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It's Way Easier to Play Pokémon GO in Quarantine

The whole point of a game like Pokémon GO is to get people to go and do stuff outdoors. So, what happens when the majority of the country is told to Pokémon GO back inside due to a national quarantine? Games like Animal Crossing can be played from underneath your most luxurious weighted blanket for hours, but an app like this must adapt to the sedentary change, and Pokémon GO has so far switched things up quite well: It's now easier than ever to catch and battle your pocket monsters from the comfort of your own home while we all collectively wait for this thing to blow over. 

Many of the outdoor-centric events have been cancelled

One of the first things Niantic, the company that owns the app, did was cancel the upcoming specific Pokémon-centric Community Days that required people to go outside en masse to catch whatever little guys were supposed to be out that day. We were supposed to get an Abra Community Day in mid-March, but it's been allegedly postponed, according to the Reddit community Pokeminers, to April 25

Eggs have a ½ hatch distance

As soon as it became clear that we weren't getting out of our houses again anytime soon, at least not for extended trips, Pokémon GO decreased the egg hatch walking distance by half. That means that your 2km eggs are now 1km eggs, your 5km eggs are only 2.5km, and so on. You still have to walk, but at least you don't have to walk as much as you did. 

There are special item bundles available in the shop for cheap

Every week, a rotating bundle will appear in the app's Shop, which will only cost you one Pokécoin. These bundles will change weekly, so if you see something you think you're gonna need, like, for example, the Ultra Balls + Pinap Berries package that's in there now, you'll want to nab it. You can purchase these at any time during the week they're available, and every week there will be a new one to check out. We recommend getting these no matter what they are, because you never know the next time you'll have an opportunity to go on a Pokéstop run. 

Gym interaction distance has been doubled

To make it easier to battle in and claim gyms for your team, the app has increased the radius within which you can access the gyms, so if you live close to one, or if your trip to your grocery store takes you near one, it's easier now to get in there and get battling. On the flip side, since fewer people are going out right now and fighting at gyms, you will probably be able to keep your Pokémon in there for longer, which means more Pokécoins. 

GO Battle League no longer requires you to walk to unlock battles

Until April 13, after which Niantic might make another announcement to this effect, you don't have to complete a walking requirement to access your battles in Battle League. If you've already started a walking cycle, you just have to finish the one you're on and then you won't have to start another for a while. 

You can now battle with trainers who aren't your Ultra Friends

Pokémon GO also now lets you battle with almost any of your friends, including trainers who are just your Good Friends or Great Friends -- before battles were restricted to just between your Best Friends and Ultra Friends. 

The app has other built-in ways to play remotely

Pokémon GO is keeping the Pokémon Spotlight Hour, which happens at 6 p.m. local time every Tuesday evening, during which you get rewards for catching a specific little dude. The next one, on April 14, includes Magnemite, and you'll earn double the normal amount of candy for catching Pokémon during this time. The game is also still keeping Mystery Bonus Hour, as well. 

You can remote battle random trainers anytime you want in GO Battle League, which gets you plenty of rewards and XP. You can also still send gifts to your friends from anywhere, which was a feature introduced into the game last summer. Given how tough it is to get out there and spin Pokéstops, gifts from your buds are more valuable than ever. Plus, it's nice to receive a present from someone, even if it's just a couple of Pokéballs. 

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.