Niantic’s new tech enables Pokémon Go players to track their steps without keeping the app open

Pokémon Go developer Niantic has launched a new gameplay system, Adventure Sync, that enables players to count their steps in-game without needing to keep the app open.

Unsurprisingly, Niantic’s first implementation of the system will be for Pokémon Go, helping players hatch eggs and earn candy without draining their phone batteries.

In a blog update, Niantic CEO John Hanke said: "This key feature unlocks a wide variety of gameplay opportunities on the Niantic Real World Platform, serving as an efficient and phone-friendly high-engagement tool that inspires players to head out into their local communities. We’re looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to implement it in our other games in the future."

In 2018 alone, Pokémon Go Trainers have walked 53 per cent more while playing Pokémon Go than they did in 2017, with an international survey of nearly 2,000 Trainers found that 70% of Goers felt that playing the augmented reality game had motivated them to walk more on average, with 64% agree in that playing the game motivated them to go outdoors.

As for how it works? Niantic explained the new gameplay system will sync in the background with iOS HealthKit and Android Google Fit, and give players access to a weekly summary that highlights distance travelled on foot and other stats, including calories burned or steps counted (if their device makes those details available, of course). The more players move, the greater their rewards.

Expect the Adventure Sync system to roll out soon to Trainers worldwide.

"We’re touched by incredible stories from Trainers—from losing weight and overcoming anxiety to making new friends and even falling in love—and they continue to inspire our feature roadmap," Hanke concluded. 

"Adventure Sync is our next step in rewarding more players for doing what they already love to do, while providing motivation to get outside and go for a walk—whether they’re searching for Pokémon directly, or simply enjoying the sights, sounds, and people around them." 

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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