The chosen Pokémon will appear next to its trainer's avatar on the profile screen. The Buddy will be able to be swapped out with another Pokémon at any time, 20 times per day. A Buddy cannot be assigned to a Gym nor transferred.
An elevated experience Buddy Adventure was introduced on December 18th, 2019. Trainers can play with their Buddy and increase their Buddy Level.
Buddy Pokémon rewards
- Main article: Buddy Pokémon rewards
Each Pokémon that is assigned as Buddy has specific amount of kilometers to be walked after which trainer is rewarded with a candy. There are currently four different distances to be walked for a candy reward:
- 1 kilometers - distance mostly for common Pokémon and their families,
- 3 kilometers - distance for most of Pokémon and their families,
- 5 kilometers - distance mostly for rare Pokémon and their families,
- and 20 kilometers - distance for Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.
Buddy Pokémon types
- Main article: Buddy Pokémon types
Every Pokémon has its specific type of Buddy Pokémon that defines where it is placed relatively to Trainer's avatar on the profile screen. There are five Buddy size types:
- Medium - Buddy Pokémon is placed to the right of a trainer and it is smaller or equal to trainer's size,
- Big - Buddy Pokémon is placed behind to the right of a trainer and it is bigger than trainer,
- Shoulder - Buddy Pokémon is small enough that can be placed on trainer's right shoulder,
- Baby - Buddy Pokémon is small enough to be held in hands of trainer,
- and Flying - Buddy Pokémon flies, floats or hovers behind the trainer. Unlike four other types of Buddy Pokémon, this type doesn't define any range of Pokémon's size so Pokémon's size might differ. Most of Flying-type Pokémon have Flying as type of Buddy Pokémon as well, but not all of them.
After the Buddy Adventure update, flying Buddies differ from the other types of Buddy by flying over the map instead of running about.
Buddy Adventure is a name of revamped Buddy Pokémon featured that expands initial feature with more mechanics and perks to it than just assigning buddy and finding candy.
Selecting and changing Buddy
To select a Pokémon as a Buddy Pokémon for the first time, Trainer needs to:
- tap on Trainer’s portrait in the bottom left corner of the Map View,
- in the Trainer's profile screen, tap the Buddy button to select a Buddy Pokémon.
After selecting, the first Buddy Pokémon, it cannot be removed but only swapped with another Pokémon.
Once Trainer selected a Pokémon as their Buddy, they can access their Buddy Profile screen in two ways:
- by tapping Buddy’s portrait next to the Trainer’s portrait in the Map View.
- by tapping onto Buddy displayed next to Trainer's avatar in the Trainer's profile screen.
To swap out Buddy Pokémon, Trainer needs to:
- go to their Buddy Profile screen and tap the Swap Buddies button at the very bottom of the page.
Trainer can view Pokémon they have previously set as their Buddy by tapping the Buddy History button that is located below the Trainer level progress bar in the Trainer's profile screen. Trainer can also Swap Buddy Pokémon from the Buddy History page.
Trainers can only swap out their Buddy Pokémon 20 times per day.
Daily Activities and Affection Hearts
Engaging in Activities allows a temporary increase of Buddy Pokémon's mood and rewards Affection Hearts. The Today's Activities in the Buddy profile screen lists each way to interact with Buddy. Each time trainers engage in a listed activity with their buddy, the hearts will turn from gray to pink, indicating a heart was earned in that category.
When Buddy's Mood is Excited, the Affection Hearts that could be earned are doubled, except for the Bonus category. Extra earned Affection Hearts remain even if the Buddy is no longer excited.
Daily activities reset at midnight local time.
There are following types of Buddy Activities:
- Walk together
- Buddy Pokémon will appear when hunger meter is full until it is fully depleted. One Affection Heart is earned for each 2 km walked with a Buddy walking on the map, up to three per day.
- Give your buddy a treat
- Feeding Buddy fills up the hunger meter. One Affection Heart is earned when the hunger meter is filled, up to three per day.
- Play together
- Playing with Buddy in AR mode until the light flare and heart bubbles are seen from the buddy.
- Battle together
- Using the Buddy in Battle Party when battling in Gyms, Raid Battles, Trainer Battles, or against Team GO Rocket.
- Take a snapshot
- Taking a photo of the Buddy.
- Visit a new place
- Visiting a Gym or a new PokéStop
- Bonus Heart is earned when Buddy gives a present or souvenir, or Trainers visit a PokéStop or Gym that Buddy wants to visit. This activity is only visible upon receiving an Affection Heart on this category.
Playing with Buddy
To play with Buddy Pokémon, player needs to tap onbutton below the Buddy's display in its profile page.
Playing with Buddy Pokémon requires a device camera permission given to the game app.
There are several gestures that can be used in this features:
- taping on Pokémon makes it perform its Charged Attack animation
- double tapping on Pokémon makes it perform its Fast Attack animation
- quickly swiping at Pokémon to the left or right makes it turn around
- slow swiping at Pokémon is considered a patting and can result in getting an Affection Heart if done persistently
Buddy can be fed from the same screen that the Playing with Buddy feature uses but can be also done by tapping onto Berry icon above the Buddy Pokémon display in its profile page.
Feeding Buddy Pokémon is very similar to catching Pokémon with a Poké Ball, as Trainer has to pick Berry or Poffin and then throw it the Buddy Pokémon. However, unlike catching Pokémon, if thrown Berry misses Pokémon the item is not consumed from Trainer's Items Bag.
There is also an option of Quick Treat when the AR mode message is displayed before entering the feature. This option allows players who use AR+ to quickly feed Pokémon without finding a flat surface to summon it first.
Poffins are special items which are food exclusive for Buddy Pokémon as they cannot be fed to wild Pokémon while catching them. When Poffin is given to Buddy Pokémon it gets instantly excited and its Hunger Meter is filled up with just one of this item.
Obtaining Poffins is also exclusive as it is available either from in-game shop or from Special Research series such as ticketed Community Day Special Research task series which always reward Trainer with one Poffin.
Buddy levels and perks
Earning Affection hearts allows Trainer to progress toward improving their Buddy Level. Similarly to Friendship Levels, each Buddy Level unlocks special perks.
Unlike Buddy’s Mood, Buddy Levels do not decrease over time, much like Friendship Levels.
|Level||Total Affection Hearts||Perks|
| Good Buddy||1|| Adventuring Buddy|
| Great Buddy||70|| Catch Assist|
| Ultra Buddy||150|| Finding Souvenirs|
| Best Buddy||300|| CP Boost when assigned (up to level 41)|
Best Buddy Ribbon
Following perks are available for Good Buddy level.
Buddy will appear on the Map when it is fed enough and their hunger meter is full. While on the Map, buddy will earn Candy at a reduced walking distance.
Interacting with Buddy improves their Mood. It decreases over time. Swapping buddies reset it back to Normal. Excited is the most positive mood, which doubles the Affection Hearts that could be earned and the candy walking distance is halved when excited.
Once Buddy achieves Good Buddy level, the Mood indicator appears on the Buddy Profile screen. If Buddy is on the map, Trainer can also tap their buddy to see its Mood.
Following perks are available for Great Buddy level.
When Buddy Pokémon reaches Great Buddy level it can occasionally bring Trainer a present which are items inside of floral sack.
To open such present, Trainer has to open Buddy profile page and they will see a sack in front of their Buddy. Once they tap on it, the items will be received. These presents can contain items, such as Poké Balls, Potions, Berries and Revives.
Upon reaching the Great Buddy level, Buddy will at times help Trainer catch wild Pokémon. Specifically, if a thrown Poké Ball bounces off of wild Pokémon while it attacks, there is a chance that Buddy will partially appear in the Encounter screen and hit the deflected Poké Ball right back at the target.
Along with wild Pokémon, this may also occur while rescuing Shadow Pokémon after successful battle against Team GO Rocket members and even while catching defeated Raid Boss Pokémon, saving the trainer a Premier Ball.
Following perks are available for Ultra Buddy level.
After achieving Ultra Buddy level, Buddy Pokémon can gift Trainer with Souvenirs. The kinds of Souvenirs Buddy will find vary depending on Trainer's local environment, and each Souvenir indicates the location where the Buddy found it. Receiving a Souvenir will grant an Affection heart in the “Bonus” category.
Once Buddy finds the first Souvenir, they can be viewed from the Buddy profile screen, which gains special section with Souvenirs right above Swap Buddy button.
|Many Trainers like to carry a piece of beach glass like this as a lucky charm. Knowing this, some Pokémon like to collect pieces as gifts for their favorite Trainers.|
|A cactus fruit that bears some resemblance to fruit commonly found in the Desert Resort in the Unova region. A fun gift from a loving Pokémon.|
|A small, whitish stone picked up at the edge of the road. Your buddy thought you'd like it!|
|These fruits can't be eaten, but some Pokéon enjoy collecting them regardless.|
|A lone earring. Its sparkle probably inspired your Buddy Pokémon to gift it to you!|
|A marble with colored glass inside. Your buddy was probably drawn to its intricate pattern.|
|Mushrooms similar to these tend to grow on Mushroom Pokémon, such as Paras. Some Pokémon enjoy collecting these as gifts for their Trainers. (Don't eat them, though.)|
|A hefty pinecone that amuses some Pokémon. A surprisingly thoughtful gift from a friendly Pokémon.|
|Many Pokémon like to collect these pretty leaves and gift them to their favorite Trainers.|
|A smooth stone that is the perfect shape for skipping on water. It appears to be a sentimental keepsake from your buddy!|
|A small bouquet that was made with heart and soul for a single Trainer. It made your buddy think of you!|
|A thin, small spring that's totally stretched out.|
|A ticket, torn from use and with faded text. Your buddy probably just thought it was neat!|
|This tropical flower looks similar to those found in the Alola region. Some Pokémon love to collect flowers!|
|A beautiful white shell that may have drifted from a sea in a warm region. Your buddy was probably drawn to its beauty!|
|GO Fest 2020 souvenirs|
|Following souvenirs could be found by Ultra Buddy during Pokémon GO Fest 2020.|
|A colorful memento often found at special events. This confetti celebrates Team Mystic, Team Instinct, and Team valor by using their identifying colors.|
|A stylish accessory worn by Trainers at special events to show their love of Pokémon. Pika pika!|
Buddy may draw Trainer's attention to a nearby PokéStop they find interesting. If Trainer visits the PokéStop and spin its Photo Disk while there is an indicator above the PokéStop, Trainer will earn bonus items and an Affection heart in the “Bonus” category.
Following perks are available for Best Buddy level.
After achieving Best Buddy level, Pokémon gains a CP Boost, making it more powerful in Raids, Gym Battles, Team GO Rocket, and Trainer Battles. CP Boost is equivalent to CP after two extra Power Ups, if the boosted Buddy Pokémon is at level 40, it will have CP equivalent to level 41.
The CP Boost will not be applied if the Pokémon is not currently set as Buddy.
Best Buddy Ribbon
Best Buddy wears a special ribbon indicating Trainer has reached its Best Buddy status.
Somme Best Buddy Ribbons may be not correctly aligned on the Pokémon's body due to a vast variety of Pokémon models.
This feature can be opted out by changing respective setting in the game settings.
Regardless of Buddy level, when a Trainer is low on Gifts in their items bag, their Buddy will occasionally notify them next to the buddy icon with an exclamation point symbol. Once clicked on, the Trainer will receive from 1 to 5 gifts from the closest PokéStops from their current location.
These Gifts do not count toward the 100 daily limit for sending gifts to friends; this only applies to gifts received by spinning PokéStops.
Trainer will not receive Gifts from their Buddy if they already have 10 or more Gifts in their Items Bag. Unlike Buddy presents and Souvenirs, receiving Gifts from Buddy will not reward Affection hearts.
This feature was introduced due to COVID-19 pandemic to allow Trainers obtain Gifts without travelling to PokéStops if they do not have any near their residences.
- There is an Easter Egg about Buddy Pokémon. Initially when a Pikachu is assigned, it will show up on the ground beside the trainer. However, if a trainer walks a distance of 10km or more, the Pikachu will appear on top of the trainer's shoulder.
- There is significant relation between Buddy distance for candy reward of specific Pokémon and what egg it hatches from, as:
- Pokémon that hatch or originally hatched from 2-km Eggs have to walk 1 km for candy reward,
- Pokémon from 5-km Eggs have to walk 3 km for candy reward,
- Pokémon from 10-km Eggs have to walk 5 km for candy reward
- and Legendary Pokémon that do not hatch from any egg have to walk 20 km for candy reward.
- Shadow Pokémon or even fainted Pokémon can be assigned as Buddy Pokémon.
- Since the introduction of Buddy Adventure, swapping Buddy Pokémon no longer resets progress toward earning Candy.
- Best Buddy medal was introduced on March 4th, 2020. It requires the Trainer to have 1, 10, and 100 Best Buddies.
- ↑ Go out and explore with your Buddy Pokémon!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2016-09-02.
- ↑ Buddy Adventure coming soon—even more ways to explore, grow, and bond with your buddy!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2019-12-22.