The new Pokemon Go buddy system has officially launched on iOS and Android devices.
In the new update, trainers can select one Pokemon in their Pokedex to be their “buddy.” This means that the Pokemon will travel alongside you at all times, collecting candy for every few kilometers walked. It does not appear on the map, but the Pokemon is displayed next to the player on the avatar screen. But once you select a buddy Pokemon, is there a way to get rid of it? Or is that selection permanent?
At the moment, it appears that once you select a buddy Pokemon, there is no way to go back to having no buddy at all. However, you can very easily swap out the Pokemon for a different buddy. To do so, just follow these steps:
- Press the avatar button on the bottom left of the screen.
- Select the button on the bottom right with the three lines.
- Choose “buddy.”
- Select the button on the bottom right with the two arrows.
- Select “yes.”
- Choose the Pokemon you want to have as your new buddy.
- Hit the check mark.
You’ll be taken to the avatar screen where you can see your brand new buddy Pokemon. There’s no limit on how many times you can perform a swap, and your buddies will also retain their distance progress every time you shift them around. But once you choose your first buddy, you will not ever be able to play the game solo again and will always be required to have a buddy. But then again, having one is basically just free candy, so there’s no real reason to avoid using the system.
There are very few limits on what you can do with your buddy Pokemon; you can still use it to fight in an enemy gym and to train in your own. However, you won’t be able to station this Pokemon at a gym as a defender, and you won’t be able to transfer them to the professor.
In general, the best Pokemon to pick as a buddy are the relatively rare ones that you would not normally encounter in the wild or hatch. Also be sure you’re only selecting Pokemon that you actually want to evolve and not ones that are in their final form.