Pokémon Go’s buddy feature went live last night for all players, and players are now having fun seeing how their favourite Pokémon look while wandering around the map.
Over the three years of Pokémon Go so far, the game’s creatures have actually remained pretty static. Sure, you can take them out to snap a quick photo, but their animations have remained fairly limited.
Now, each Pokémon can run, fly, flap, or swim around the game’s overworld map. And you can throw berries at them to feed them – leading to some fans being surprised where a few of their Pokémon’s mouths actually are.
Fans are still working out the exact mechanics of how best to level up your Pokémon’s friendship stat – there are 10 hearts to unlock each day through various actions – petting, feeding, taking photos, battling with them on your team, walking with them and spinning a new PokéStop.
But you can unlock a further set of hearts for each category by either purchasing a premium Poffin item (a bit like a cookie) or by hitting a hidden requirement for each activity type (ie. spinning 20 new PokéStops instead of one) which boosts your Pokémon’s mood all the way up to its top level: excited.
It’ll take around a month to get your buddy up to Best Buddy status, where they gain a CP boost in battles. But you can unlock their ability to appear on the world map pretty much instantly – and here’s how it all looks:
And there’s also this, which appears to be a bug right now. Sometimes your buddy can seemingly have enough of your nonsense and simply run off into the sunset. Farewell, Ferroseed.