Adventure Sync: Rewards, A Comprehensive FAQ, & Troubleshooting Help!

Adventure Sync, the newest feature in the world of Pokémon GO, began rolling out November 1st, 2018, and promises the ability to tap into iOS and Android’s fitness tracking capabilities to reward activity – even when the Pokémon GO app is closed!

This new feature launch has spawned many questions. So the Silph Research Group has here endeavored to summarize everything we know about this promising new advancement in Pokémon GO – and what requires further study. Here’s a quick table of contents:

1. The Basics

Two major components launched in Pokémon GO with the advent of this feature:

I. A New Weekly Fitness Goal

Even those trainers who do not enable Adventure Sync functionality (i.e., background fitness tracking) will notice a new goal in their trainer stats screen.  This new feature (currently available to all trainers level 30 or higher) credits all kilometers walked towards this weekly walking goal.

Three reward tiers are offered for achieving either 5km, 25km, or 50km in distance walked each week. All week long, distance accumulates from both distance logged while the Pokémon GO app is open or active in the background and (if Adventure Sync is enabled) even distance logged when the app is fully closed.

Rewards are paid out once per week at the end of the week. Don’t expect to receive the 5km reward upon hitting 5km towards your weekly goal – you’ll have to wait til the end of the week!

II. Background Fitness Tracking

This is the truly exciting part of Adventure Sync! Travelers can now permit Pokémon GO to access fitness data from iOS’s HealthKit and Android’s Google Fit activity trackers.

Activity tracked by these external fitness trackers will credit towards distance walked in Pokémon GO only if the app is closed – allowing for battery-saving potential and fitness credit where it was previously unrewarded in Pokémon GO. This new distance tracking applies to the aforementioned weekly fitness goals AND to eggs and buddy candy!

2. The Rewards

Weekly fitness goals unlock rewards at three distances (5km, 25km, and 50km) and are paid out at the end of the week. It is currently theorized that the week ends/begins for all travelers on Mondays.

When weekly fitness rewards are claimed, lower level goals’ rewards are included. This means that claiming higher level rewards can result in some interesting combinations, such as two eggs (should space be available to receive them) or up to 4 Rare Candies!

Weekly fitness rewards are, like Raid rewards, organized into “bundles” and include both random and preset/guaranteed “free” items. The graphic below summarizes the reward bundles as confirmed by Silph Researchers:

First Time Backlog Rewards

When fitness goals first launched, many travelers received rewards immediately upon ‘syncing’ the Adventure Sync functionality. It is currently believed that this was credit for the previous week’s fitness activity – either in Pokémon GO or in HealthKit/Google Fit. Walking distance is now being applied to the upcoming week’s end (hypothesized to be on Monday).

Post Launch Adjustments

In the hours after the Adventure Sync feature launched, Silph Researchers detected that there was at least one change made to the system. At 23:00 UTC, stardust rewards were reduced from 5,000 and 10,000, to 500 and 1,500 for the 25km and 50km rewards, respectively. There may have been additional changes made by Niantic that remain undetected at this time.

Egg Rarity Tiers

Observant travelers may notice that 2km eggs have yet to be found in weekly fitness rewards. It is currently unknown if eggs obtained via this new feature have their own rarity tiers or contain different Pokémon than their counterparts obtained by spinning Poké Stops. This topic warrants further investigation and the Silph Research Group is already at work deducing any potential differences.

3. Strategy

There is little opportunity to ‘optimize’ weekly fitness rewards, with one notable exception: eggs!

If receiving one (or even two) 5km eggs does not feel like an exciting reward after walking 50km in one week, then be sure to leave no egg slots open before redeeming your fitness rewards! With no egg slots open, this option will be removed from the possible reward pool and only Stardust and Rare Candy will remain as potential rewards to go with your Poke, Great, or Ultra Balls!

4. Distance Tracking

Editors Note: This section is evolving over time and will be updated with new information from the Silph Research Group as it solidifies!

There is still much to learn about how Adventure Sync functionality tracks and credits kilometers walked across various fitness peripherals and both operating systems. Here is what we know (or suspect) so far:

  1. The Game Must Be (Fully) Closed! – Perhaps the most important thing to remember regarding Adventure Sync is that fitness data is only credited when the Pokémon GO app is completely closed. It appears that opening the Pokémon GO app (even running it in the background with a GO+, for example) will utilize Niantic’s own distance tracking. So fitness data is only credited when Niantic has no other way of knowing how far a traveler has moved with their own app.
  2. Speed Cap – It appears the same ‘speed cap’ in Pokémon GO affects fitness activity in HealthKit/gFit. Running or biking faster than the speed cap (10.5 km/h) will reflect KMs in HealthKit/gFit, but will not credit distance to Pokémon GO.
  3. Sync Interval / Delays – Distance is synced from HealthKit and Google Fit at unknown time intervals (sometimes appearing to take as long as 1 hour between syncs – other times as frequently as one minute). A delay between Google Fit/HealthKit data and fitness goal progress is not unusual.

I. Setup

iOS Devices
  1. On iOS, from within Pokémon GO simply go to Settings > Adventure Sync > Turn It On! >Turn All Categories On > Allow. And that’s it!

If something goes amiss, make sure Pokémon GO is allowed permissions by opening the Health app > Sources and ensuring it’s permitted.

Also ensure fitness tracking is permitted in the phone’s privacy settings. In the iOS settings: Settings > Privacy > Motion & Fitness > Fitness Tracking > Make sure the toggle is ON.

Android Devices

Android syncing uses the Google Fit API and connects Fit data to a Google Account on the device you’re playing on:

1. On an Android device, ensure you have Google Fit installed* on your device.
2. Then, from within Pokémon GO, simply go to Settings > Adventure Sync > Turn It On! > Allow Pokémon GO permission to access Google Fit data from a Google Account. And that’s it!

If something isn’t counting properly, ensure you’ve granted both Storage and Location permissions to Google Fit. (See the FAQ below for account change questions.)

*Note: Several cases have been reported where the standalone Google Fit app is not installed, but Adventure Sync was able to be activated and fitness data credited to Pokémon GO while the app was closed. Whether Google Fit might ‘baked in’ to certain Android flavors has yet to be ascertained. This is confounded by two common, but misunderstood reports from travelers.

  1. Closing Pokémon GO, walking a distance, then opening Pokémon GO a few minutes later to see a distance awarded. This is the expected behavior even without Adventure Sync. Pokémon GO tracks location and movement server-side and will award distance when re-opening the app within the speed cap if only a few minutes have elapsed.
  2. Closing Pokemon GO before the ‘every-4-minutes’ UI update fires and fully reflects all earned distance.

Both of these cases are normal and do not mean peripherals or Adventure Sync is responsible for distance gained.

II. 3rd Party Devices & Apps

Several popular Google Fit and iOS Health app alternatives as well as 3rd party fitness peripherals have appeared frequently in questions on the Road.

The current consensus is that ALL 3rd party fitness trackers will NOT credit distance towards weekly goals UNLESS they have native support for HealthKit or Google Fit (in essence, only the Apple Watch). All 3rd party apps that rely on an intermediary ‘sync/import’ app are counted as “manual input” data, which could be easily falsified and appears to be disallowed by Pokémon GO.  Claims of various 3rd party peripherals or ‘sync’ apps earning in-game distance credit are believed to be mis-attributing distance awarded from the prior week before the feature launch. They should not see distance credited in-game moving forward if the Pokémon GO app is COMPLETELY closed.

The recommended alternative is to simply use the phone itself to gain credit for steps/distance/calories. (And set the phone as the ‘top priority’ device if using a peripheral.)

Here is a growing list of popular relevant devices and discussions about their compatibility:

Status App / Device tl;dr Discussions
Apple Watch Tracks steps/cals successfully while Pokémon GO app is completely closed
? Huawei Health App Despite Huawei’s Google Fit sync, no distance is applied in-game. Currently believed incompatible
? Mi Fit App / Device Currently believed incompatible #1
? Fitbit / FitToFit App Currently believed incompatible #1
? Pebble Device(s) Currently believed incompatible

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Adventure Sync Logistics

1. Will Adventure Sync give me distance for biking or running?
Nope! Adventure Sync will only credit you for walking and (slow) jogging below the Pokémon GO speed cap. (discussion)

2. Does Adventure Sync allow you to accumulate distance faster than the speed cap (10.5 km/h)?
Nope! The speed cap overrules the fitness data transfer and Pokémon GO will not log the distance.

3. Does Adventure Sync count treadmill running?
Yes! As long as the Pokémon GO app is COMPLETELY CLOSED, distance will be applied.

4. Does Adventure Sync count wheelchair pushes?
Unfortunately not. (yet?) However, wheelchair pushes appear in the APK, and may be supported in the future. (discussion)

5. Does Pokémon GO have to be running in the background for Adventure Sync to track my distance?
Nope! In fact, it must be COMPLETELY CLOSED or Adventure Sync will defer to the Pokémon GO app’s own distance tracker (the one used by the game for years).

6. What day constitutes the “start” or “end” of the week?
While this is not yet confirmed, it seems likely that it will update on Mondays. (discussion)

7. Is Adventure Sync susceptible to GPS drift?
Nope! It does not suffer from the same GPS wobbles as Pokémon GO’s GPS-only fitness tracking methods.

8. Can Adventure Sync work in airplane mode?
Hypothetically yes! Though this remains untested. GPS and data are not required for Google Fit or HealthKit to legitimately earn distance that will sync later.

9. When I get an egg hatching push notification, will I be able to pop a Lucky Egg before it hatches?
Nope! Eggs hatch immediately upon opening Pokémon GO.

10. I got distance credit without having Google Fit installed. How?
Remember, “normal” distance tracking with the Pokémon GO app open/minimized (even without Adventure Sync enabled) still counts towards weekly fitness goals!

Android Troubleshooting

11. Do I really need to install Google Fit?
This is currently unclear. Some phones are successfully counting steps and distances while Pokémon GO is fully closed without the standalone Google Fit app installed. Android may potentially include the Fit API in these cases, so enabling Adventure Sync may be successful despite not installing the Fit app from the Play Store. More clarity on this is needed.

12. Pokémon GO missing in Google Fit ‘Connected Apps’?
You likely connected a different Google Account! Open Google Fit and switch to other connected accounts until you find Pokémon GO and disconnect it. Then re-connect Pokémon GO to Google Fit and ensure you use the proper Google account.

13. How do I change which Google Account I use for Google Fit?
Follow these steps:

  1. In the Google Fit app go to SettingsConnected Apps  > disconnect Pokémon GO
  2. Open the Pokémon GO app and go to Settings > un-check the Adventure Sync setting
  3. Sign out of Pokémon GO and sign back in again.
  4. In Pokémon GO, go to Settings > check the Adventure Sync checkbox  > in the popup with all your Google Accounts, select the desired account
  5. Finally, ensure your Google Fit is on the correct account

6. Unsolved Mysteries

  1. How do steps/calories from Adventure Sync convert to distance?
  2. Do weekly fitness reward eggs have different rarity tiers and/or species pools?
  3. Is there a way to use 3rd party peripherals or apps like Fitbits that don’t have native HealthKit/gFit installations?