A Complete Guide to Pokemon Buddy


Quick links

  • Is a Pokemon Buddy just cosmetic flair?
  • What are affection hearts?

Besides collecting a bunch of colorful creatures and making them fight with other colorful creatures, Pokemon as a series is heavily focused on friendship and establishing said friendships with the Pokémon players catch.

Whether it’s anime or games, camaraderie and friendship is a frequent theme that comes up time and time again. So it made sense that Niantic would have a feature in Pokemon GO which focuses on this theme. This is where the Buddy Pokemon system comes in, a feature that was added a few months after the game was released.


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What is a Pokemon Buddy?

A Buddy Pokemon is a Pokemon that players have chosen to be their companion in Pokemon GO. Think like Ash and Pikachu in all the countless seasons and episodes that make up the Pokemon animated. Because there are so many Pokemon in the game for players to choose from, anyone can be chosen as a buddy (including Mythical Pokemon). However, players can only have one friend active at a time. Luckily, players can switch buddy at any time, so they don’t have to pick a favorite and be stuck with them forever.

Is a Pokemon Buddy just cosmetic flair?

There’s more to a Buddy Pokemon than just having a companion that follows players around the map. For starters, if players want to see their Buddy Pokemon walk around with them, they must first feed it berries. Once fed, Pokémon will follow players for three hours. This timer can be refreshed at any time, or players can choose to let it run out and then feed their Pokemon again to keep them coming back.

Not only that, but players can play and interact with their Pokemon through the augmented reality features built into Pokemon GO. Doing these activities with a Pokemon Buddy rewards affection hearts.

What are affection hearts?

Think of Affection Hearts as the Buddy Pokemon equivalent of XP players earn to level up. Each day there is a set of tasks players can complete with their Buddy Pokemon that award Affection Hearts. If players manage to get enough, their Buddy Pokemon will rank up. Ranking up a Buddy Pokemon provides many bonuses to the player. The ranks and affection hearts required to rank up are listed below.

Ranks of Friends

  • Good Buddy (requires 1 Affection Heart) – Unlocks default features such as mood and the ability to follow players on the map.
  • Great Buddy (requires 70 affection hearts) – The player’s Pokémon Buddy can help catch other Pokémon and give you useful items like potions.
  • Ultra Buddy (requires 150 Affection Hearts) – The player’s Pokémon Buddy will start bringing memories to them, which are only cosmetic and have no function.
  • Best Buddy (requires 300 Affection Hearts) – The player’s Pokémon buddy receives a ribbon and bonus CP during battle.

In addition to feeding and playing with it, players can also walk around, take photos, and even battle with their friend Pokémon to earn affection hearts. Keep in mind that there is a cap on how many Affection Hearts players can get per day. The cap is 10 affection hearts per day, but this cap can increase to 20 if the player’s buddy Pokémon is in an excited mood.

A player’s Buddy Pokemon mood can be boosted by continuously completing the activities listed under the player’s Buddy Pokemon (which are mentioned above). If the player does these activities often enough, their friend Pokémon’s mood will gradually increase until it reaches its maximum Excited. Essentially, the intent behind this system is to have a way for players to build a strong in-game bond with their favorite Pokemon through a series of objectives that they would complete simply by already playing the game.

Pokemon GO is now available for iOS and Android devices.

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