One of the first things Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town ever achieved was earning the trust of his brand new Pikachu. Following a turblent first impression, he struggled with the mercurial mouse almost half way along Route One. It was so unwilling to give in to the whim of this sloppy ten-year-old that Ash spent the first day dragging it along by a cord. Ash won Pikachu’s trust when they were attacked by a vicious flock of Spearow and Ash threw himself in the way of their fierce beaks and claws to keep his Pokémon safe, proving that he loved it.
From that day on, Ash and Pikachu have walked side by side for every step of their journey.
And, thanks to a rumoured updated from Pokémon Go, soon you too will have the opportunity to take your favourite Pokémon for walkies.
A source at Pokémon Go Hub has mined data from the most recent update code to get a sneak peek at what will be included in the next update to hit the game. One of the more noteworthy features revealed was the ‘Buddy system’, which will allow your Pokémon to stroll alongside you on your adventures.
How exactly this will implement visually is not entirely clear, but some of the benefits it will provide have already been leaked.
Walking your Pokémon will work in a similar way to hatching an egg, except instead of getting a new Pokémon after a certain distance, you get candies to level up the Pokémon you already have. While it’s still not the traditional battling for experience that lifelong trainers are familiar with, it makes a lot more sense to walk your Pokémon for experience than to stuff them full of sweets you were given in exchange for other Pokémon.
You can Buddy up with a single Pokémon multiple times to level it even more, but it does seem likely that there will be limits on the use of this feature to stop Pokémon getting too overpowered.
The programme seems to have space for different kinds of Pokémon to walk alongside you, with each Buddy Pokémon taking one of four different sprite sizes: medium size, big size, flying alongside or resting on your shoulder. Just like Pikachu.
As it is based on existing code, this seems like it will be an aspect of the game that will be relatively easy to implement. Fans in the know predict that we could be testing this new feature in around a week.
Source: Pokemon GO