One of the lingering problems for “Pokemon Go” has been raiding for players who may not have an active community or live in rural areas. They may live in a town with a single gym or they can have a home in the suburbs where many don’t play the game.
A planned fix for this problem has been the idea of remote raid invites. It’s a feature that Niantic revealed a few months ago, but the release has been delayed because of technical issues. It appears that the company has resolved the problems and it began rolling out remote raid invites for players at level 32 and up.
This means that trainers who have friends in active communities can get an invite to a raid and finally catch the tougher raid Pokemon such as legendaries. By accepting the invite, it consumes a remote raid pass. The invite will appear in the raid tab of the nearby menu at the bottom right of the screen. If you have an invite, the background will be orange and there will be an alert at the top of the screen. Players can click on either and join it just like any other raid. The remote raid invites work worldwide so someone from say San Francisco could raid with friends in Germany.
If you’re the inviter, an icon appears above your Pokemon lineup in the lobby. Players have to click it and they can invite up to five friends. It’s best to have tight coordination with the raid because there’s only 120 seconds before a battle and trainers need to quickly accept the invite or risk being left out. It appears that the cut off for the remote invite is at 20 seconds left on the timer. They cannot join after that. In addition, the inviter can also jump out of a raid and not consume a raid pass thanks to a subtle change in the way Niantic registers passes. The company announced Tuesday that raid passes of all types would only be consumed if players actually participate in the raid fight.
Lastly, remote raid invites are one to one. It can go from someone who is using a remote or regular battle to someone who is remote. Unfortunately, someone who got an invite can’t then invite another person into the raid. That would end up creating a daisy chain effect that would end all life as we know it. I’m kidding about that last part. It would likely making it harder on Niantic’s servers. Regardless of that, the bottom line is that the invitee can’t invite anyone else.
With the remote raid system being updated, it brings up some issues for communities. There can be a chance that lobbies will be unexpectedly full and mess up coordination set up via Discord, Telegram or Facebook Groups. Personally, I saw fuller lobbies at my raid hour this evening. If there were raids with regional Pokemon, it could cause an issue where players from around the world inundate local lobbies. It remains to be seen how raids tied to events would be handled though right now players can invite friends to private lobbies just by clicking the invite button. Thankfully, there’s no need to share a code.
Although the possibilities for abusing the feature arises, the benefit for rural players and others will have a bigger impact. Now players in more remote areas can take part and get sought-after Pokemon. For example, I have a friend from the Chicago suburbs and she can never do a legendary raid because she doesn’t have any nearby friends. With the feature, I can invite her to a raid in Berkeley and she can finally have a chance to catch Kyurem, and that could help her in Team Rocket leader battles that she has struggled with. Another friend lives in the Orinda hills and has children. He can never go out on raids with no gyms nearby. Now, I can invite him over to Berkeley raids and he can stock up on Pokemon he may have missed over the past few months. Overall, this also means that perhaps more people will stay put and play “Pokemon Go” from home. That’s especially important in the U.S. as coronavirus cases have seen an uptick.