For over two years now, Pokémon Go‘s in-game Pokéstops and Gyms have been placed in real-world locations derived from Niantic’s previous GPS-based game, Ingress. Now, the developer is slowly rolling out the ability for Pokémon Go players to nominate their own places of interest to be integrated into the game.
The suggestion system is currently only available to players in Brazil and South Korea who have played enough to reach level 40 (no easy feat), and it is limited to seven suggestions per person per week. For those users, suggesting a new in-game location is as simple as taking a picture, writing a brief description, and uploading your location to Niantic.
It seems inevitable that the suggestion system will eventually roll out to the rest of the game’s playerbase, which has been seeing a significant uptick during the warmer summer months. In the meantime, Niantic has posted a couple of FAQs detailing what makes for a good Pokéstop suggestion.
Places with historic, artistic, or educational value are likely to get approved by Niantic’s reviewers, as well as public parks, libraries, places of worship, transit stations, and other “hidden gems” and gathering places that are available to the public. Locations on private residences, temporary installations, cemeteries, graffiti tags, and adult-oriented businesses (like liquor and pornography stores) are among the types of locations that are ineligible, according to Niantic.
The suggestion feature should help expand the accessibility of Pokémon Go to more locations, especially for rural players that lack access to the densely packed Pokéstops of the big city. Who knows, maybe the expansion of in-game points of interest will also reduce some of the motivation for players that use GPS-spoofing cheat programs to access more lucrative play locations.
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