Incoming New Pokémon GO Feature: “Buddy Pokémon”!
In the last update, there were hints of a new feature on the horizon missed in our initial APK teardown. We’ve since adjusted our methods to better detect features like this in the future.
Here are a few hints of the buddy feature found in APK 0.35.0:
Today Niantic announced this feature along with some new details and pictures! Let’s break this down along with the information we know from APK 0.35.0.
Assigning a Buddy Pokémon
Niantic first states, “You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. ”
From this we learn that you can only have one Buddy Pokémon assigned, though it is also stated that you can change your buddy at any time. We also see what are guessed to be the BUDDY_MEDIUM and BUDDY_BIG values shown with examples of Squirtle and Charmander being medium sized Pokémon, and Snorlax being a big sized Pokémon. The other values indicate other stances shown on the Trainer profile.
We originally thought these values hinted at stances for Pokémon seen on the world map that would follow alongside your trainer as you moved vs stances in the trainer profile. If that was never on the dev table, you’re welcome for the freebie Niantic ;). This image shared by Niantic today shows no sign of a Pokémon next to the trainer (though we’ll discus the new meter below).
While Niantic touches on candy being an in-game reward for “walking together”, the other bonuses, rewards, and experiences mentioned are left pretty vague. Walking together and being awarded candy seem to align with values seen in the last APK: km_buddy_distance and buddy_candy_awarded.
Reddit user Muchachin shared an image not seen on the English version of this update from Niantic, but rather from the Spanish version.
Along with this interesting image, Muchachin also made a on-point speculation that the distance required to get a candy for that Pokémon type is directly tied to distance required to hatch a Pokémon of that type! In the image above we see 2 KM is required for a Charmander candy. Charmander can also be hatched from a 2 KM egg, so the speculation certainly fits.
We also see indication of the distance required on the world map displaying an avatar for the Pokémon next to the trainer avatar. On the outside boarder of the Pokémon avatar, we notice what is assumed to be the distance traveled meter.
We hope this new features drop in the next update, though the time frame was left at “just around the corner.” This will be a great method for gaining candy for some of the more rare Pokémon in your collect. We’ll report more as we find out!