Pokemon GO: 6 Essential Facts You Need to Know About the Buddy System


The Pokemon GO “Buddy” update is here, giving trainers another way to get close to their favorite Pokemon and earn rewards like getting plenty of exercise.

The buddy system gives Pokemon GO fanatics yet another avenue to get free candy, and even adds a cute Easter egg to the mix. If you’re still not sure exactly what a Pokemon buddy is, how to use them, or which Pokemon give the most buddy benefits, then you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find a complete guide covering every aspect of the buddy system, including a full Pokedex of candy rewards by kilometer.

More Pokemon GO tips, tricks, and FAQs:

#1: What Is A Buddy?

A Pokemon buddy is a companion on your Pokemon GO journey. The buddy appears next to your Trainer avatar and gives you a walking goal measured in kilometers. If you can reach that goal, your Pokemon GO buddy will find candy and give it to you!

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to keep the Pokemon GO app active while you walk! If you close the app or turn off your phone, Pokemon GO won’t be able to measure your walking distance and any steps won’t count.

Candy rewards are unlimited. You can earn an infinite amount if you can keep walking and hitting those milestones. Certain Pokemon feature different kilometer lengths before they’ll give you candy. Check out the full list below to see how much you’ll need to walk to hit those kilometer milestones.

Pikachu just so happens to be a special Pokemon GO buddy — that’s just one of the secrets all for the newly-added Buddy system. If you’ve updated and still don’t know how to access or set your Buddy, you’ll find step-by-step instructions coming up next.

#2: How To Select A Buddy

To set your personal buddy Pokemon, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Trainer Profile — tap the icon available on your Map Screen.
  2. In the Trainer Profile, select the Menu [Three horizontal lines icon].
  3. Tap Buddy
    • A list of all your currently captured Pokemon will appear.
    • Tap the Pokemon you want to become your buddy.

It’s pretty easy. You can swap buddies at any time. Swapping a Pokemon buddy will delete all current step progress toward your next candy reward.

To switch buddies at any time, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Trainer Profile -> Menu -> Buddy [Same place listed above.]
  2. Tap the Swap icon.
    • A list of all your currently captured Pokemon will appear.
    • Tap the Pokemon you want to become your new buddy.

#3: Get Double Candy — If You’re Lucky!

Confirmed by the fact-checkers over on The Sylph Road, sometimes your buddy Pokemon will find a double-dose of candy after completing their kilometer walk requirements.

This is seemingly random, but the Redditor in question got the extra candy from their Vulpix — if you’re having trouble replicating the results, like us, then it might be worthwhile making Vulpix your new Poke-bud. Can’t hurt to try, right? Otherwise this is just a very rare reward.

#4: Pikachu Buddy | Mini-Easter Egg

Pikachu holds a special place as Pokemon’s de facto representative, and that doesn’t change with the additional Pokemon GO buddy system. Being the friendliest Pokemon around, Pikachu does something special after earning 10 candies.


Image Source: [PokemonGo Hub]

That’s right — instead of standing next to your trainer like a regular buddy Pokemon, Pikachu hangs out on your shoulder, ready to take on any challenges.

This is a purely cosmetic change, and won’t alter anything but Pikachu’s normal position on-screen. Still, it’s a cute addition! There just might be more Pokemon-related Easter eggs in the Buddy System update, so keep an eye out, trainers.

#5:You Can Train / Attack at Gyms With Your Buddy 

Here’s something most of us didn’t know, until now. You can attack enemy gyms with buddy Pokemon, and you can even train at friendly gyms. We all knew that buddies couldn’t be used to defend friendly gyms. Obviously, your buddy must always be at your side, so you can’t leave them alone at a gym.

Fighting with a buddy Pokemon does not effect your candy progress, even if your buddy faints! Yup, that means you won’t have to avoid budding-up with your best Pokemon fighter.

#6: Candy Rewards by KMs

Once a Pokemon is made into your ‘buddy’ — they will reward you with candy after a certain kilometer walking distance has been met. Certain Pokemon will give a faster rate of candy per kilometer. Below you’ll find the complete list of Pokemon and their kilometer requirements to earn you a candy reward.

NOTE: Find the Pokemon fast — press CTRL+F and type the name of the Pokemon you’re looking for in the search bar.

  • 1 Candy per 3 Km
    • Aerodactyl
    • Chansey
    • Dratini
    • Dragonair
    • Dragonite
    • Eevee
    • Vaporeon
    • Flareon
    • Jolteon
    • Electrabuzz
    • Hitmonlee
    • Hitmonchan
    • Jynx
    • Kabuto
    • Kabutops
    • Lapras
    • Magmar
    • Mr. Mime
    • Omanyte
    • Omastar
    • Onix
    • Pinsir
    • Scyther
    • Snorlax
  • 1 Candy per 2 Km
    • Abra
    • Kadabra
    • Bellsprout
    • Weepinbell
    • Victreebell
    • Alakazam
    • Bulbasaur
    • Ivysaur
    • Venusaur
    • Charmander
    • Charmeleon
    • Charizard
    • Cubone
    • Marowak
    • Diglet
    • Dugtrio
    • Exeggcute
    • Exeggutor
    • Farfetchd
    • Doduo
    • Dodrio
    • Drowzee
    • Hypno
    • Gastly
    • Haunter
    • Gengar
    • Grimer
    • Muk
    • Growlith
    • Arcanine
    • Goldeen
    • Seaking
    • Horsea
    • Seadra
    • Kangashkhan
    • Koffing
    • Weezing
    • Krabby
    • Kingler
    • Lickitung
    • Meowth
    • Persian
    • Machop
    • Machoke
    • Machamp
    • Mankey
    • Primeape
    • Magnemite
    • Magneton
    • Nidoran-F
    • Nidorina
    • Nidoqueen
    • Nidoran-M
    • Nidorino
    • Nidoking
    • Oddish
    • Paras
    • Parasect
    • Psyduck
    • Golduck
    • Poliwag
    • Poliwhirl
    • Poliwrath
    • Ponyta
    • Rapidash
    • Porygon
    • Gloom
    • Vileplume
    • Rhyhorn
    • Rhydon
    • Tentacool
    • Tentacruel
    • Ekans
    • Arbok
    • Sandshrew
    • Sandslash
    • Seel
    • Dewgong
    • Shellder
    • Cloyster
    • Squirtle
    • Wartortle
    • Blastoise
    • Slowpoke
    • Slowbro
    • Staryu
    • Starmie
    • Tangela
    • Tauros
    • Voltorb
    • Electrode
    • Vulpix
    • Ninetails
    • Venonat
    • Venomoth
  • 1 Candy per 1 Km
    • Caterpie
    • Metapod
    • Butterfree
    • Clefairy
    • Clefable
    • Geodude
    • Graveler
    • Golem
    • Jigglypuff
    • Wigglypuff
    • Magikarp
    • Gyarados
    • Pidgey
    • Pidgeotto
    • Pidgeot
    • Pikachu
    • Raichu
    • Ratatta
    • Raticate
    • Spearow
    • Fearow
    • Weedle
    • Kakuna
    • Seedrill
    • Zubat
    • Golbat
  • Unknown / Unlisted
    • Ditto
    • Mewtwo
    • Mew
    • Zapdos
    • Articuno
    • Moltres

Sources: [1], [2], [3]