The folks over at Niantic studios don't seem to be slowing down with the Pokemon Go updates, recently announcing that a highly anticipated new feature is now available for the game. For those of you who always wanted a Poke-pal to follow you around, this update is for you.
Announced over on the Pokemon Go official website, the latest update to the breakout hit mobile game has gone live. If you're playing on an Android device, you should be updated to version 0.37.0. If you're gaming on an iOS device, then you're on the lookout for version 1.7.0. Either way, you're getting some spiffy new functionality for the game, including the promised buddy system.
It's no secret that Pokemon Go is, at best, a skeleton for a game. This isn't meant as an insult, as both the OG Destiny and recently launched No Man's Sky pretty much fall into that same category. When the game originally launched a couple of months back, there was little to do outside of catch Pokemon, level them up and battle at gyms. Just like those other two games just mentioned, what was originally available was enough to get the ball rolling, but it's clear that Pokemon Go is a foundation for even more functionality to be piled on top of.
This latest update proves it, with the implementation of the Buddy Pokemon system. In short, you'll be able to choose one of your Pokemon to be your buddy, a companion that will follow you on the screen and even earn additional candy the more you walk with them. On top of giving your avatar some company, this offers the added bonus of earning additional candy to help evolve Pokemon you don't come across too often.
There's actually an Easter egg tied to the Buddy system, too, as has been pointed out on Reddit. In the animated series, it took Pikachu a while to warm up to Ash. In the game, if you select Pikachu as your buddy, he won't ride on your shoulder initially. If you let him tag along for a full 10km, though, he'll finally warm up to you enough to become a true friend.
But the Buddy system is only one of the handful of things implemented by this latest update. Alongside the usual assortment of text and bug fixes, it's now less difficult to select a small Pokemon on the screen. An animation tied to eggs hatching has also been fixed, and the team has improved "performance reliability when a device switches networks," which basically means Pokemon Go will no longer glitch or stop updating in those instances.