Back on Saturday, Niantic revealed big changes headed to Pokemon Go by way of a new buddy system. The update, which was slowly rolling out in phases, appears to finally be live in the Google Play Store for most everyone. You know, those that didn’t feel like sideloading the APK from 3rd party hosting sites.
Pokemon Go’s new buddy system allows users to choose a Pokemon to travel with, picking up candies for every X amount of km you walk. It’s similar to the egg hatching system, and is easily one of the more well-received updates the game has seen in recent months. The exact distance depends on the Pokemon chosen and for the most part lines up with the Pokemon you hatch in the different eggs. For example, Pokemon that hatch from 10km eggs require 5km of buddy walking, 5km = 3km, and 2km = 1km. Make sense? There are exceptions to this, which are highlighted in this quick and easy infograph made by contributors of r/thesilphroad:
It’s worth noting that occasionally, your buddy will find more than 1 candy, which is a nice bonus and there’s even an Easter Egg for Pikachu in which walking a total of 10km with him will show him move up onto your shoulder on your profile screen (kinda like the TV show). It’s a nice little touch and something neat for fans of the franchise.
Protip: Buddy Pokemon can’t be placed in gyms, so if you’re looking to farm candies for your Pokemon, try to keep 2 versions of the same kind on deck — 1 for placing in gyms, and the other weaker one (low CP/IVs) to walk around with.
Other changes include a few UI tweaks, bug fixes, new animations and support for the upcoming Pokemon Go Plus accessory, due out this Friday, Sept 16th. Oh, and rooted users have officially been blocked from playing Pokemon Go, although there are some clever workarounds which we’ve already explored here.
Download on Google Play: Pokémon Go