Want to be best buds with your favourite pocket monster? You and your Pokemon will soon be able to be digital friends – well at least in Pokemon GO.

Niantic Inc’s augmented reality (AR) game is about to introduce a new feature simply called “Buddy Pokemon”. It’s a buddy system that basically allows you to walk your Pokemon and earn some benefits from this virtual friendship.

buddy pokemon slash gear
Source: Slash Gear

Details on this new “Buddy Pokemon” system are a bit scant at the moment, but here’s what we gathered from Niantic Labs’ official announcement:

  • Each Pokemon GO player is only limited to 1 Pokemon at a time
  • You can swap your “buddy” at any given time
  • The Buddy Pokemon will appear alongside your trainer avatar on your profile screen
  • Buddy Pokemon will earn candy as they walk (which means you’d be able to evolve them faster)
  • Most of the Pokemons will only require 1 or 2km to earn a candy, but certain Pokemons will require 3km
  • Niantic says that having a Buddy Pokemon opens up “unique in-game rewards and experiences,” potentially based on the type of Pokemon
  • The 4 different buddy size categories are – Medium, Shoulder, Big, Flying
  • A buddy Pokemon can’t be deployed to gyms

Below is the chart comprising of buddy size and candy distance requirements in the game code as obtained by trainer Elfinlazz via Pokemon GO Game Press:

Unsurprisingly, the rarer Pokemon are the ones that require players to walk further in order to obtain candies for them. Even legendary Pokemon such as Mew, Mewtwo, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos have a 3km distance assigned to them. Interestingly, Moltres has been classified as a “big” Pokemon, although the other 2 legendary birds – Articuno and Zapdos – fall under “flying”.

With the upcoming “Buddy Pokemon” system, Pokemon GO players will now have more options to evolve their Pokemon. Game Press has also compiled a handy guide detailing the distance and time required to fully evolve a Pokemon.

Check it out below:

Pokemon go game
Source: Pokemon GO Game Press

There’s no specific date yet on when this update will reach Asia, more specifically Malaysia, but you can probably expect it in the coming months.

Sources: Pokemon GO Game Press, Game Rant, Business Insider/ Featured image: Pokemon GO Map.

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