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New Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure feature coming in 2020

(Image credit: Niantic)

Niantic and The Pokemon Company have announced Buddy Adventure is set to come to Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) worldwide in 2020. The feature introduces new ways to interact with your Pokemon and a host of new perks, which you unlock by deepening your bond with your best Pokemon pal.

Alongside releasing a heartwarming trailer, Niantic detailed the new feature coming to Pokemon Go in a blog post (opens in new tab): "In the new Buddy Adventure feature, Trainers worldwide will be able to experience what it’s really like to have a Pokémon exploring the world with them." 

When AR+ mode is enabled, you'll be able to play with you buddy Pokemon and feed them berries. As you get closer with your buddy Pokemon, you'll be able to increase your Buddy Level, which will unlock new perks. You can see all the Buddy Levels below: 

  • Good Buddy: Your buddy can join you on your map view! You’ll also see how your buddy feels on the buddy profile page.
  • Great Buddy: Having a hard time catching a Pokémon? Your buddy may help you out in Pokémon encounters! It can also bring you items that can help you in your Pokémon GO journey.
  • Ultra Buddy: 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: Become Best Buddies, and your buddy will sport a Best Buddy Ribbon to show off to everyone just how close you two are! Pokémon that you’re Best Buddies with can get a CP boost in combat as long as they’re still assigned as your Buddy Pokémon.

Your buddy's affection is measured in hearts, and you'll be able to earn hearts with your Pokemon by walking, battling, petting, feeding, and taking pictures with your buddy. As your affection increases, your buddy's mood will also improve and unlock additional perks such as cutting down the time it takes to earn candy. When you reach a certain Buddy level, your buddy will begin to alert you whenever an interesting Pokestop is nearby.

The buddy profile page is also getting an upgrade, so you'll be able to keep track of your buddy Pokemon's current mood, their affection metre, Buddy Level, and the progress towards gaining candy. It will also include a daily activity chart so you can see what you need to do in order to earn more affection. 

(Image credit: Niantic)

Niantic and The Pokemon Company also revealed a "Shared AR mode" will be coming to Pokemon Go after the launch of the new Buddy Adventure feature. The new mode will allow up to three trainers in the same area to take a photo together. 

“Since launching Pokémon GO, this might be the most collaborative feature we have had with The Pokémon Company,” Ryuta Hiroi, the lead Niantic product manager on the project said. “Even with your phone in your pocket, you’ll feel like your buddy is right beside you!”

Currently in Pokemon Go, you can already choose to make one of your Pokemon a buddy. The chosen Pokemon appears beside your trainer on the in-game avatar and profile page, and as you walk around with your buddy, you'll begin to earn candy. Niantic said that while the buddy was first introduced to promote exercise, the addition of Buddy Adventure "will feature more discovery and exploration than ever before," and create a real partnership between you and your Pokemon. 

Getting stuck into a spot of adventuring yourself? Here are all the Pokemon Go tips (opens in new tab) you need to know. 

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.