The new Pokémon GO buddy system lets you team-up with your favorite Pokémon, going on adventures as you visibly lead your buddy around on the map. It’s a fun way to enhance your connection with the best Pokémon in your Dex, but it’s going to take a long time to fully max-out your buddy.
Increasing your Pokémon’s buddy level unlocks a variety of upgrades — at Max Level, your Pokémon actually becomes +5 CP levels stronger. There are lots of other bonuses and rewards, which we’ve got detailed on our full Pokémon GO Buddy System guide here. They’re worth hunting, and if you’re eager to unlock all those upgrades fast, we’ve got a few tips to help speed up the lengthy process.
More Pokémon GO guides:
All The Shadow Pokémon You Can Catch (So Far!) | Full List | How To Catch (And Purify) Shadow Pokémon | Capture Guide | How To Fight Team Rocket GO | Invasion Event Guide | How To Fight Rocket Leader Giovanni | Legendary Shadow Pokémon Guide
How To Max Out Your Buddies Faster | Buddy Heart Farming Tips
To unlock upgrades for your Buddy Pokémon, you’ll need to complete daily activities — you can only complete one activity a day, and each one can get you a heart. But, you can swap your Buddy Pokémon up to 20 times a day. That means you can (slowly) level up 21 Buddy Pokémon at a time.
You can earn 10 hearts a day per Buddy — or 20 with the Excitement Bonus, but that’s rare. The best upgrade to unlock is the ‘Great Buddy‘ upgrade, which always returns one Pokeball. I suggest aiming for ‘Great Buddy‘ for most Pokémon — if you want to keep going, you can get ‘Best Buddy’ for your favorites, but that’s going to take the most time.
The trick to speeding up hearts is finding the easiest ways to earn them. You can very quickly earn 4 Hearts for 21 Pokémon in minutes by completing these activities.
- Easy Daily Buddy Hearts:
- Feed Berries
- Take A Photo
- Play With Your Pokemon
- Battle (Enter a Leader Battle Then Immediately Surrender)
If you have a Leader Battle available, just enter the battle to earn the heart. Then you can back out and still earn your heart reward. Complete all the other simple activities with your Pokemon, then swap to your others to grind them up with this battle trick. Just make sure you enter the Battle with your Buddy in the #1 slot.
The other types of heart activities can take a very long time — walking can earn hearts, but you’ll need to walk a very long distance. Sometimes it’s better to focus on the easy stuff. It’ll take you less play-time total, but a longer amount of days to max your buddies out. This is just the least time-consuming method.
To speed up the process, you can also purchase a limited-time Poffin — a special berry that costs coins from the shop. Feed this to a Pokémon, and for a time they’ll be more likely to unlock an Excited emotion bonus. It isn’t strictly required, but if you have a particular Pokémon you want to gain Buddy levels with faster, it’s a good purchase. If you have the coins.