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If you want to be the very best, like no one ever was, it can feel like an awfully lonely experience. You're just out wandering around, staring down at Pokemon GO on your smartphone screen, hoping for another Squirtle to pop up for you to catch. Wouldn't it be nice if you had some company for your Pokemon training journeys? With the Buddy Pokemon system, you'll never be alone again.

Well, you'll still be wandering around at night by yourself looking at your smartphone screen, but that screen will display one of your Pokemon walking alongside your trainer's avatar. The Buddy Pokemon system, which was leaked earlier this week after some code-digging, has now been made official by Niantic.

Basically, it works like the egg system, except for the Pokemon you already have. You choose one of them as your Buddy Pokemon and they'll walk alongside you. While they are with you -- it looks like you can only have one Buddy Pokemon at a time -- they'll earn their corresponding candy, up to a daily maximum. This way, evolving the little pocket monster won't mean having to catch and "transfer" its cousins.

pokemon-go-buddy1

The Buddy Pokemon system gives you another reason to play the game when you're nowhere near a Pokestop and you're having a hard time finding anything to catch. It works using the same distance-tracking technology as the egg incubators, so that 5.0 km is probably going to be longer than five kilometers. Just don't go walking off a cliff in an effort to evolve your Clefairy.

It wouldn't be fair to say that interest in Pokemon GO is waning, per se, but it's certainly slowing. Niantic will need to continue releasing new features, like the Buddy Pokemon system, to keep gamers trainers engaged in the game. We're still waiting for the ability to trade Pokemon with other trainers, but that's supposed to be coming down the pipeline too.

Via BGR and Niantic