Pokémon GO wants your next adventure to be with a buddy.
Niantic today announced a new buddy system that will be coming to the game in 2020. This means your Pokémon will now appear by your side in-game, and you will be able to bond with them and increase your buddy level. Playing with your Pokémon, feeding them treats, winning battles, and exploring will all help to increase your buddy level and develop a better bond with your Pokémon.
“I’m surprised by the number of Pokémon I’m falling in love with from interacting with them,” Laura Warner, lead game designer, said in the blog post about the update. “Like watching a Spheal roll behind me on the map… I just care about Pokémon unlike ever before.”
Buddies can have four different levels, which will open up new features and perks. When you feed a Pokémon berries, turning them into a Goody Buddy, and they will join your character on the map view. You will also be able to see how they are feeling on the buddy profile page.
Great Buddies can help you catch other Pokémon in encounters, and also find helpful items for you. Ultra Buddies will give you helpful clues about interesting places nearby, and will even bring you Souvenirs which can be tracked on the buddy profile page. Finally, Best Buddies will wear a ribbon to proudly show how close you are to them, and will give you a CP boost in combat as long as they are your assigned buddy Pokémon. You will even be able to play with your buddies in AR+ mode.
The buddy profile page will also be getting an upgrade and will show you your buddy’s progress towards finding Candy, their mood, a chart of activities that your buddy likes to do, and your buddy level. You will also be able to see the history of all your buddies and the adventures that you got up to together.
On top all that, you and your friends will be able to meet each other’s buddies in a Shared AR Experience mode. This new mode will allow you to sync up with other Trainers and use AR+ to take group photos of your buddies.
“Since launching Pokémon GO, this might be the most collaborative feature we have had with The Pokémon Company,” said Ryuta Hiroi, lead Niantic product manager. “Even with your phone in your pocket, you’ll feel like your buddy is right beside you.”