What Does The "Pokemon Go" Buddy System Do?

Niantic Labs has been releasing some great updates of their popular AR game “Pokemon Go” recently, but the latest one has a special feature that every committed trainer will appreciate. Not only does the update give players a helpful way to catch ‘em all, but it brings the experience of playing the game closer to the original Pokemon anime. By now you’re probably thinking, “that all sounds great but what does the "Pokemon Go" buddy system do?” Well, hold onto your Poke-eggs my friend, because the new Pokemon buddy system feature is about to revolutionize the dynamics of the game we all love.

The buddy system allows players to become besties with one of their Pokemon the way Ash and Pikachu bonded in the OG anime. The Pokemon that you choose as your buddy will follow you around outside its Pokeball (sweet sweet freedom!) and rack up candies as you walk together. Every time you travel the goal distance your pokebud gets rewarded with a candy. There is a deficit of certain Pokes in the wild, and this technique can help those trainers willing to pound the pavement evolve rare Pokemon faster.

Each Pokemon requires a different distance to receive its candy reward. Starter Pokemon (those who would hatch from a 1k egg) get a candy every one kilometer walked, Those Pokes that would hatch from a 5k egg usually get a candy every three kilometers, and the rarest Pokemon get a candy every five kilometers traversed. (I’m tired just thinking about it.) Pokeassistant has compiled a complete list of Pokemon and distance required for the candy payoff, so that you can strategize just how long it will take to walk your Pokemon buddy to evolution.

To activate your buddy system make sure that you are running the most recent version of the app. Tap the lower left hand side of the screen to view your trainer profile. You will see a circle with three horizontal bars in the lower right hand side. Click on the button to view the list options. Between “Customize” and “Journal” you will see a new category: “Buddy.”

Tap the Buddy option to choose which Pokemon you want to join you on your quest. As a member of Team Instinct, I’m going to start with my favorite electric Pokemon — Pikachu, of course. Unless you live near a power plant or get really lucky with hatching those eggs, Pikachus are few and far between. I've never even seen a Riachu in the wild or defending a gym, but I have a feeling that with this buddy system that's about to change.

For those who want to fill out their Pokedex, the buddy system is gift. Now, evolving that Magikarp has never been easier! Depending on the popularity of this new technique, Niantic may have to release a few new Pokemon to keep its players interested. In my humble opinion, Mewtwo is long overdue.

Images: Screenshots/Pokemon Go