A new Pokemon GO! update has finally reached our shores, and brings with it a new way of approaching the game’s mechanics. If you’ve always wanted to be like Ash and have your own Pikachu with you instead of inside its pokeball, then the Buddy System update is the answer to your wish!
Check out the patch notes:
- Implemented Buddy Pokemon: Trainers will now be able to choose one of their pokemon to be their buddy. A trainer can earn Candy for their Pokemon Buddy by walking a certain distance.
- Made it easier to select smaller Pokemon on the screen.
- Fixed an issue where Eggs would sometimes hatch without displaying the animation.
- Improved performance reliability when a device switches networks to no longer cause the application to hang or stop updating.
- Added Pokemon GO Plus Support.
- Minor text fixes.
The Buddy System is simple: you pick a Pokemon from your roster, and have it walk with you for training. Similar to how the set up was in the anime, the Pokemon you choose to be your buddy will appear next to your player portrait and will appear beside your player avatar when you access that screen.
Basically, you walk with your buddy and you will be rewarded with candy from that Pokemon’s base type. This addresses an issue with the game where you want to power up or evolve a certain Pokemon but don’t have access to a lot of it in the wild where you are commonly traveling. An example of this would be rare Pokemon that spawn or nest in very specific areas or even the much-loved Magikarp. Trainers who want their very own Gyarados will need 400 Magikarp candy for the evolution, but may live or move in areas without consistent Magikarp spawn.
It also addresses the issue of powering up Pokemon. Powering up a Gyarados (say with high IV and great normal and special attacks) that a trainer got from evolving a Magikarp would probably have depleted all the candy. Buddying up with your Gyarados allows you to now have access to candy that’s needed to turn it into the very best Gyarados around, ready to attack or defend gyms.
Sadly, you actually can’t see your buddy in the default game screen as you are moving across the generated map, but we’re hoping Niantic will address this in a future update.