As satisfying as it is to finally snag that Blastoise or evolve that loyal Magikarp, keeping them cooped up all day in a handy battle sphere can start to feel a little unfair. Luckily, Pokémon GO’s new Buddy feature allows you to travel across the land with your favourite Pokémon at your side.
As stated by developer Niantic, the new feature is “just around the corner,” and will allow you to “pick your favourite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences.”
Once you’ve chosen your buddy, the selected Pokémon will appear alongside your trainer character on your profile.
You’ll also receive additional candy for walking set distances alongside your chosen accomplice. According to GamePress, you’ll receive a candy bonus for walking 1KM, 2KM and 3KM alongside a buddy Pokémon. The site also posted a list of distance requirements for evolving buddy pokémon, as well as a rough estimate of the time you’ll need to be walking for to reach that coveted Gyarados. It’s around 37 hours, apparently.
While you’ll only be able to select one buddy at a time, you’re free to change your accompanying pocket monster whenever you like. As long as a Pokémon remains your buddy, however, it won’t be able to compete at gyms.
The Buddy update follows the augmented-reality app’s recent Appraisal feature, which enables trainers to evaluate their Pokémon’s attributes to decide which is best suited for battle. Though a specific launch date for the update has not yet been revealed, the Appraisal function’s prompt appearance last month suggests that players might expect to be taking their poké-chum for a walk very soon.