A couple months ago, the AR-ready game Pokemon Go debuted as Nintendo’s latest effort to bank upon the long-running legacy of pocket monsters. But, it has recently been reported that the wild initial success of the game is now tanking fast..I mean really fast. The game has already seen about 10 million active users flee the game in exchange of obvious social alternatives.
Thus, game developer Niantic Labs has been hard at work adding new features and releasing timely updates to keep the game relevant. Instead of keeping the game to its bare bones, Niantic has recently released a ‘Pokemon Appraisal’ feature which allows you trainers to identify which Pokémon has the most potential for battle. But, it now getting ready to release another new feature that might actually interest you.
Have you ever dreamed of taking off into the sunset along with your pet Pikachu on your shoulder? or having Snorlax stand guard over your shoulder(he’d be sleeping in reality, but still) ?
Well, Niantic is soon planning to give you a chance to do the same with the addition of a new ‘Buddy System‘. Sound awesome, doesn’t it!? The developer hasn’t dispensed much detail about the this upcoming feature, and the reason of a Pokemon tagging along with you. Using ‘buddy system’, you will be able to pick a favorite Pokemon from your collection to become your buddy for this adventure trip. This will help you develop a ‘bond’ with that particular Pokemon, very much like in the original cartoon series.
In the official blogpost, Niantic explains the upcoming feature, saying,
You will be able to pick your favorite Pokemon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokemon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together.
This means that you’ll be able to go out, take a stroll and probably train your favorite Pokemon, in exchange of digital candies for that specific Pokemon. You can only take one Pokemon out for an adventure at a time, but they can be switched out for another buddy at any instant.
This doesn’t sound that exceptional and fun, but we’re curious to know what experiences will Niantic open up with this friendship feature. One could, however, easily see it becoming what Pikachu was for Ash, a friend who helps you catch other Pokemon, fight and win Gym battles, or even interact with other Pokemons or users in the future.
Since, the details are pretty scant, there could be a lot of shortcomings and changes before the official release of the feature. The company is currently also working on fixing(and testing alternatives) for its long-broken Nearby Pokemon system, and you can expect to see some changes in that aspect too. It is also awarding lifetime bans to users who’re cheating and using third-party mapping services to fool the system.