With the sun about to set on another successful year for Pokémon Go, Niantic has decided now is the time to unveil its plans for the future ahead.
We learned a while ago, of course, that the developer plans to introduce dedicated online battles for Trainers to enjoy early next year, but that’s not all it has in store. Joining – and perhaps preceding, if the tentative “roll out around the world by 2020” ETA is any indication – that ambitious update in the weeks ahead will be a total overhaul to one of Pokémon Go‘s core mechanics, the Buddy system.
As it turns out, Niantic believes the feature’s current iteration is far from rewarding or intuitive enough and plans to make a number of foundational changes in order to make showering your favourite Pokémon with gifts and praise worth the hassle once more. Continue through the break below for a complete breakdown of what’s on the way.
Undergoing something of a rebrand, Buddy Adventure aims to provide an “elevated bonding experience for Trainer and their buddies,” by allowing players to directly play with, feed and level up their companion. Unsurprisingly, you’ll likely be in need of some sizable berry reserves to keep your buddy satiated, but persist and you’ll be treated to a number of neat rewards. Divided into multiple levels – similarly to friendship ranks – reaching each tier will bestow the following perks:
- Good Buddy: Your buddy can join you on your map view! You’ll also see how your buddy feels on the buddy profile page.
- Great Buddy: Having a hard time catching a Pokémon? Your buddy may help you out in Pokémon encounters! It can also bring you items that can help you in your Pokémon GO journey.
- Ultra Buddy: Your buddy will help you explore the world around you by letting you know about interesting places nearby! Your buddy will also bring you Souvenirs, which you can keep track of on the buddy profile page.
- Best Buddy: Become Best Buddies, and your buddy will sport a Best Buddy Ribbon to show off to everyone just how close you two are! Pokémon that you’re Best Buddies with can get a CP boost in combat as long as they’re still assigned as your Buddy Pokémon.
In addition to all of the above, exploring, battling and feeding your preferred pal will earn Affection. When this rating hits its peak, further boosts will be unlocked.
- Half the distance required for your buddy to find Candy.
- Actions will double the number of hearts earned per action.
- Earn bonus hearts.
Terrific news for players who’ve developed a sentimental attachment to a particular ‘Mon in their collection, then, and some much-needed changes for one of the game’s most superficial features. We’ll update you with a firm release date as and when Niantic reveals one but for now, there’s plenty to be getting on with in-game. For a complete rundown of all the rewards and activities available during Pokémon Go‘s ongoing end-of-year event, see here.