From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
A Buddy Pokémon (Japanese: 相棒ポケモン Partner Pokémon) is a walking Pokémon in Pokémon GO. They allow the player to earn Candy for the Buddy Pokémon's family by walking with them. Buddy Pokémon were added to Pokémon GO in version 0.37.0 (labeled 1.7.0 on the iOS App Store), which was released on September 13, 2016.
The player earns Candy after walking a certain distance while the same Pokémon is equipped as their Buddy Pokémon. The distance required (1 km, 3 km, 5 km, or 20 km) depends on the Pokémon's evolutionary family. The player can only have one Buddy Pokémon at a time, and changing or evolving the Buddy Pokémon resets the distance until the next Candy is obtained. Additionally, a Buddy Pokémon cannot be transferred, traded, or placed in a Gym.
Starting in version 0.49.1 (labelled 1.19.1 on the iOS App Store) of Pokémon GO, which was released on December 8, 2016, the total Candy collected by a particular Pokémon as a Buddy Pokémon is displayed on the Buddy information screen, and the total distance walked with a Pokémon as a Buddy Pokémon is listed on that Pokémon's information screen.
Originally, the distance corresponded to half of the Pokémon's family's Egg distance (rounded to the nearest whole number), but since the introduction of Buddy Pokémon, Egg distances have changed often, whereas buddy distance has not changed. Aside from Baby Pokémon and starter Pokémon, all Pokémon with the same buddy distance require the same amount of Stardust and Candy to learn a second Charged Attack.
Certain Pokémon can evolve if it has walked with the player for a certain distance as their Buddy Pokémon. So far, all Pokémon that evolve as Buddy Pokémon require walking 5 km to obtain a Candy.
This evolution mechanic does not override the ability of Eevee's nickname to cause it to evolve into a particular Eeveelution.
Each species of Pokémon has a defined Buddy position. Medium Pokémon stand beside to the player, while large Pokémon stand behind the player. Flying Pokémon will fly or float next to the player.
Pokémon with a position of "Shoulder" or "Baby" sit on the player's shoulder or ride in their arms, respectively. Pikachu initially stands beside the player, but moves to their arms if it collects a total of 10 Pikachu Candy.
List of properties as Buddy Pokémon
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