Your Pokemon GO Starters Are About To Become Useful Again

Image: Youtube.com

If you haven't checked in with Pokemon GO recently, here's a really good reason why you should. Fans have data mined the game and uncovered a new system that will let you take your Pokemon for a walk, and you'll get given candies as a reward.

It's all about a new thing called the Buddy system — and people are calling that because that's what was found in Pokemon GO's code base. The PogoProtos Github, which is the largest hub for tracking network traffic for Pokemon GO, discovered this:

+syntax = "proto3"; +package POGOProtos.Data; + +message BuddyPokemon { + fixed64 id = 1; + double start_km_walked = 2; + double last_km_awarded = 3; +}

That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course. While this feature isn't live, it was included in the game code when the 0.35.0 update was rolled out.

Here's the cliff's notes. You'll be able to pick a Pokemon to be your buddy, and you can take that Pokemon for a walk. The walking distance functions the same way as Pokemon Eggs, and as you walk that fat little tomato sauce gobbling Pikachu around, you'll get precious candies.

Whatever Pokemon you pick will appear next to you on the minimap in some way, shape or form, according to this data:

enum BuddySize { BUDDY_MEDIUM = 0; BUDDY_SHOULDER = 1; BUDDY_BIG = 2; BUDDY_FLYING = 3; }

The most important element of all of this is the fact that your starter Pokemon finally matters. The biggest problem with choosing between Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, or Pikachu if you went to the effort, was that you rarely saw them ever again and consequently couldn't do anything with them.

It still doesn't get around the fact that you'd probably still want to grind your starter Pokemon into candy once you found a better one in the wild. It's more efficient, after all.

Fans are expecting a Pokemon GO patch to be pushed out some time next week. It's possible that the Buddy system could be turned on as soon as then. Let's hope so. My Charmander needs to go for a walk almost as much as I do.


Comments

    Your headline suggests this has something to do with your starter pokemon, but you never mention why.
    I'd think this would be most useful for rare pokemon you might have hatched in an egg but run out of candy for.

      The most important element of all of this is the fact that your starter Pokemon finally matters. The biggest problem with choosing between Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, or Pikachu if you went to the effort, was that you rarely saw them ever again and consequently couldn’t do anything with them.

        Right, but that paragraph doesn't follow from any of the other information in the article.

        If I can pick a pokemon by picking it as a buddy and have it steadily improve, why would I pick my 14 CP Bulbasaur as a buddy rather than one of my other higher CP pokemons?

        Maybe it'd make sense if I was just starting the game when this feature is introduced, but it's not clear how it'd affect the usefulness of the starter for established players (unless they retroactively applied some bonuses for players who haven't fed their starter to the candy grinder.

          I can't speak for you (or others) but personally I'd pick my starter in an instant because I haven't seen a single other Charmander, Charmeleon or Charizard since starting the game and would love to finally be able to level-up/use one - especially if it's the one I picked at the beginning.

            I agree that they are stupidly rare in the game. I managed to hatch a second Bulbasaur from a 2 km egg, which completely outclasses my starter Bulbasaur (but is still a long way behind my best team). On the other hand, I've caught enough Squirtles to evolve one.

            Eh, I candied my starter a long while ago.
            Caught a Wartortle and Ivysaur in the first few weeks, caught/hatched charmanders to get Charmeleon, also caught a hilariously weak Blastoise (like 100CP) that's way weaker than most of the squirtles I catch.

            Of course if there was some system in place to begin with to make me care about my starter I might have used it, but that train left a long time ago.

          If I can pick a pokemon by picking it as a buddy and have it steadily improve, why would I pick my 14 CP Bulbasaur as a buddy rather than one of my other higher CP pokemons?

          Because then you can earn candy for that pokemon to either
          A) Evolve the starter for the +exp/pokedex
          B) Save them up for when you do catch a higher leveled one in the wild.

      Don't know why idiots are downvoting you. I've caught several bulbasaurs and squirtles, charmanders a bit rarer. Venusaur ran away when I found him :'(

      I agree that training your starter is a waste of time, you are bound to come across a way better one at some point in time.

      There are much, much rarer pokemon that you can train. I will be using my Kabuto and Omanyte on this until I can evolve them.

    I look forward to walking far further than the required distance for candies while keeping my phone out and active.

    Looking forward to walking thousands of kilometres to evolve my magikarp

    i see the starter pokemon every day without even looking for them, they cant be that rare...

      "I only got a small loan of a million dollars..."

      It's all about the situation.

      Yeah I see lots of the Bulbasaur and Squirtle families, less of the Charmander bunch though.

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