Like many of you, "Pokemon GO" has consumed my life since its release two weeks ago. However, while talking with some friends of mine who live in different areas, I've found some quite discouraging disparities. Wild Pokemon spawn in their houses and they have Pokestops within WALKING distance of their houses! I continued to question a friend of mine that lives in DC and it seems that he has been playing a significantly less amount of time than me, yet he has rarer Pokemon and is a higher level than me. Why is this, though?
The answer is ease and access to the game's features. In more rural areas, it is simply harder to play "Pokemon GO." The cell service is a lot shakier and sometimes non-existent in areas. LTE can be hard to come by in some places and impossible to get if you do not have a new enough phone.
Pokestops just are not around either. I can see one Pokestop on my app near my house with the app fully zoomed out and I live close to town. People living further away from the city from me probably would not see any even if they walked in any direction for 10-15 minutes.
Simply put, rural "Pokemon GO" players have to plan out how to play the game. It's about a 30-minute drive for some of us just to find two Pokestops within walking distance of one another, and it makes playing this game very time-consuming. The majority of our "Pokemon GO" experience is not walking around our neighborhood or the nearby shopping center. It involves finding a slot of several hours to make the drive worth of it and constantly driving from Pokestop to Pokestop, scouring parking lots to find every weedle and pidgey we can.
Our spawns are worse too. Spawn rate is influenced by where you are and how many other people are playing in your area. If your nearest neighbor is a mile away, a Pokemon may never spawn within walking distance of your house. The fact of the matter is that if you are playing where lots of other people are playing, more Pokemon spawn and that in turn increases the chances of rarer Pokemon spawning simply because more Pokemon are spawning.
The icing on the cake to all of this is the luring that occurs inside of cities on Pokestops. Busy areas in the city are littered with Pokestops and many of them will have lures running on them pretty often. Businesses with place lures on stops near them in hopes of attracting customers and other players will willingly drop them themselves since chances are, they have already used a hundred other people's lures. Again, more people make the game easier to play. If you live near one of these places you can go out with a friend, grab a a cup of coffee, sit in-between a couple of lured Pokestops and catch plenty of Pokemon with Pokeballs constantly being refreshed. This can be a part of your normal daily routine. If you want to use a lure in the country, chances are you are going to have to sit in a church parking lot by yourself and pay for all of your lures yourself. I also find myself having to go on Pokeball runs where I have to spend an hour driving around the downtown of the nearby city picking up Pokeballs at night and then returning to the much safer shopping center parking lots to try and find some Pokemon.
I hope you city players appreciate how much easier and less time-consuming your "Pokemon GO" experience is and give the country players some slack for not being as high level as you. We're trying, we just have a lot less to work with.