‘Pokémon GO’ update adds Buddy system, learn how it works
‘Pokémon GO’ update adds Buddy system, learn how it works. Image credit: Comic Book.

Pokémon Go Plus price and release date

The developers at Niantic are now rolling out the latest update for ‘Pokémon GO’ for iOS and Android devices. Most notably, the update adds the much awaited Buddy system, a significant change for in-game mechanics that offers a solution to a long-standing problem.

Update 0.37.0 and 1.7.0 in Android and iOS respectively will also lay the foundations to support the upcoming Pokémon Go Plus.

The add-on peripheral is a $34.99 device that will allow trainers to play without using their smartphones. The Plus will vibrate when it is near a PokéStop, and it will throw Poké Ball to wild Pokémon by pressing a button. It comes out this Friday, September 16.

What does the new update bring to Pokémon Go? 

Pokemon Go Plus-Pokemon Go-update-buddy system
The new Pokemon Go update comes with the buddy system and support for Pokemon Go PLUS. Image credit: Polygon.

The update included an easy method to select small Pokémon on displays, it fixed an egg hatching animation issue, and it added support for network switching. This last feature allows the app to run seamlessly between Wi-Fi and mobile data connections.

The Buddy system introduces an iconic feature of the Pokémon franchise to the mobile augmented reality game. Both in the anime and in several titles for portable Nintendo consoles, trainers can have one of their Pokémon as their partners at all times.

Niantic implements the Buddy system in the latest update in a similar fashion. To select a Pokémon to make it their Buddy, players need to tap on their trainer avatar, then on the Menu, and then the Buddy option. There, players can navigate through their Pokémon team to choose the creature they wish as their favorite companion.

Once selected, the new buddy will show up alongside the trainer avatar in the profile screen and by the little avatar icon when players are walking around the map. Pokémon Buddies do not show up alongside trainers in map areas.

What are the benefits of the Buddy system?

The buddy featured added new rewards. Since candy is such a vital and, at times, difficult in-game currency to get, the Buddy system in ‘Pokémon GO’ awards candy to players in exchange of walking a set distance.

For those who are not familiar with the game, the only way to get candy is to catch several Pokémon of the same ‘family’. In other words, catching multiple Pidgeys will get trainers three candy for each Pidgey caught. A certain amount of candy is necessary to make Pokémon evolve depending on the species.

With the new Buddy feature, players get one candy for each completed walk. Depending on the Pokémon, the walk distance is 1, 3, or 5 km. Starter Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and Pikachu require 3 km walks to get a reward.

There are a couple of downsides in selecting a Pokémon as a Buddy. If a Pokémon is with a trainer at all times, it cannot be chosen to defend a gym. Moreover, switching Buddies will erase all progress on the previous Pokémon walking distance, so players need to be smart about making the switch.

Source: Pokémon GO Live