandgen

    TL:DR

  • DeTOB

    Its just a shame that niantic still hasn’t done anything about this yet. Im not a rural player but i see new pokestops popping up all over the place, as if we hadn’t enough already! You can better put this pokestops in the rural areas.

    • Chanderule

      Guess why: More players play in the city
      Not only do the stops have bigger effect, but also a lot more people suggest them

      • Higher_Ground

        nobody in pokemon go suggests them. This is part of the problem to begin with.

        It shouldn’t matter where more people play. That’s somewhat illogical to begin with as people are going to play where the stops already are. If there were none downtown and they were only found in parks… guess where most people would be playing.

      • Peter Edwards

        Ingress players, who do not like POGO at all, are the ones choosing where stops go. It is like setting up an American football game using English football players it doesn’t work

        • Chanderule

          I agree, but thats the point, they need to change who can request, not just “add” Pokestops

    • Peter Edwards

      That is where Niantic promised they would go

  • Hank

    Niantic only focus on Ingress because they own the game. Its all about the money, John Hanke is a greedy little =€#”&

    • Zappy-N

      tbh that water bottle should have hit him at go fest

  • Tablekiller

    Hey Mike,

    i can feel your disappointment and i also made the expierience that Niantic doens’t care about us costumers.

    My Ex Raid Pass was taken away without reason, and the only thing the support repeatingly saying is, that i should buy more raid passes to get someday eventually a second ex raid invite.

    Maybe i’ll just stop playing this game, stop supporting Ninantic and switch to draconius go.

    • Hee Chan Chae

      Lol thats a good idea if we all swotch to draconius

    • Garrett

      Definitely a good idea Tablekiller, even if you don’t switch to draconius go, please take the time to read my original reply to this article. I believe it will help bring clarity to this situation for you.

  • Fabulousyo

    Hi guys, i totally agree with you. the rural players are struggling. niantic added some pokestops and gyms to my village, but a lot of villages still dont have a single gym and only 2 pokestops. because of the lack of fun for the rural players, a lot of people dont want to play anymore. we are struggling to find people for the groudon raids at the moment.

    • Peter Edwards

      It is not restricted to gym raids either. When first launched this game generated community spirit and pride in the community. Now all that remains is a bitter taste of disappointment for loyal players. How can anyone possibly think that adding stops and gyms to cities will improve play for rural communities. How hard would it be to add stops and gyms to existing places. Upgrade some stops to gyms and add a few more stops. We have parks with 1 stop in it. Other countries have parks with multiple stops why are we treated differently.

  • Zappy-N

    this is why i spoof.

  • Achi

    The thing that irritate me most is that cities still gets pokestops even when don’t need them….

  • Matthew Woodruff

    I think I can relate to both sides of this argument pretty well. I am a huge Pokémon fan in general, but because I live in completely empty farmland, there are no stops or spawns anywhere. However, this fall I started attending a large, urban college which is perfect for Pokémon Go. Rural Pokémon Go sucks I agree, but I’m going to defend Niantic, they play the numbers, the reason there are so many stops per area in urban areas is because there are so many more players. Mathematically, albeit unfairly, it could even be argued that there aren’t enough stops in urban areas. When I lived in a rural area, there was one pokestop that in all liklihood I was the only person to ever visit, and it was 1.5 km from my house. I was likely the only player in a 5 mile radius and there were at least two stops in this range, a 2:1 ratio of stops to players. However, on campus, we have nearly 300 active players but about 30 stops/gyms a 1:10 ratio. Now, I realize that my data is a bit “devil’s advocate” but I want people to realize that Niantic is just targeting the most populated places because it just makes sense. They aren’t great at communicating this because they don’t want to ostracize rural players, but it’s just business.

    • Higher_Ground

      1) They aren’t targeting areas. They don’t do any of the legwork to make pokestops. They are entirely the byproduct of Ingress players’ work.

      2) The pokestops are supposed to correlate to real world locations. It doesn’t matter if it’s popular, just that it’s relevant. You don’t go around making stuff up (plenty of stops seem that way in cities). There are plenty of actual places in rural areas that are relevant to the types of locations that become pokestops: churches, parks, historical features. Those are common to just about every small town that exists.

      3) All of this would be immediately assuaged if they would just allow players to submit locations. In the time it took to respond to the half dozen emails they sent back they coudl have hopped on google maps and verified the location information for the stops that were submitted. They didn’t not because they can’t – but because they don’t care.

    • Peter Edwards

      The urban numbers are artificially inflated due to the enforced migration of rural layers having to travel. Where I live Gen1 launch saw hundreds of rural players working together. Bad improvements and upgrades caused the decline in numbers. We have gone from several hundred players and now have about 20 still playing. Most have decided that city game play is the only way they can achieve better game play. The 2 gyms where I live are rarely battled because the numbers needed are in the cities. Adding more to rural areas will reduce the need to travel so far and improve game play for all

    • Oscarv

      The ratio Pokéstops to players is not meaningful, since one stop can already serve unlimited people. It’s not that you need more of them in a city center because there are more people visiting.

      The metric that counts is does everyone have at least 4 pokestops and gyms within mile/kilometer distance and preferably one stop very close to home? Not only is this necessary for a decent supply of balls but also for a decent selection of spawn points.

      One other solution could be to assign everyone one Home Gym and Pokéstop they can always spin, defend and catch surrounding Pokémon of without going there.

  • Graham Lock

    Living in a very densely populated area in West Africa, there is 1000 square km around me with absolutely no pokestops or gyms. The only way I can play is to stock up on pokeballs, etc., when I travel to another continent. I’ve also tried to tell Niantic, but to no effect. It’s clearly about money and nothing else. Shame

  • A Jay (K Kay)

    I’m a rural player in India. And trust me in my locality there’s not even a single pokestop or gym. I used to travel about 18-20 kms to spin a single pokestop. That’s why people like me & others in rural areas started spoofing. And many of them got banned.
    The Solution is not banning rural players. It is providing fair gameplay as same as urban players.

  • spoofer

    Cmon gys dont waste that much time and money on this game. There is an option #3 😉

  • Higher_Ground

    Sorry Mike. It’s been painfully obvious for over a year that this company is content to coast on the success it enjoyed over the first few weeks of the game. Sure, they’re still working on it and constantly adding content – but they’ll never be able to provide the level of customer service that should accompany a game like this. They’ll never attempt to fix problems that they don’t actually view as a problem (that is to say, they don’t care if people outside of cities play the game).

    Niantic has never really impressed me with their level of customer engagement but it’s absolutely laughable that they respond with boilerplate emails over and over again.

    I’d say quit now and move on to something you’ll enjoy, even if it’s not as fun as Pokemon Go should be. No use being masochistic about it and it’s clear they don’t want to retain you as a customer.

  • NathanH96

    See I’ve been a rural player since the game came out… and it really is not as fun as city living. I took a 4 month break last year during winter because it was not worth it to play in the cold… even the closest 2 “cities” to me only have 7 gyms each and a handful of pokestops. My town has 3 gyms and 7 pokestops. Rare spawns are not very common at all and its hard finding raiding teams. Niantic does not exactly care about rural players since we only make up a handful of the active players left but there would be more players if they showed some consideration to rural players as well as urban players. I think that is where Draconius picked up on being a better option for rural players, since it does have a more balanced system for rural and urban players.

    • Matthew Woodruff

      I tried out Draconius Go, and yes there were more stops or whatever in my rural area, but they were all completely useless because they were on private property in the middle of cornfields. In truly rural places, it doesn’t matter where the stops are because everything is inconvenient and there are no landmarks.

      • NathanH96

        That is true. But there is still more benefit to rural players and urban. I can only hit 7 pokestops on pokemon go in my town. Likewise on Draconius I could hit almost 40 in my town. The difference is still huge.

  • Heero Yuy

    InstinctMike,
    I stopped playing POGO because this game is not complete and its obvious Nianitc isn’t listening. They keep passing by great opportunities and striking out. My local POGO community has died and its a major city. I pass by POGO Hub to see “updates” but nothing has really been updated to bring me back. I’m sorry your loyal game playing hasn’t be received well nor at all by Niantic. Ever since the legendary raids were released I feel the balance of the game has been destroyed, favoring the urban play to win crowd. The EX raid passes are an abomination and corrupted the game even more to the extent that I stopped playing. GEN III has been nerfed as well as every Pokemon I love to play and develop. I actually broke down and bought the pokeball 2DSXL with USUM to fix my discontent with POGO (which USUM is way better than POGO IMO). Well I hope Niantic will come to its senses and make the game sane again.

    • Higher_Ground

      enjoy US/UM – and if you like it there’s the gen 6 games for the 2DS and all the virtual content (gen 1 & 2). Gen 4 & 5 games still play in the 2DS, too.

  • William Mills

    Such a good article, hit the nail on the head

  • GonzoI

    Where I live had 4 gyms and 9 pokestops and now has 13 pokestops (town of 3k population). The “big city” nearby (town of 40k) doesn’t seem to have gained anything this round. I’ve talked to others in the actual cities that are…honestly quite a ways away, but “nearby” and they aren’t seeing new halos on pokestops.

    I did some checking and a town of 34 (yes, just 34) has a pokestop, and a village of 10 (yes, just 10) has 3 pokestops and a gym. Meanwhile people in towns twice the size of mine are complaining about getting nothing.

    I don’t know if there’s a threshold for “rural” that they stayed below for trying to help rural players, or if this just varied by area, but a lot of rural players did see improvements with this update. It’s not universally playable like it should be, but it did take a step forward in rural areas.

  • Awrite99

    Well said…

    In my “town” we have 1 gym and 4 stops. We are 14 active players evenly divided in the 3 teams. Mostly we can never do any raids because they only appears when we are in school or at work. The next closest gym is 20 km from here. At the weekends we have no problems getting enough people for legendary raids.

    When going to big towns. Like Stockholm there are so many stops that you sometimes can reach 3 or 4 at the same time. When you look at what the stops are about they sometimes just say “a sign”. What a joke!

    I tried to play Ingress but found it boring. Mostly because I didn’t understand. I came to lvl 4 and then stoped.

  • Hee Chan Chae

    Thanks niantic so much for the awesome responces! Such a perfect way to increase spoofers and I know very well that you do not care about your game. Niantic does not care about their game and they only care about money, which they do not care about if spoofers spoof or not, because spoofers pay a lot of money.

  • Alex sandro

    I want to improve the game but having to play something I do not like will make me happier ?? I would like the niantic to have head and it is thought that we rural players if we do not have pokestops or gyms in a rural zone as we will also be able to evolve in the Ingress being that also we have nothing around? It was good if Niantic at least had a little work and improved it because there are children like me who can not go to the city by car, motorcycle … and these children do not have a good game. But anyway … there’s nothing to do …

  • Alex sandro

    Eu quero melhorar o jogo mas ter de jogar algo que não gosto vai me deixar mais feliz?? Eu gostaria que a niantic tivesse cabeça e pensa-se que nós jogadores rurais se não tivermos pokestops ou gyms em uma zona rural como vamos também poder evoluir no Ingress sendo que também não temos nada á volta? Era bom se a Niantic pelo menos tivesse um pouco de trabalho e melhorasse isso porque existem crianças como eu que não têm como ir até á cidade de carro, mota… e essas crianças não têm um bom aproveitamento de jogo. Mas enfim… não há nada a fazer…

  • Chris Denton

    Now you see what I’ve been dealing with since launch. Niantic Support is like talking to a brick wall. Yes, every single update to this game has widened the rural/ city divide. Their solution is play ingress, no. The route I have gone is move on with my life, without Pokémon. Ingress is not what I want to play and niantic cannot force that on me.

    Another thing that I can’t get out of my head is that niantic is actively seeking new sponsors for poke stops and gyms. The more non sponsored gyms and stops there are, the value($) of a sponsored stop/gym will decrease. They aren’t going to jeopardize sponsorship dollars for us so I just gave up.

    Out of the last year + worth of support email from niantic my favorite one was when they said, “yes we see that you only have 1 gym in your town and we understand you want to do more raids. We aren’t accepting new submissions at this time.” I’m trying to throw money at them and they just don’t want it.

    Never fear, eventually you will be left out in the cold by niantic like so many others. Get away from this company before the headache.

    This problem has been swept away by the server issues, gen 2, gym rework, raids, gen 3 and now AR+. If they devoted a fraction of their resources to this isssue it would have been fixed for a long time now. As for their tweet about opr, niantic does this everytime there is a significant outcry for more stops. It gives the appearance that they are actively adding more stops and gyms and effectively silences the outcry for another month or so. The outcry comes back when everyone realizes they have added more stops to cities.

  • Hee Chan Chae

    Why did this game even get the “game of the year” or something award?

    • Zappy-N

      i have no damn idea.

    • Chris Denton

      I’m sure it had nothing to do with the game and everything to do with revenue.

  • Zappy-N

    i know i’m gonna get crap for this, but THIS IS WHY I SPOOF. yes, i spoof. i live in a VERY small part of california, with literally nothing within walking distance. the only thing that spawns here is snubbull, maybe slugma on a good day. and judging by niantic’s response to this guy, it WON’T get better. niantic isn’t going to fix your area unless they can profit off it. i shouldn’t have to leech off ingress just so i can play GO properly. it’s such a shame how a game meant for EVERYONE to explore has devolved into a closed club for those who live in cities. want a legendary? you better have 20 friends on hand and 45 minutes to spare. want a decent variety of pokemon? better live somewhere nice. want an EX pass? repeat steps 1 and 2, get lucky.

    is pokemon go fair? absolutely not. should it be fair? absolutely. this is POKEMON for crying out loud- a franchise made for children. little timmy can’t pack his bags and fly to japan on a whim like niantic wants him too. this sets an expectation that scares away new players, only made worse by PR drones such as MYSTIC7 and TRAINER TIPS sucking off niantic daily for free rides to japan.

    before this game can go ANY further, it needs to be fixed. niantic needs to re-evaluate their look on the game. it’s about fun, not profit, dammit!

    • Hee Chan Chae

      Lol so tru tho… And this is why i understand spoofers and especially fsuatl… Although many people hate him for being “bad” and ads and spoof, but he actually is right of what he has to say. Many people just simply hate him because hes a spoofer. Well, they dont have a good reason of hating fsu but fsu has a good reason of spoofing. I do not spoof and I do not live in a big ciy, but im at the last tail. I might go ahead and spoof because niantic doesn’t care about their game anyways. Good comment zappy n.

    • Professor DK

      I don’t care about spoofers in general. I only dislike a-holes that keep taking down people that just entered a gym. Spoofers can (literally) play anywhere, take down gyms with low motivation or whatever, but most of them just ruin the game for the people that actually need to be present at the gym.

      • Zappy-N

        i don’t even bother with gyms that much lol. i just stick a slaking at some gym in like.. norway or something every other day and get the 50 coins, buy a raid pass, rinse, repeat.

      • Tim

        That is why I spoof, I don’t even take down gyms unless they are sponsored o try to get ex passes, I only put mons in if there are openings

    • NathanH96

      Have to say I have never saw a post that spoofer wasn’t getting shamed for being a cheat and etc. But it is a good reason to spoof. Whenever you can jump to a big city that has 50 pokestops on screen and like 10 gyms and you don’t even have half that in your whole town I see it as a viable option. I live 35 miles from a decent city with pokestops and a fair amount of gyms and to me it isn’t worth driving to said city everyday to play a game that I should be able to enjoy in my own area.

  • Hee Chan Chae

    Lol i wonder how much the award guys were paid for pokemon go to be the game of the year…

  • Chris Seals

    All that trouble when you could just easily fake your GPS. It’s a mobile game, not university finals.

  • naz

    do not give up, mike. I feel the same way as u are, even though there were some ps or gyms near my home, i should walk about 2 km just to reach the nearest gym. Luckily, my office is on the same route, so I can visit it each time I go to work.
    For your problem, I suggest keep bombing niantic with ur email, eventually they will gave up and open their eyes about this unfair approach of pokemon go.

    • Chris Denton

      Yes, eventually the automated email response bots will rise up and take over niantic and listen to us.

      It’s time to leave this shell of a game.

  • Garrett

    Why on earth would someone want to pay for or play a game in support of a company that doesn’t care about a significant percentage of their players?

    People who treat their friends that way disgust me, and Niantic equally disgusts me because this is no different. I deleted my PoGo account upon reading this, which is a shame for them with how I’ve given them over $100 and planned to continue doing so on a routine basis. I’m not the only one quitting as a result of this either – seeing as this post has been spread to the dozens of players in my area and others have enough self-respect to not invest in or play this game any longer either.

  • Keith Farmer

    I’ve been playing since last years launch as well and I agree that it’s difficult to play in rural areas. I mean I just got my first Ampharos several days ago so trust me I know lol. However, with this new weather system it’s given me a chance to find and catch those rare and/or great spawns. It’s added diversity to my own neighborhood that before only saw pidgey and natu. I actually find it exciting now to go to my small local parks because I know I have a chance to find a decent boosted Pokémon. One of those being a 1400+ Ivysaur with 87% IVs. In my opinion I don’t think rural vs. urban/city will ever truly be equal but this game has definitely improved greatly over time.

    P.S. I know this article was mainly focusing on the Pokéstops and Gyms but I just wanted to share my experience I guess.

  • Matthew Fraser

    If they ever fixed this issue, it would go a long ways towards curving the number of spoofers. I live in Tokyo, so I don’t have any issue and have never even been inclined to spoof, but when I went back to my small hometown over the Christmas holiday last year, I basically took a 2 week hiatus from the game as I could only find 1 gyms and a few pokestops and nothing but pidgeys! I can understand why people in small towns feel it is necessary to spoof.

  • Aditya Bhalla

    I have a solution that Niantic can easily implement. Introduce a new kind of pokestop, which is not based on any real world location, but is located after some fixed distance (say 1km, for example) in the absence of regular pokestops. If they want, they can give a little fewer items, say just 2 instead of the usual minimum of 3. This way, Niantic would not have to wait for anyone to submit any request, and it would make the game much more fair.
    Also, many of the cities also have a very low number of stops and gyms (in India at least), let alone rural areas. In a majority of the scenarios, only metropolitan cities have a huge number of stops and gyms.

  • Krrish Dua

    I have the same problem as I only have 1 gym and 2 pokestops in my nearby…..

    And this leads to hacking and spoofing as some of my friends are hacking and are on 25 to 30 level and i am on 15……..😑😑😥😯😤😤

  • Krrish Dua

    I found a master ball hanging on the Christmas tree of Pokemon go……

    • Luke Davies

      I and someone else spotted that ages ago, along with the dive and nest balls, unfortunately it seems like nothing more than a tease from Niantic it’s clear they are not adding any new balls to the game anytime soon.

  • Az

    Not only the game is not suitable for rural players, it’s not much suitable for any place but big cities. In 200k city where I live, despite having a lot of gyms downtown, probability of meeting more than 3 players at one place by chance is less than statistical error. Groudon raid boss here feels like mockery.

  • Petr Halac

    Dear Go Hub administrator, please pin this article on the Go Hub home page until Niantic makes so reasonable steps towards rural players.

  • César Salas

    I am a rural player and that is the exact reason why I actually stopped playing. They just don’t care.. this article is great, thanks for sharing and trying to make a change!

  • Julian Anderson

    Guys If you wanna support me on twitter then please tweet with the hashtag #improveruralpogo the more the hashtag the more powerful the revolt.Im asking for help because i don’t have a lot of followers to ask for…

  • PokeVicar

    Rural player here – who used to be a city player. (lvl 38, over 1mill stardust)

    I just moved from a superb WhatsApp group with around 250 people and an area with 30 gyms, easy to get a full team together for *any* T5 raid you want, since they were always going on…. to…. an area with 5-6 active players and a few gyms we can drive to. Hard to get teams, and if the raids do pop up, we miss them.

    I can access 2 gyms and 5 stops near home, and I’m wondering what to do – we desperately need more stops to be able to play, and gyms to have more fun. People would play if these were here, but perhaps it’s even too late to get a decent player base.

    My plan – join ingress, reach out to the ones who made the portals and ask them to come back and make more. We’ll see 🙂 Thanks for your efforts, we need to keep fighting hard for rural life, I feel such a huge difference

  • Peg Janssens

    Another thing i noticed:
    City: Raid eggs pop up till 18:45
    Rural area: Raids pop up till 17:45
    Rural Area: Most LVL5 raids pop-up in the morning and between 5:45 and 12:00, nobody cares in the week, everybody is at work

    The last 3 days, only 1 LVL 5 raid appeared at 5:45AM, no lvl4 raids and the lvl1 and 2 raids where old raid bosses, no gen 3 :/

    People work till 17h, get home at 17:30 and eat, then have time, so when most people who play pokemon get home, no raids anymore
    Niantic: Who cares about raids at 5:45AM or 6:45AM, -> Nobody
    We love to have more raids after 17:30 AND in the weekend more raids between 10:00AM till 18:45

    It’s like you punish us, Here, LVL5 raids when nobody can play (har, har) and only during Week Days (3/4 lvl5 raids and a few lvl4 and some lower raids with gen3 mons
    Ow wait it’s 17:00 you guys get home, stop no lvl5 raids or maybe 1 and no lvl4 anymore and be sure those lvl1/2 raids are old gen pokemon (Whoehahaha)
    YES: Weekend, so No lvl5 raids, or let’s give them 1 or 2, very early, and then let’s only do some lvl3, nobody cares and no gen 3 in there

    See, that’s how we feel you care about us!!!

    All die hard players with cars and time have moved or stopped, the same argument always i don’t play anymore here, i only do raids in cities from now on / I stopped, it’s not fun anymore, always begging for players from other small towns to come over to be able to do a lvl4/lvl5 raid

    ALSO a big argument: Cause there are so few players, there will NEVER be an ex-raid invite in your town, Niantic only send out ex-raids invites to places where enough players raid gyms.
    With some luck we get 9 players togheter to do a lvl5 raid (read 5 players and the others have 2 phones, cause that’s the only way to get enough accounts to do a raid in town)

    Niantic: You drive rural players to spoofing and multiple accounts use, just to be able to do lvl4/lvl5 raids or jump to raids at all, cause you ignore the few gyms in town for decent raids and ignore to send out ex-raid passes cause you now there are not enough players around to do the ex-raid, so why send them, let’s only do cities for ex raid, We Niantic really don’t care about rural players, there’s no money to get, You Know Niantic: YOU created this yourself!!!

  • Pinky Mirror

    I hope this article can help rural pogo. It’s been an issue since long time ago and I don’t know why it’s so hard for Niantic to add more pokestops and gyms in the rural area.#improverularpogo

  • Darwin Long

    Ingress also has decent gameplay – I am level 13 now since I started last year. Since September, 31 of my portals have been approved in my rural community, and we now have triple the number of Pokestops and 3 more Gyms in PoGo. Ingress lends to more strategy with other players in your faction. You can actually communicate with them in-game and coordinate attacks and field ops, something PoGo lacks. I have found myself playing Ingress far more than PoGo the past year because the game simply grows on you – making layered mega fields, farming gear as a team, capturing opponent territory, activity on the map is constantly changing. It’s different gameplay from PoGo in some ways, but similar in others. Ingress is the base architecture upon which PoGo got built, so you’ll see similarities in your avatar radius, portal cooldown, XM particle clusters which visually show the the exact locations of PoGo spawn points, and Ingress is a heck of a lot less buggy or glitchy. Get in contact with the faction of your choice in your area, and meet up. Yes, DO level up in Ingress to Level 10 if you want to submit portals for more Pokéstops and Gyms… but be prepared to get HOOKED on Ingress along the way. Because, I guarantee you will.

  • Miguel Castaño

    All of these rural complains are based in the wrong statement and I
    quote: “Pokémon Go should offer the same game play no mater where you
    live!”

    Can anyone tell me why they should? The paradigm of videogames is changing, just live with it. If the game was homogeneous with everyone everywhere getting the same thing then it would not be exciting and AR would be totally pointless. The whole point of AR is to link the game with the real environment. Perhaps in the future there will be other AR games where Idk maybe farming and picking berries or chopping wood or controlling big areas of land are very important and the rural players are in advantage.

  • Lars Einar Tvedt Honstad

    Same in my home Town, most of the players has Quit, and im thinking of doing so my self. Niantic is Just so f… arrogante, no point of tring support any more.

  • Alisa Piedmont

    So migrate over to draconius go