Even though it’s not live for them just yet, this will be of great interest to Pokémon Go trainers who want to help shape the game.
What you need to know
- Niantic Wayfarer will allow people to nominate and review Wayspots in Niantic games.
- It was inspired by Operation Portal Recon in Ingress.
- Niantic expects to roll it out to Pokémon Go players before the end of 2019.
Ever since Pokémon Go first launched, there’s been plenty of discussion and debate about which real world locations have been chosen by Niantic to become PokéStops and gyms in the game. The devs gave people the ability to petition to have places removed from Pokémon Go for various (often very legitimate) reasons, but the newly revealed Niantic Wayfarer is flipping the script in a very cool way and crowdsourcing points of interest for inclusion in Niantic’s AR titles.
The video below explains how it works in more detail, but the high concept is that Niantic Wayfarer will allow anyone to nominate locations for consideration, as well as review nominations made by others. It’s not just the locations that will be involved, but also their names and descriptive text. Think of it as a Wikipedia of sorts for potential PokéStops and gyms.
Perhaps the coolest part is the way Niantic spells out what it’s looking for in Wayspots, its game-agnostic term for AR locations mapped to the physical world. It wants you to help pick spots of cultural signifcance that are easily recognizable, though not ones that are on private property, dangerous to access, or too close to schools.
This seems like a dream come true for players who bemoan the fact that there aren’t enough gyms where they live (rural residents are already nodding along), and if you’re into Ingress — which supplied the seed for Niantic Wayfarer with its Operation Portal Recon — or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, it figures to be helpful there too. There’s no exact release date yet, but since Nantic says it expects to have it live for Pokémon Go players before 2020 arrives, we’ll be keeping an eye out for it.