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UPDATED: Pokémon GO’s Upcoming “Buddy Pokémon” Will Let You Walk Your Pokémon for Candy

It's you and me!


[UPDATE: Niantic has confirmed the Buddy Pokémon feature! The say, “The next addition to Pokémon GO will be Buddy Pokémon. You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. You’ll also have the ability to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time.”

In screenshots, the Pokémon only shows up next to your player avatar on your player status screen (sadly), but an icon shows up near your experience bar that shows which Pokémon you’ve chosen with a distance meter that theoretically tells you how close you are to earning your bonuses. Niantic also promises more new features on the way this fall!]

We’re still waiting for an updated Pokémon tracking system, but an upcoming Pokémon GO feature may breathe new life into the game even without it. A “Buddy System” has been noticed in the code that will let you choose a Pokémon to walk (fly, etc.) alongside you, but it’s far more than a graphical gimmick. Your walking distance will be tracked just like hatching an egg, and it will award you with the all-important candy in return.

That’s a huge change for people who are frustrated that they can’t find enough of a specific Pokémon in the wild and opens up a whole new avenue for evolving Pokémon. It’s also an extra incentive for lapsed players to get back outside and play the game, since there’s a guarantee that a walk with your Pokémon will yield a specific benefit, which has been a bit lacking in the game since the tracking system was removed.

There’s not a whole lot of other information available on the feature, since the groundwork for it was simply noticed in the game’s code by users breaking it down on Github. It does appear that there will be a daily limit on the candy yield for walking Pokémon, which is likely to prevent it from completely superseding catching Pokémon for candy. There’s also no official timeframe for when this feature will go live, but it’s already been a week since the last update, so sometime over the next two weeks appears likely.

Maybe your dog will finally get a rest?

(via OtakuKart, image via The Pokémon Company)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.