Niantic Confirms The Pokemon GO Buddy System Is Coming

Image: Kotaku

As we reported earlier this month, Pokemon GO is about to get a big update. It's called the buddy system, and it's being rolled out right now.

In a post on their website, Niantic confirmed that the buddy system would be the main focus of the next Pokemon GO update, which is classed as version 0.37.0 on Android and 1.7.0 on iOS devices.

Here's the official patch notes:

  • Implemented Buddy Pokémon: Trainers will now be able to choose one of their Pokémon to be their buddy. A Trainer can earn Candy for their Buddy Pokémon
  • by walking a certain distance.
  • Made it easier to select smaller Pokémon on the screen.
  • Fixed an issue where Eggs would sometimes hatch without displaying the animation.
  • Improved performance reliability when a device switches networks to no longer cause the application to hang or stop updating.
  • Pokemon GO Plus support
  • Minor text fixes.

Making it easier to select smaller Pokemon will be a godsend as well, although I suspect not as much as wandering around with a Pikachu on your shoulder. Or having Dragonite flap behind you.

The developer also added that they would be removing support from the game for jailbroken or rooted devices, in a move to cut down on "bots and scrapers" from the game.


    I didn't know what root meant when talking about android phones. I mean, I had an idea in my head.

    Still enjoying the game, but the 'tracker update' we've seen that a select portion of users already have is what I'm hoping would have come out by now. It's a game changer, but if the churn is as great as the doomsayers say it is, the developers should advertise it more as a way to lure back wayward trainers.

    The root issue is causing a fair bit of controversy.
    The update is out for Android since at least yesterday - went for a good walk with Pikachu, not sure where it's at for iOS.

      Can you change Pokemon once you choose a "Buddy"

        Yes. It resets progress though. So if you have walked 1.5 our of 2 km, and you change, then change back, you'll be at 0 again.

      No i have android and i havent got it yet

      Where do you live that you got the update

    Rooted/Jailbroken devices were never supported. They've always had a basic check to see if your device is Rooted/Jailbroken and if so the game won't run. People were getting around that with 3rd party apps.

    No idea if they've managed to clamp down on the 3rd party avoidance or if they're just making a statement that Rooted/Jailbroken devices have never been permitted.

      They checked and did nothing. This update they check and block.

        I disagree. Reddit had a large number of threads started by people with Rooted/Jailbroken phones who couldn't figure out why the game didn't work for them. That happened from launch.

        I replied to quite a few of them suggesting what had caused their problem which they then solved with a 3rd party app.

          I've seen a lot of unhappiness in G+ comments and on reddit today about the decision. I doubt people that can't play a game would all suddenly start complaining that they still can't play this game all of a sudden on a subreddit for that specific game (or G+ comment stream).

    Best part is if you walk 10+ kms with certain buddy pokemons (Pikachu being one) they will sit on your shoulder as opposed to next to you.

    I think this update roll out has been terrible! In drips out and Android users can just manually download and use it with no problems. Come on Niantic Labs. Stop teasing and get the updates released to all users, Android or iOS, at the same time. If not ready then wait or enable users to download as they are ready.

    It's here!! Just updated now at 7.00am Vic time!

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