If you’ve ever felt a bit lonely playing Pokémon GO, you’re not alone. Who doesn’t want to hang out with a Meowth or a Snorlax? Well, Niantic Labs wants to enhance your gaming experience by adding a new “buddy” system to the game. Currently, details are a bit vague on the capabilities of your Pokémon buddy. What is known is it will appear next to your character when you open your in-game profile. Plus, your buddy may toss digital candy every so often. It remains to be seen whether your buddy might help you catch Pokémon or even interact with other players. Niantic Labs’ released this official announcement:
It’s been a busy summer and, in addition to battling bots and fixing bugs, we’ve also been busy working on some new features for our Pokémon GO Trainers. As you know, we recently released the new Pokémon Appraisal feature, which helps Trainers identify which Pokémon has the most potential for battle. Today we wanted to let you know about a new feature for the game that is just around the corner.
The next addition to Pokémon GO will be Buddy Pokémon. You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. You’ll also have the ability to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time.
The addition has come as several reports have implied that players are starting to lose interest. In mid-July, Pokémon GO had around 45 million daily active users. By late August, that number dropped to 30 million. It’s still quite popular, and developers pay more attention to the monthly numbers anyway. Perhaps some players have peaked and are waiting for new features. The buddy might be it.