The new Pokemon Go buddy system has finally arrived.
This new feature allows players to select one of their Pokemon as a “buddy.” From then on, that buddy will walk with you throughout the game, appearing next to your avatar on the bottom left of the screen. The idea is that for every few kilometers you walk, you will receive a piece of that Pokemon’s candy. Not a bad deal, huh?
That candy, of course, is what you use to evolve your Pokemon. So with the buddy system, players can walk a Pokemon whose candy is usually hard to come by, and it therefore becomes much easier to evolve this species just by doing some actual exercise. You can make any Pokemon your buddy, but it’s generally recommended you pick one that is somewhat rare and that you are hoping to evolve anyway. After all, the rarer the Pokemon, the rarer its candy, and the more difficult it is to evolve.
Every Pokemon requires you to walk either one, three or five kilometers, depending on how rare the species is. Relatively common Pokemon like Pidgey only require you to walk one kilometer, while rarer species like Snorlax and Dratini require five.
Via The Silph Road subreddit, here is a chart breaking down the three categories of buddy Pokemon, followed by a text breakdown in case you’d like to do a Control+F search for a specific creature.
- Nidoran (Female)
- Nidoran (Male)
- Mr. Mime
That “unknown km per candy reward” section on the chart is devoted to Pokemon that nobody has found in the game yet. Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mewtwo and Mew are expected to be added in at some point in the future, while Ditto may or may not be hiding in the game right now as some sort of Easter egg. Regardless, none of them are currently attainable.
Before you start walking your buddy, one thing you should know is that evolving the buddy resets its distance progress. For example, let’s say your buddy is Dratini and you are 4.5 kilometers into your 5 kilometer walk. Then, you come by enough Dratini candy through other means that you can now evolve it. Doing so will completely erase those 4.5 kilometers, and when the Pokemon evolves into Dragonair, the distance goes back to zero. Therefore, in that scenario, you may want to just finish off that five kilometers before performing the evolution.
Once you’ve decided what Pokemon you want as your buddy, here’s how you can make your selection:
- Go to your avatar by tapping the bottom left of the screen showing your character’s face.
- Press the button with the three lines on the bottom right of the screen.
- Hit the “buddy” option.
- Your Pokdex will come up. From here, just pick whatever Pokemon you would like to be your buddy.
But don’t worry, your selection isn’t permanent. You can change buddies at absolutely any time. Here’s how you can do that
- Click the button on the bottom left of the screen showing your character’s face.
- Hit the button on the bottom right of the screen with the three lines.
- Select “buddy.”
- Hit the button on the bottom right of the screen with the two arrows.
- You will be asked “Are you sure you want to swap your buddy?” Hit yes.
- Select the Pokemon you want to have as your new buddy.
Although evolving a buddy gets rid of its progress, transferring a buddy does not, so you can feel free to make a transfer at any time without worrying about losing all the kilometers you’ve invested in it. Once you’ve picked a buddy, there’s not a way to go back to having no buddy at all, but why would you want to do that anyway?
So how far will you need to walk in order to evolve your buddy Pokemon? If it’s a rarer species, you have quite the journey ahead of you. Dragonaire, for instance, requires you to travel 500 kilometers, or 310 miles, in order to evolve it just by walking. To put that in perspective, Washington, D.C. is about 226 miles away from New York City. Nobody ever said the process would be simple.
For more, check out our guide on figuring out how much further you need to walk with your buddy to evolve it.
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