Niantic has just released an update for the popular Pokemon Go game. Now, Pokemon Go users can take Pokemon pets on walks. Candy and other rewards can be earned along the way. Niantic has added this update in order to make the Pokemon Go game more interesting to players.
The new feature is being called Buddy Pokemon and so far it is being well received. If you play Pokemon Go you can now choose any of your bests to take on a walk with you. The beast that you choose will show up alongside your trainer avatar on your screen as you walk through the real world. As you walk, you can gather candy and other items along the way.
Niantic has stated that picking a buddy to go on a walk with will allow players to open up various bonuses that are not available during regular gameplay. Niantic hopes that these bonuses will make Buddy Pokemon more appealing to players (which seems likely since players currently have to purchase candy in order to obtain it).
Choosing Your Buddy
Niantic will not show your chosen walking buddy on the Pokemon player app. You will only see the buddy you choose to walk with on your avatar page (alongside your avatar). This choice by Niantic might upset some players that would want the chosen walking buddy to appear to other players, but it’s what Niantic has chosen to do.
In addition, Niantic has released a Pokemon Go accessory - a clip-on pedometer that will track how many steps you take or how much you walk. The game only allows for prizes and candy depending on the amount of walking that has been done, so the pedometer makes some sense (though players will have to purchase the accessory).
The pedometer connects with your Pokemon Go game so that you do not have to open up your phone and use data in order to track steps taken.
Is The Accessory Necessary?
Even though the pedometer makes some sense, many wonder if it’s actually necessary. Niantic did mention some time ago that Pokemon Go would soon connect with the Apple Watch, which would allow users to track steps anyway. But the option here to purchase the pedometer would also be the cheaper option (you would have to own or purchase an Apple Watch in order to connect your game to that device).
Walking is an essential part of the Pokemon Go game, so the buddy addition will enhance the walking aspect of the game. Niantic has reported that users have walked a total of 4.6bn kilometers since the game was released. I’m not sure if Niantic intended to have a fitness angle when the game was created, but the connect to the Apple Watch and now the pedometer accessory (and the fact that walking is a crucial aspect of the game itself) makes walking and general health a major factor in Pokemon Go play.
The new buddy additional should be available on Pokemon Go games now. Any Android player that attempts to fool the Pokemon Go system through various Android hacks will be immediately barred from the game.