Pokemon GO is getting one of its biggest updates this week — the buddy system, which lets you pick a Pokemon and have them follow you around, gaining candy as you go.
It's great for starter Pokemon, rare Pokemon and anything that isn't common in your area, since you'll gain candy the more you walk. But precisely how far do you have to walk exactly?
The buddy system is pretty simple in principle. You pick a Pokemon, any Pokemon, and they'll appear on the map around (or above, beside, and so on) as you wander around.
As you walk around, you generate a certain amount of candies per kilometre. The candy you get depends on what Pokemon you've chosen as your buddy, and some Pokemon will need to go around the block a lot more than others. And if you just rely on candy alone, it's going to take you a while.
How Far You'll Have To Walk
According to both Poke Assistant and The Silph Road, you'll have to walk a whole kilometre to generate a single Magikarp candy.
It takes 400 candies to evolve a Magikarp, so if you never caught another Magikarp (or Gyarados) you'd be walking 400km just to evolve the one Magikarp.
Gonna need The Pretenders on repeat for a while to get that goal.
The Silph Road community has put together a helpful infographic showing how far you have to walk to generate one candy for each Pokemon. The values are based off on what eggs the Pokemon spawn from; something that would hatch from an egg that takes 10km to hatch will generate one candy every 5km.
The figures are slightly different from Poke Assistant, which offers much of the same information but in a less flashy but more searchable format.
Data mining of the most recent update also confirmed that legendary Pokemon, such as Mewtwo, will need to walk 5km before generating a candy:
rarity: POKEMON_RARITY_LEGENDARY pokedex_height_m: 2 pokedex_weight_kg: 122 height_std_dev: 0.25 weight_std_dev: 15.25 family_id: FAMILY_MEWTWO km_buddy_distance: 5 buddy_size: BUDDY_BIG
What Your Buddy Will Look Like
By default, your buddy Pokemon will be either flying in the air or hoisted on your shoulder. Sometimes, as in the case of Snorlax, they'll appear behind you.
Thanks to the data dump, we know which Pokemon will rest on your shoulder: Pidgey, Weedle, Fearow, Eevee and Caterpie. Pikachu will also sit on your shoulder, but users have confirmed that it only happens after you've walked 10km with Pikachu as your buddy.
Easter Egg Found! Just as Pikachu didn't bond with Ash at first, walk 10k with Pikachu and he'll ride your shoulder! pic.twitter.com/S9kOD9h4YE
— The Silph Road (@TheSilphRoad) September 11, 2016
Whether your trainer really wants a 6kg (on average) Pikachu camped out on their shoulder is another matter. Then again, Ash seems like he lifts a hell of a lot.
You Might Get More Than One Candy On The Go
A screenshot has also appeared online indicating that your Pokemon can sometimes find two candies at once. It's not fully confirmed whether this was a delayed update or simply good fortune, however.
You Can't Place Buddy Pokemon In Gyms
This is a pretty logical move on Niantic's part. A Pokemon couldn't reasonably wandering around with you all the time and somehow still be guarding a static location at the same time.
Evolving Your Pokemon Resets Progress
As the user above discovered, if you evolve a Pokemon while it's set as your buddy it will reset the amount of progress it had made towards generating a new candy. Keep that in mind!
Those are all the tips we've got for the buddy system so far, but as more is discovered we'll add them to our guide. What do you think of the buddy system — and what other features would you like added?