Pokémon Go Buddy Adventure explained - how to get hearts, excited Buddies, and all Buddy level rewards including Best Buddy explained

How the expanded Buddy feature works.

Pokémon Go Buddy Adventure is a huge update to one of the game's earliest features.

As before, you can select a Buddy to join you and earn Candy as you explore, but now, your chosen Pokémon will appear on the map, can aid you in battle, and be played with and fed in AR mode.

As with the Friendship system, you can develop a relationship with your Buddy over time - giving you a series of rewards as you become more and more attentive.

On this page:

What does Buddy Adventure allow you to do in Pokémon Go?

Once you reach Trainer level 2, Buddy Adventure introduces a series of new activities and benefits:

  • You can play with and feed berries to your Buddy in AR mode
  • Your Buddy will follow you on the map screen
  • Increasing your Buddy level unlocks a range of perks, including additional aid during the catch phase, a CP boost, and finding items
  • Up to three players can share the same AR space with their Pokémon to take a picture
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As before, walking a set distance (1km, 3km, 5km or 20km, depending on the rarity) will earn you Candy, and this still works outside of the Buddy system - meaning you don't have to have them on the map in 'Adventure' mode for this to work, in case you forget to fed them regularly.

You can also swap between multiple Buddies (up to 20) per day, allowing you to earn the above perks across multiple Pokémon.

How to play with and feed your Buddy in Pokémon Go

Let's start with the basics. To play with your Buddy in Pokémon Go, make sure you're first Trainer Level 2 and have a Buddy assigned, then tap the Buddy icon in the lower left corner of the screen, next to your Trainer Profile.

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Next, press the Play! button. Your phone camera will then activate. If you are in AR mode, you must find a flat surface. Point towards it until yellow footprints appear, then tap.

If it then says you are too close to your Buddy, back away a step or two, and it should appear.

If you're struggling, remember you can disable AR mode in the Settings, so the Pokémon will simply appear on the screen.

With the Pokémon visible, you can play by rubbing it. You can also feed it by tapping the Berry icon.

Unlike during the catch phase where berries are simply tapped, on the Buddy screen they must be thrown like a Poké Ball to your Buddy's mouth. You don't lose your Berry if you miss however, so keep trying!

Once they are fully fed, they will join you on an Adventure, where they can start earning Hearts for that day...

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How to walk with your Buddy on the map and go on an Adventure in Pokémon Go

To earn hearts from your Buddy from certain activities - such as walking or battling together - they need to be visible on the map screen in 'Adventure' mode. They will then walk, fly or roll with you as you explore for a limited time.

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To make them appear on the map screen, you have to make sure they are fully fed.

Feed your Buddy some Berries - three regular Berries will do - and their mood will increase, and you'll be told they will have joined you on an Adventure.

They will join you on the map for around three hours, with a hunger gauge appearing around their icon next to the Trainer button in the bottom left corner.

Feel free to top that gauge up with Berries as you play, or just wait until it's fully depleted before feeding them again.

Note if you switch between Buddies, their hunger meter will fully empty, so you'll have to feed them again. While at this sounds frustrating, a benefit is you'll be able to feed them again quicker if you switch back and forth, and earn some fast and easy Hearts.

How to make your Buddy 'excited' with or without a Poffin in Pokémon Go

When in Adventure mode, performing activities with Buddies increases their mood. The highest level mood, 'excited' can also give you benefits for a limited time.

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When your buddy is 'excited' - as indicated by a cheering icon surrounded by Hearts - then you'll receive the following benefits:

  • Candy distances will be halved
  • Your daily Heart cap increases to 20

Getting a Pokémon excited, then, has its perks. To get it excited, there are two methods:

To make a Pokemon 'excited', you can either:

  • Use Poffin - a shop-only item you can purchase from the shop for 100 Coins - which also fills all feeding heart meters for the day
  • Perform enough actions to reach a certain threshold

Though the second one is 'free', it's neither easy or particularly obvious from the outset. You must collect 32 'points' from performing various activities, but you cannot do them at once - each individual activity has a 30 minute cooldown, with the exception of walking.

Here's how many points you get from each activity (thanks to 7Kushi from reddit for the following image):

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Image credit: 7Kishi on reddit

Some clarifications on the above, thanks to TheTraveller on reddit - you can get multiple Battle points within a half hour if you Battle different ways (Trainer Battle, Team Rocket Grunt battle, Team Rocket Leader battle, Gym battle, or Raid) and Souvenirs, Presents and visiting new Stops have no cooldown, just like walking.

As well as this, there is also a decay of 1 point per 30 minutes, but provided you perform any activity (even if it's the same as one previously) it'll reset.

And, when you are excited, it'll last around the same as when your Buddy is fed - three hours - and you'll need to keep performing activities to keep it going.

Needless to say, the Poffin is the fastest way to get this started, which unfortunately but understandably, also happens to be the monitised option. Getting your buddy Excited is great for events like Community Day, and though ironically the flurry of activity you're bound to put your buddy through during the event is the most likely chance you'll get a buddy excited naturally, our recommendation is to buy a Poffin and use it up front, if you can spare the coins - that way you get the benefits right away.

How to get hearts and increase your Buddy level in Pokémon Go

There are a variety of daily interactions you can perform with your Buddy, each giving you hearts. Hearts can help you unlock the 'excited' mood for that day, as well as help you level up their Buddy level.

You can earn up to 10 Hearts per day (or 20 when 'excited') by performing the following activities:

ActivityHow to completeHeart limit per day
Walk togetherWalk 2km while Buddy is on the map screen3
Give your buddy a treatFeed your buddy from completely hungry until full3
Play togetherRub in AR mode until you earn a heart1
Battle togetherBattle in a Gym, Raid, Team Rocket battle or vs another Trainer with Buddy in your team while they're on the map1
Take a snapshotTake a snapshot via the Buddy screen while in Adventure mode1
Visit a new placeSpin a PokeStop or Gym you've not visited before1
BonusCollect a Present, Souvenir or visit an 'interesting place' provided by a Buddy3

Note, your Buddy must be in Adventure mode for them to count. So for example, if you jump into AR mode and play with them before feeding them up so they appear on the map, you won't get a Heart for that action.


Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League - which is currently highlighting the Master League - and soon, Clone Pokémon. We've also recently had the Buddy Adventure feature, which introduces a variety of perks - including finding Souvenirs - as well as a new trade evolution feature. 2019 saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, along with new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus evenings, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day, plus a new Giovanni counters quest - the latest being The Shadowy Threat Grows. There is also an upcoming paid in-game event, A Drive for Discovery.


Pokémon Go Buddy levels and perks list: How long it takes to reach Good, Great, Ultra and Best Buddy level

Once you have played with your Buddy for the first time, it'll become a Good Buddy. This is the first of four levels you can progress through, each with their range of benefits.

Earning a number of Hearts will increase their level. Here is every tier, their perks and how many days it takes to reach them:

Buddy LevelHearts to unlockBonuses
Good Buddy 1 Adventuring Buddy: Your buddy can appear on the map screen

Readable Mood: You can see how excited your Buddy is
Great Buddy 70 Catch Assist: Random chance of the ball hitting the Pokémon again when it bounces away

Find Presents: Buddy can now bring you common items as you play
Ultra Buddy 150 Find Locations: Buddies can now help you find "interesting places" nearby

Find Souvenirs: These finds will be tracked in your Buddy page
Best Buddy 300 CP Boost: 1+ level increase - so if Level 40, becomes Level 41 - while as your Buddy

Best Buddy Ribbon: Special badge worn by your Buddy

Thanks to gralll on reddit for helping with the numbers of hearts required.

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A closer look at Buddy gifts and one of the final perks - the Best Buddy Ribbon.

Between the catch assist and CP boost it's worth levelling up your Buddy for these benefits alone - and with Souvenirs, we have another thing to collect!

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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