‘Pokemon Go’: Will Switching Buddy Pokemon Reset Its Distance?

'Pokemon Go' is available now for iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

‘Pokemon Go’ is available now for iOS and Android devices. (Nintendo)

Pokemon Go players around the world are slowly beginning to get their hands on the new buddy system, and so we’re starting to learn more about how exactly the new feature works.

With the latest Pokemon Go update, trainers can select one of their Pokemon as a “buddy.” Doing so means that as you travel throughout the game, the buddy walks with you, and for every few kilometers you walk, you’ll get pieces of candy as a reward. The idea is that for Pokemon that are relatively rare to see in the wild, it now becomes easier to evolve these creatures simply by walking them. Depending on the Pokemon, you’ll either need to travel one, three or five kilometers to get one piece of candy.

This isn’t like picking a team where your selection is permanent, though. You can switch buddy Pokemon at any time. But one question a lot of people have been wondering is if you switch your buddy, does its distance traveled completely reset?

Luckily, according to those lucky trainers who have gotten their hands on the update, the answer is no. You can switch buddy Pokemon at any time without losing progress. So, for example, if you have a Squirtle as your buddy and have walked two kilometers on it, if you switch to a Pikachu, that Pikachu’s distance will start at zero kilometers. But if you switch back to the original Squirtle, it will still have those two kilometers saved from earlier, and you can continue where you left off.

However, the distance walked is specific to an individual Pokemon, not to a species. If in the previous example, you switched to a second Squirtle, this Squirtle would not have those two kilometers; it would start at zero.

It’s also important to note, though, that evolving a Pokemon does reset its distance. So let’s say that once again your buddy is a Squirtle who you have walked for two kilometers. Before you complete the Squirtle’s walk, you come upon enough candy to evolve it, and so you decide to evolve the Squirtle into a Wartortle. The Wartortle is considered to be a completely new Pokemon, and so its distance traveled will reset to zero, and those two kilometers will be lost. You can still do that if you don’t care much about getting more candy, but Squirtle only requires three kilometers to get candy, so in that example, you may want to just finish off the walk before performing the evolution.

Niantic Labs announced on September 10th that the new buddy system update would begin rolling out, but three days later, the majority of players still do not have the update, which has lead to complaints in the Pokemon Go online community. Though more fans have gradually been getting their hands on the system, it’s not known when it will become available to most of the public.