Learn all about the buddy system that is being added to Pokemon GO in a future update, including how much distance needs to be walked to earn extra candy.
From the outset, Niantic has made it clear that Pokemon GO is an experience that, like the very pocket monsters in the game, will evolve over time. One way that Pokemon GO will be evolving in an upcoming update is by the addition of the buddy system, which will allow trainers to travel with a Pokemon of their choice outside of its Pokeball. There are some benefits to doing this, so anyone that wants to know the purpose of the buddy system and how it will function can use this guide to learn everything there is to know about the upcoming Pokemon GO feature.
First off, players will only be able to have one Pokemon as their designated “buddy” at any given time. While a Pokemon is designated to buddy duty, players won’t be able to use it for other tasks in the game. So if Pokemon trading was available, a buddy Pokemon wouldn’t be able to be traded until its status as a buddy Pokemon was removed. Likewise, a buddy Pokemon is unable to fight in gym battles.
Buddy Pokemon come in four different sizes: Medium, Shoulder, Big, and Flying. It seems as though the size of Pokemon will be based on their actual size in the Pokemon universe, as opposed to the random height and weight that is assigned to them in Pokemon GO. So that means a Snorlax, for instance, will never be labeled as anything other than a “Big” size Pokemon.
The purpose of having a buddy Pokemon is to earn candy. As any avid Pokemon GO players know, candy is a precious commodity in the game, as it is the only way players are able to evolve their Pokemon. Each Pokemon in the game has been assigned a distance between 1 KM to 3 KM, and walking that set distance with that Pokemon assigned as a buddy will earn players candy. The vast majority of Pokemon only require 1 or 2 KM to get candy, but there are some Pokemon that require 3 KM.
Unsurprisingly, the rarer Pokemon require players to walk farther to gain candy for them. Some Pokemon GO datamining efforts have shown that even legendary Pokemon have the 3 KM distance assigned to them, like Mew, Mewtwo, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos. The size of these Pokemon has also been revealed because of the datamining, and interestingly enough, Moltres is labeled as a “Big” Pokemon, as opposed to “Flying,” which is the label that Articuno and Zapdos fall under.
Overall, the buddy system in Pokemon GO should allow trainers to acquire some rarer Pokemon much faster. It will also help players make more significant progress in the game while completing other tasks like searching for Pokemon or trying to hatch eggs. We imagine that the buddy system, like the game’s other features, will probably be refined more over time, so expect some of the walking distances to be adjusted in future patches and updates.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.