It’s happening guys– Niantic is finally granting us a feature we’ve been waiting for, buddy Pokémon. To understand why a lot of trainers have been waiting for this feature, let’s go way back to the 1st generation game, Pokémon Yellow, where Pikachu follows your trainer around mirroring how the Pikachu walks besides Ash in the Animé/Cartoon series. Fast forward to the 4th generation expansion games Heart Gold and Soul Silver where the leader of any trainer’s party will be shown walking behind them, such a feature has been universally missed as it has not appeared in any Pokémon game since, and that’s why everyone is excited for this feature to appear Pokémon GO.
How does it Look?
In Pokémon GO, any trainer can assign any of their Pokémon as their buddy and the Pokémon will appear on their trainer’s page. Different Pokémon will have different positions depending on their size: Small Pokémon will appear on the player’s shoulder, while medium and large-sized Pokémon will appear on the player’s side and flying Pokémon will fly behind the player.
…Does it do more?
Beyond the cool factor of this update, the buddy system also has a benefit to everyone, your buddy Pokémon will generate candies as long as you walk with them where different Pokémon will generate candies on different distances. There’s also an easter egg where if you walk with the same Pikachu for 10 kilometers (or make him pickup 10 Pikachu candies), the Pikachu will migrate to your shoulder mirroring how Ash’s Pikachu likes to sit on his shoulder.
Sadly, Niantic has been very slow to roll out this update, some even speculate that it has been cancelled, and only very few trainers have access to the update as of the time of this writing. Android users, however, have access to the apk file of the update and can install the update even if it has not been cleared for their device, do so at your own risk since installing any unauthorized update or program has its own risks if you’re really excited to try on this new feature.