Pokémon Go's September update adds the ability to have a Buddy accompany you everywhere you go - whether you're setting off to take on a Gym or just fancy a stroll in the park.
Similar to Egg hatching in Pokémon Go, it's a background activity that you set and, after a certain distance, will give you rewards. It'll work slightly differently according to which Pokémon you Buddy up with - in short, rarer Pokémon will take longer to produce Candy - and there's a few quirks and exceptions you should take note of, too.
With more than 80 new Pokémon added with Gen 2, that's a whole load of additional Pokémon buddies you could potentially have by your side.
Why Pokémon Go's Buddy system feature is useful
To enable Pokémon Go's Buddy feature, tap your Trainer icon in the corner, select the burger icon in the bottom right corner (for more options) and it's listed there.
Then, select the Pokémon of your choosing, and you'll be given a goal in kilometers to travel. Once you have reached the target - be it 1km, 3km or 5km, depending on the creature - you'll unlock some Candy.
Pokémon Go's Buddy feature allows you to work towards two late-game activities; powering up your Pokémon to take on Gyms, and filling out your Pokedex by evolving the creatures you've already caught. In order to get more Candy for a Pokémon you have to either catch it in the wild or hatch it from an egg, and since the best Pokémon are usually the hardest to find, Candy is also very difficult to come by.
The Buddy system solves this problem quite nicely. For example, if you provided you catch one Dratini, as long as you keep walking and collecting Candy from your Buddy, you'll one day get your hands on that all elusive Dragonite. (Though, with 1-2 Candy dropping every 5km walked, it could take a while.)
It's also speculated the Buddy system is how you'll be able to make Legendary Pokémon such as Mew, Mewtwo, Articuno, Moltres and Zaptos stronger - whenever they eventually appear in the game - as the chance to catch more to earn extra Candy will be incredibly remote.
Pokémon Go Buddy system distance chart
As with hatching Eggs, more elusive creatures require longer walking distance in order to get their rewards. This is particularly helpful if you need just a couple more Candy to fill out a Pokedex entry and evolve a Pokémon, or for those who want to get XP fast in Pokémon Go, get even more easy but useful Pidgey Candy for quick and easy gains.
Thanks to The Silph Road sub-Reddit for the list.
|1km Buddy Pokémon||3km Buddy Pokémon||5km Buddy Pokémon|
|Pichu (Gen 2)||Primeape||Dragonite|
|Cleffa (Gen 2)||Growlithe||Mewtwo *|
|Igglybuff (Gen 2)||Arcanine||Mew *|
|Sentret (Gen 2)||Poliwag||Togepi (Gen 2)|
|Furret (Gen 2)||Poliwhirl||Togetic (Gen 2)|
|Hoothoot (Gen 2)||Poliwrath||Smoochum (Gen 2)|
|Noctowl (Gen 2)||Abra||Elkid (Gen 2)|
|Ledyba (Gen 2)||Kadabra||Magby (Gen 2)|
|Ledian (Gen 2)||Alakazam||Mareep (Gen 2)|
|Spinarak (Gen 2)||Machop||Flaaffy (Gen 2)|
|Ariados (Gen 2)||Machoke||Ampharos (Gen 2)|
|Crobat (Gen 2)||Machamp||Sudowoodo (Gen 2)|
|Bellossom (Gen 2)||Bellsprout||Espeon (Gen 2)|
|Slugma (Gen 2)||Weepinbell||Umbreon (Gen 2)|
|Magcargo (Gen 2)||Victreebel||Unown (Gen 2)|
|Remoraid (Gen 2)||Tentacool||Pineco (Gen 2)|
|Octillery (Gen 2)||Tentacruel||Forretress (Gen 2)|
|Ponyta||Gligar (Gen 2)|
|Rapidash||Steelix (Gen 2)|
|Slowpoke||Scizor (Gen 2)|
|Slowbro||Delibird (Gen 2)|
|Magnemite||Mantine (Gen 2)|
|Magneton||Skarmory (Gen 2)|
|Farfetch'd||Celebi (Gen 2)|
|Doduo||Tyrogue (Gen 2)|
|Dodrio||Hitmontop (Gen 2)|
|Seel||Miltank (Gen 2)|
|Dewgong||Blissey (Gen 2)|
|Grimer||Raikou (Gen 2)|
|Muk||Entei (Gen 2)|
|Shellder||Suicune (Gen 2)|
|Cloyster||Larvitar (Gen 2)|
|Gastly||Pupitar (Gen 2)|
|Haunter||Tyranitar (Gen 2)|
|Gengar||Lugia (Gen 2)|
|Drowzee||Ho-Oh (Gen 2)|
|Chikorita (Gen 2)|
|Bayleef (Gen 2)|
|Maganium (Gen 2)|
|Cyndaquil (Gen 2)|
|Quilava (Gen 2)|
|Tyhlosion (Gen 2)|
|Totodile (Gen 2)|
|Croconaw (Gen 2)|
|Feraligatr (Gen 2)|
|Chinchou (Gen 2)|
|Lanturn (Gen 2)|
|Natu (Gen 2)|
|Xatu (Gen 2)|
|Marill (Gen 2)|
|Azumarill (Gen 2)|
|Politoed (Gen 2)|
|Hoppip (Gen 2)|
|Skiploom (Gen 2)|
|Jumpluff (Gen 2)|
|Aipom (Gen 2)|
|Sunkern (Gen 2)|
|Sunflora (Gen 2)|
|Yanma (Gen 2)|
|Wooper (Gen 2)|
|Quagsire (Gen 2)|
|Murkrow (Gen 2)|
|Slowking (Gen 2)|
|Misdreavus (Gen 2)|
|Wobbuffet (Gen 2)|
|Girafarig (Gen 2)|
|Dunsparce (Gen 2)|
|Snubbull (Gen 2)|
|Granbull (Gen 2)|
|Quilfish (Gen 2)|
|Shuckle (Gen 2)|
|Heracross (Gen 2)|
|Sneasel (Gen 2)|
|Teddiursa (Gen 2)|
|Ursaring (Gen 2)|
|Swinub (Gen 2)|
|Piloswine (Gen 2)|
|Corsola (Gen 2)|
|Houndour (Gen 2)|
|Houndoom (Gen 2)|
|Kingdra (Gen 2)|
|Phanpy (Gen 2)|
|Dolphan (Gen 2)|
|Porygon2 (Gen 2)|
|Stantler (Gen 2)|
|Smeargle (Gen 2)|
* These are Pokemon Go's Legendary Pokemon which have yet to be discovered - we can expect them to appear in the game in a future update.
Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, using Special Items such as the Dragon Scale and other methods. The update also introduced changes to Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distances, best Pokémon, moves and Buddy distances. Elsewhere, you can read about how Gyms, promo codes and the Pokémon Go Plus accessory works, and the many ways of earning experience with our XP chart.
Other things to know about Pokémon Go's Buddy system
- While most Pokémon will be alongside you on the Trainer screen, walking a total of 10km with Pikachu as your Buddy will see him sit on your shoulder, showing a sign of your close friendship. Togepi, meanwhile, will be held. Cute!
- Contrary to some rumours, you don't receive any XP for walking your Buddy Pokémon - just Candy.
- It's believed there is no daily limit to the amount of Candy you can earn through the Buddy system in one day.
- Like hatching Eggs, using Pokémon Go Plus will contribute to the distance walked for your Buddy.
- Any Pokémon currently assigned as your Buddy can't be withdrawn from your inventory to defend a friendly Gym. To get around this, be sure to use a lower tier of that Pokémon evolution family (a Dratini instead of a Dragonite, for example) or just another of that same creature. You can, however, use it to fight in Gyms.
- All creatures in the same evolution chain require the same amount of walking distance for Candy to drop - allowing you to put their later evolutions to work in Gyms.
- It appears that now and again seasonal updates will increase the rates of some drops, such as Pokémon Go's Halloween event, so be sure to keep an eye on game updates to increase your earnings.
- Pokémon that have fainted can be used as your Buddy.
- Evolving your Pokémon will reset your Candy counter, so time those evolutions wisely.