Pokémon GO developer Niantic has revealed a brand new feature for the game called 'Buddy Adventure', alongside a mushy trailer that's sure to get nostalgic fans a little teary.
This new update will give players the ability to interact with their Buddy Pokémon in all-new ways, bringing them to life in a way that we haven't seen before. If you enable the AR+ mode, you'll be able to play with and feed your Buddy Pokémon to level up your friendship and even earn powerful boosts to their CP. Your friendship levels will rise as follows:
- Good Buddy: Your buddy will join you on your map, and appear on the new Buddy Profile page.
- Great Buddy: Your buddy can also appear in Pokémon encounters and bring you items.
- Ultra Buddy: Your buddy will point out "interesting places" nearby and bring you Souvenirs - new items found on the Buddy Profile page.
- Best Buddy: Your buddy will sport a Best Buddy Ribbon and gain a CP boost in combat while still assigned as your buddy.
In a lovely touch, the Pokémon will also walk around with you on the map, similar to the fan-favourite feature found in mainline games like Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver and Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. If your chosen Pokémon doesn't walk, they can fly, too. Take a look at the Lugia in the screenshots below.
Not enough? Here's a Wailord swimming about, presumably destroying your local town in the process:
We don't have an exact release date for the update yet, but Niantic promises that it'll arrive by next year. Sometime after its initial launch, a Shared AR mode will also allow up to three players to take a group photo of their buddies together - expect social media to see the full force of that with immediate effect when it drops.
A nice update? Do you have a Buddy Pokémon that'll be perfect for this? Let us know in the comments below.