The latest feature to come to Pokémon Go lets you choose a Pokémon to walk beside you throughout your Pokémon journey. Much like Ash's Pikachu, who refused to stay in his Poké Ball, your buddy will join you on the map, interact with you, and, once you've built up your friendship enough, provide you with bonuses. There's a lot to this feature and fortunately, we're here to walk you through it all.
What is Buddy Adventure anyway?
Buddy Adventure is a new way to interact with your Pokémon in Pokémon Go. It's similar to how Ash's Pikachu didn't like to stay in his ball and preferred to follow him. With Buddy Adventure, your Buddy Pokémon can follow you on the map, and will even interact with you and help you on your journey. None of this happens automatically though. Like any friendship, you have to put in the work with your Buddy Pokémon too. There are things you can do to build up your Buddy Level and if you keep at it, you'll eventually be Best Buddies.
Each day, you can complete various activities with your Buddy Pokémon for Affection Hearts. Affection Hearts are like Friendship experience and you need 300 of them to max out your Buddy Level with a Pokémon. You can earn up to 20 Affection Hearts every day to increase your Buddy Level with a Pokémon. You can do this with up to 20 Pokémon a day, but each one takes a fair bit of time and effort, or Poké Coins.
The things you can do to earn Affection Hearts are:
- Walking: Would you like to be stuck in a PokéBall all day, every day? No? Well, neither does your Pokémon. The best way to build up your Buddy Level is by bringing your Pokémon out to go on adventures together. Every two KM you walk with your Buddy will earn you an Affection Heart up to three times a day.
- Treats: Pokémon get hungry, just like us, so be sure to keep your Buddy well fed. You can earn up to three Affection Hearts for feeding your Buddy Treats throughout the day. You earn one Affection Heart each time you fill your Buddy's hunger meter from zero. This requires three Razz Berries, Pinap Berries, or Nanab Berries. Alternatively, you can use two Golden Razz Berries or Silver Pinap Berries to fill the meter. A single Poffin will fill the meter for much longer and earn you more Affection Hearts overall.
- Play: Pokémon love to play with their trainers, so pop your Buddy out in AR mode, give it a tap, and then pet it until you see sparkles. Once successful, your Buddy will light up and display hearts, earning you another Affection Heart each day.
- Snapshot: Unsurprisingly, Pokémon like having their pictures taken, so be sure to bring your Buddy out in AR mode and take those Snapshots. You can earn an Affection Heart each day for doing so, and you might even spot Smeargle Photobombing your Buddy!
- Battle: Taking your Pokémon into Battle is a great way to build up your Buddy Level. You can take your Buddy to fight in Gyms, against Team GO Rocket, or even just in Trainer Battles to earn another Affection Heart each day.
- New Place: Pokémon like to travel and see new places as much as the rest of us, so, when you visit a new PokéStop or Gym (new to that Buddy anyway) you will earn another Affection Heart.
All of these tasks add up to 10 Affection Hearts a day, but if your Pokémon is excited, you can earn twice as many for a total of 20 Affection Hearts a day per Pokémon.
As you interact with your Buddy Pokémon, their mood improves. In addition to making your Pokémon happy, you get bonuses for increasing its mood. Each mood is represented by an ever-growing smiling face, culminating with a delighted face with three hearts. The moods are:
Once your Buddy Pokémon is excited, you can earn twice as many Affection Hearts. Earning those Hearts also becomes easier, so make sure to keep your Buddy Excited as often as possible. You can do this by interacting with your Buddy a lot or by giving it a Poffin.
As you interact with your Buddy more, you will be able to increase your Buddy Level. Much like increasing your Friendship Level with other players, each new level with your Buddy Pokémon comes with greater benefits.
- Good Buddy: This is the first level that you earn with your very first Affection Heart. Once you're Good Buddies, your Pokémon will follow you around on the map and you can see its mood.
- Great Buddy: This one takes a little more work, requiring 70 Affection Hearts. If your Buddy is Excited and you earn all 20 Affection Hearts a day, it will still take you four days to reach this level. Once you do, your Buddy can help you catch Pokémon by hitting Poké Balls back at Pokémon who hit them away. Your Buddy can also find presents, like Berries and Potions, while adventuring.
- Ultra Buddy: To get to Ultra Buddy, you need 150 Affection Hearts, so just over a week if you're earning the most Affection Hearts possible. Once you're Ultra Buddies, your Buddy Pokémon will bring you souvenirs and point out interesting PokéStops.
- Best Buddy: Requiring a whopping 300 Affection Hearts, becoming Best Buddies takes a whole lot of time and love. When you manage this feat, your Buddy Pokémon will get a CP boost in Battles and display a special Ribbon, letting everyone know you're Best Buddies.
Poffins are a new, premium Treat that can be purchased in the Poké Shop for 100 Poké Coins apiece. These special Treats do the work of several Berries and keep your Pokémon full for longer so you can adventure and play together even longer. They fill your Buddy's Hunger Meter for twice as long as normal Berries and automatically make your Buddy Excited so you can double the Affection Hearts you earn.
In addition to the accomplishment of increasing your Buddy Level and making friends with you Pokémon, each increase to your Buddy Level comes with in-game bonuses.
Once you've reached the Great Buddy level with a Pokémon, it can find your presents while you're out adventuring. These include Berries, Potions, and Revives. It would seem as though these Presents only happen once per day and the only time that a Present is guaranteed is the day your Buddy levels up to a Great Buddy. What's more, Presents and Souvenirs come in the same packages so you don't know if your Buddy found a Present or a Souvenir until you open it. Presents are more common though.
Another bonus from raising your Buddy Level, once you've reached Ultra Buddies, your Pokémon may also bring you Souvenirs to remember the adventures you've shared. These items appear to be cosmetic only and are displayed on your Buddy's Profile. Here you can see a few of the presents we've found so far. There are 15 different Souvenirs your Buddy can bring you, but for the time being, there doesn't seem to be any pattern to which souvenir your buddy finds or even why. They do seem to be much less common than Presents though.
When you've reached Best Buddy Level with a Pokémon, they're going to want to try harder in Battle. This is expressed with an actual numerical boost to its CP. This equals out to about one level increase, so if your Buddy is at level 40, it will perform as though it were level 41. This CP Boost only applies when the Pokémon is set as your Buddy, so you can't get a bunch of Pokémon up to Best Buddy and have them all perform better in the same battle.
Questions about Buddy Adventure?
Do you have any questions about the Buddy Adventure feature? Do you have tips for other trainers on how to get the most out of this new system? Just want to show off your latest Buddy? Drop us a comment below and be sure to check out our many other Pokémon Go guides so you too can be a Pokémon Master!
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.