It’s happening guys– Niantic is finally granting us a feature we’ve been waiting for, buddy PokÃ©mon. To understand why a lot of trainers have been waiting for this feature, let’s go way back to the 1st generation game, PokÃ©mon Yellow, where Pikachu follows your trainer around mirroring how the Pikachu walks besides Ash in the AnimÃ©/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 PokÃ©mon game since, and that’s why everyone is excited for this feature to appear PokÃ©mon GO.
A screenshot of a Steelix following the player around
How does it Look?
In PokÃ©mon GO, any trainer can assign any of their PokÃ©mon as their buddy and the PokÃ©mon will appear on their trainer’s page. Different PokÃ©mon will have different positions depending on their size: Small PokÃ©mon will appear on the player’s shoulder, while medium and large-sized PokÃ©mon will appear on the player’s side and flying PokÃ©mon will fly behind the player.
Different sized PokÃ©mon will appear on different parts of your screen
…Does it do more?
Beyond the cool factor of this update, the buddy system also has a benefit to everyone, your buddy PokÃ©mon will generate candies as long as you walk with them where different PokÃ©mon 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.
Pikachu before and after the shoulder ride easter egg
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.