The Pokemon Go Buddy System has been revamped as part of a huge update to the existing feature.
The original Buddy System was a welcome addition to Pokemon Go when it first arrived all the way back in September 2016. The concept was simple: select one of your Pokemon as a buddy and earn candy every time you walk a certain distance. Basic, but pleasing.
Now Niantic has given the popular feature a massive update, allowing you to become even better buddies with your Pokemon. As your friendship grows so do the in-game benefits. However, be warned, it's quite a grind to get to the highest “Best Buddy” level.
Raise your Buddy levels
There are now buddy levels with the introduction of the new system. They follow the same hierarchical structure that Pokemon Go friends do: Good, Great, Ultra and Best.
Your buddy level is measured by hearts, something which you can earn by interacting with your Buddy Pokemon and generally making it happy. Here are the benefits of attaining each buddy level and how many hearts are needed to get to each of them:
|Buddy Level||Hearts required||Benefits|
|Good Buddy||1||Your buddy can join you on your map view! You’ll also see how your buddy feels on the buddy profile page.|
|Great Buddy||70||Having a hard time catching a Pokemon? Your buddy may help you out in Pokemon encounters! It can also bring you items that can help you in your Pokemon Go journey.|
|Ultra Buddy||150||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||300||Become Best Buddies, and your buddy will sport a Best Buddy Ribbon to show off to everyone just how close you two are! Pokemon that you’re Best Buddies with can get a CP boost in combat as long as they’re still assigned as your Buddy Pokémon.|
How to earn hearts
There are currently six ways to gain affection with your Pokemon Go Buddy, otherwise known as hearts. The maximum you can earn is 10 a day but this can be increased to 20 if your Pokemon is excited (more on that below).
|Activity||Details||Heart limit per day|
|Walk together||You can earn a heart for every 2km you walk with your buddy. Walking distance is only counted while your buddy is walking with you on the map.||3|
|Give your buddy a treat||When your buddy is hungry, give it a treat (berry). A heart is earned when your buddy is full.||3|
|Play together||Play with your buddy in AR mode.||1|
|Battle together||Battling in gyms, raids, against other trainers or against Team Rocket will earn you a heart.||1|
|Take a snapshot||Take a snapshot with your buddy.||1|
|Visit a new place||Spin a PokeStop or Gym you haven’t visited before.||1|
How to get your buddy excited
One of the more frequently asked questions from Pokemon Go trainers regarding the new Buddy Adventure system is how to get your buddy excited. There’s a reason it’s been such a popular question and that’s because it isn’t easy to do.
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There is a simple way to do it, however. If you give your buddy a Poffin, which is a new item in Pokemon Go, it will automatically boost their mode to excited.
Poffins aren’t like other berries though, which can easily be found by spinning PokeStops among other methods. Instead, they have to be bought in the PokeShop for the relatively expensive cost of 100 PokeCoins.
Trainers are all too aware of how hard PokeCoins are to earn without buying them with real money. After all, you can only earn a maximum of 50 a day and that’s by battling in gyms.
How long does it take to reach the Good, Great, Ultra and Best Buddy levels?
Assuming you're an active Pokemon Go player, and that you're not willing to buy a Poffin or jump through hoops to get your buddy Pokemon excited otherwise, you can earn 10 hearts a day. This means you can earn each buddy level in the following time:
- Good Buddy: Straight away
- Great Buddy: 7 days
- Ultra Buddy: 15 days
- Best Buddy: 30 days
If you are willing to invest in a Poffin then you can halve each of these times.
There you have it, everything you need to know about the new Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure System. It is also worth noting that you can use multiple buddies and, therefore, have numerous Best Buddy companions if you're willing to put the time in.