A Complete Guide To Buddy Pokemon

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  • Is a Buddy Pokemon just cosmetic flair?
  • What are Affection Hearts?

Aside from collecting a bunch of colorful-looking creatures and then having them battle it out with other colorful creatures, Pokemon as a series is heavily themed on friendship and establishing said friendships with the Pokemon that players catch.

Whether it is the anime or the games, companionship and friendship is a frequent theme that comes up time and again. So it made sense for Niantic to have a feature in Pokemon GO that focuses on that theme. That is where the Buddy Pokemon system comes in, a feature that was added in a few months after the game was released.


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What is a Buddy Pokemon?

A Buddy Pokemon is a Pokemon that players have chosen to be their companion in Pokemon GO. Think like Ash and Pikachu in all the countless seasons and episodes that make up the Pokemon anime. Because there are so many Pokemon in the game for players to choose from, every single one can be chosen as a buddy (including mythical Pokemon). However, players can only have one buddy active at a time. Fortunately, players can change their buddy at any time, so they do not have to choose a favorite and be stuck with it forever.

Is a Buddy Pokemon just cosmetic flair?

A Buddy Pokemon is more than just having a companion that follows players around on the map. To begin with, if players want to see their Buddy Pokemon roam around with them, they first need to feed it berries. Once they have been fed, the Pokemon will follow players around for three hours. This timer can be refreshed at any time, or players can choose to let it run out and then feed their Pokemon once again to bring them back out.

Not only that, but players are able to play with their Pokemon and interact with them via the Augmented Reality features that are built into Pokemon GO. Doing these activities with a Buddy Pokemon awards Affection Hearts.

What are Affection Hearts?

Think of Affection Hearts as being the Buddy Pokemon equivalent of XP that players earn to level up. Every day there is a set of tasks that players can complete with their Buddy Pokemon that award Affection Hearts. If players manage to get enough of them, their Buddy Pokemon will rank up. Ranking up a Buddy Pokemon has a great deal of bonuses that it provides the player. The ranks and Affection Hearts required to rank up are listed below.

Buddy Ranks

  • Good Buddy (Requires 1 Affection Heart) – Unlocks default features like mood and being able to follow players around on the map.
  • Great Buddy (Requires 70 Affection Hearts) – The player’s Buddy Pokemon may assist with catching other Pokemon and give you helpful items like Potions.
  • Ultra Buddy (Requires 150 Affection Hearts) – The player’s Buddy Pokemon will start bringing them Souvenirs, which are cosmetic only and have no function.
  • Best Buddy (Requires 300 Affection Hearts) – The player’s Buddy Pokemon gets a ribbon and a CP boost while in battle.

Aside from feeding and playing with it, players can also go on walks, take pictures, and even battle with their buddy Pokemon to earn Affection Hearts. Keep in mind that there is a cap on how many Affection Hearts players can get per day. The cap is 10 Affection Hearts per day, but this cap can increase to 20 if the player’s Buddy Pokemon is in an excited mood.

The mood of a player’s Buddy Pokemon can be improved by continually completing the activities listed underneath the player’s Buddy Pokemon (which are mentioned above). If player’s do these activities often enough, their Buddy Pokemon’s mood will gradually increase until they max out at Excited. Essentially, the intent behind this system is to have a way for players to build a strong in-game bond with their favorite Pokemon through a series of objectives that they would be completing just by playing the game already.

Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android devices.

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