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Does Using Incense in an Empty Spawn Area Gives you Rare Pokemon? Let's Find Out!

Does Using Incense in an Empty Spawn Area Gives you Rare Pokemon? Let's Find Out!
Hello all, I've seen many posts about the "rumor" that incense will spawn random mons once you get far enough from possible spawn points, but there seemed to be no information about just how far away. As many others I've previously tried out a couple incenses around the outskirts of my village with nothing on my radar, only to end up with the same old birds and bugs. But after the recent discussions I decided to do some vigorous testing and see just how far out I'd have to walk to reach the magical pokemon spawn areas, if the rumors even were true. My location is, after all, optimal for such testing without having to drive anywhere, or having to head out on the water:

Area specs:Small village of a few hundred people in central Finland, the closest town is 30 km away with nothing but forests, lakes and bogs in between. There is only one cluster of spawn spots in the middle of the village so measuring the distance to that was easy. I downloaded Ingress and made sure there were indeed no dormant spawn points/xm spots anywhere else in town or along the road that I tested on.

The testing road is a gravel road that's used for forestry purposes and is flanked by nothing but forest and bogs here's a picture of what it looks like:


Ends in a dead end loop after ~8 km. Fairly straight. I purposefully chose a road that leads away from the lakes to see if water pokemon would still spawn without the biome for it.

Excellent mobile connection all the time, I never went below 3 bars of 4G data. The GPS kept me securely on the forest road, no darting around.

Total Incences used for this test was 20, 6 in "town", 6 in the "wilderness", and 8 back and forth in the area between the two to try and pinpoint where the magic border was. I'll include pokemon spawn tables below, but first my findings.

MAIN FINDING 

I had to be 1km from the nearest spawn point to start seeing random spawns! I narrowed down the switch point, which I've named "point x", to be somewhere between 970-1020 meters from the spawn point in town, so an even 1km is likely. To put this in perspective: the "sightings" radius is 200 meters. You have to still walk 800 meters further to escape the influence of that spawn point, even if there is currently nothing spawning in it. The switch was reliable and obvious: magikarps, ponytas and pikachus after point x; rattatas, weedles and pidgeys before.

Other findings

1. Starting the incense before point x and walking into the wilderness usually allowed the random mons to start spawning, but occasionally it would get stuck in the town spawn and keep vomiting pidgeys and weedles for the remainder of the incense. Popping the incense once you're well out of weedle range is recommended.

2. Town incense only spawned pokemon I've seen before on the radar, except for one Meowth that was new.

3. Wilderness Incence spawned several water pokemon without any source of water nearby

4. Wilderness incense spawned only a single evolved pokemon (gloom) and no 10k egg "rares", except for Eevee, so there is definitely some rarity ranking even in the randomness. Two starters and several pikachus did spawn.

Spawns from incense in "town": 6 Incenses, used outside the sightings radius for any spawn points but inside point x's radius. Nearby tab was always empty. Average mon per incense: 10,2 (walking)

Pokemon
Amount
Percentage
Pidgey
15
24,6
Weedle
13
21,3
Rattata
9
11,8
Spearow
7
11,5
Paras
3
4,9
Zubat
3
3,3
Eevee
2
4,9
Kakuna
1
1,6
Beedrill
1
1,6
Caterpie
1
1,6
Pidgeotto
1
1,6
Oddish
1
1,6
Bellsprout
1
1,6
Venonat
1
1,6
Meowth
1
1,6
Shellder
1
1,6

*Spawns from incense in the "wilderness:* 6 incenses, used after point x in the woods. Average mon per incense: 11,5 (walking)
Pokemon
Amount
Percentage
Magikarp
9
13
Ponyta
4
5,8
Caterpie
3
4,3
Voltorb
3
4,3
Eevee
3
4,3
Zubat
3
4,3
Pikachu
3
4,3
Spearow
2
2,9
Gastly
2
2,9
Bellsprout
2
2,9
Machop
2
2,9
Cubone
2
2,9
Jigglypuff
2
2,9
Exeggcute
2
2,9
Weedle
2
2,9
Rattata
2
2,9
Krabby
2
2,9
Tentacool
2
2,9
Shellder
2
2,9
Clefairy
1
1,4
Squirtle
1
1,4
Psyduck
1
1,4
Goldeen
1
1,4
Nidoran M
1
1,4
Magnemite
1
1,4
Poliwag
1
1,4
Growlithe
1
1,4
Sandshrew
1
1,4
Paras
1
1,4
Pidgey
1
1,4
Seel
1
1,4
Geodude
1
1,4
Hersea
1
1,4
Charmander
1
1,4
Doduo
1
1,4
Gloom
1
1,4

That's 36 different pokemon from 36 different evolution lines out of 69 total spawns. Not bad. For comparison the town incense spawned 16 different pokemon from 13 evolution lines out of 61 total spawns.
 
I didn't make a table for the 8 incenses that I used while walking back and forth trying to find point x, but the spawns were consistent with the ones above and didn't include any "new" pokemon as far as I can remember. The spawn numbers were also lower because I was standing still a lot during some of them.

There you go, hopefully this will help some of you out there. It's not the largest sample in the world but I got the information I was looking for out of it, I know where to go now if I want to spend my incenses. The random spawns might help out truly rural folks such as myself (got to pay 1 euro for every hour though, grr.), but I suspect the 1km pidgey radius will be hard to escape for those living in semi-rural areas, the countryside or the suburbs. Which is likely the majority of so-called "rural" players who post here who won't be able to escape the eternal bugs and birds even with money.

Update: My friend just used an incense in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise ship. Here are the results...