Pokemon Go Buddy System Guide
Pokemon Go's latest update added a new feature called the Buddy System, which is a background activity that earns you candy for your Pokemon. It's a handy new feature, but like other mechanics in the app, there are essential details you need to know about when using it. That's why we've created a detailed guide offering the basics on this new system as well as essential tips to follow.
Got any useful tips to offer about the Buddy System that you don't see here? Let us know in the comments below!
What is the Buddy System?
The Buddy System is a new feature that allows you to earn candy for a specific Pokemon by walking its distance benchmark. For instance, you can earn a piece of candy for a Pikachu after walking 1 km. This feature is useful, especially when you're too busy to play while travelling or are in a rural area where it's difficult to catch Pokemon of the same type to farm candy from.
Aside from earning you candy; the Buddy System displays the Pokemon of your choice next to your trainer in the profile screen.
How to Assign a Buddy Pokemon
To assign a Buddy Pokemon, tap the photo of your trainer avatar and then pick the Buddy option in the Menu screen between Journal and Customize. You can then choose a Pokemon from your collection to designate as your buddy.
How Much Distance Does Each Pokemon Require?
Each Pokemon has a different distance hallmark to reach in order to earn candy. Common Pokemon produce candy faster thanks to their shorter distance goals, while rare Pokemon take longer. With so many distance values to be mindful of across the app's extensive Pokemon roster, we've compiled them all in a comprehensive chart, which you can find here.
Note: The chart does not include values for Legendaries and unreleased Pokemon, such as Zapdos, Mewtwo, Ditto. We'll update the chart with their values as soon as they're officially confirmed in-game.
Choose Your Buddy Wisely
While the Buddy system is a handy feature you can use to gain candy, it's important to note that you can only assign one Pokemon as your buddy at a time. When choosing your buddy, choose a Pokemon that's in need of candy and not maxed out in power.
Be Careful When Reassigning Your Buddy
When choosing a Buddy Pokemon, make sure it's one you're willing to commit to. If you assign a new Buddy while your current one is in the process of reaching its distance goal, all of its progress will be lost.
Never Evolve Your Buddy Halfway Through Its Goal
As you accumulate more candy for your buddy, you're likely to become eager to evolve it. But before you do so, make sure you've fulfilled its current distance hallmark. Evolving your Pokemon while you're in the process of walking it resets its progress. This is because evolving your Buddy essentially turns it into a different Pokemon, thus the reset in the distance meter. Be sure to time your evolutions wisely.
An Easy Way to Reference Your Buddy's Progress and Status
You can access your buddy's distance progress screen by going to the trainer screen and tapping your buddy. In addition, you can quickly reference your buddy's stats and number of candies by swiping right at the lower half of the screen.
Keep Your App Open
Like egg hatching, Pokemon Go's Buddy System only tracks the distance you've travelled when the app is active. Nobody wants to walk 5 km for nothing, so make sure your app is open.
How to Get Pikachu To Sit on Your Shoulder (Like Ash Ketchum)
In the trainer screen, you'll notice that some Pokemon either stand beside you or sit on your shoulder when assigned as your Buddy; these different positions depend on the type. For example, a Snorlax will stand beside you when assigned as your buddy, while a Pidgey will nestle itself upon your shoulder. However, there's an interesting secret that allows you to get Pikachu--a Pokemon that normally only stands beside you--to sit on your shoulder instead. To unlock this, simply travel 10 km with Pikachu assigned as your buddy.