One of the summer’s biggest hits is finally getting some new features to keep players engaged.
Niantic updated Pokémon Go today to add the Buddy system that enables players to earn candy for a designated monster. The patch is live now on iOS and Android in North America, and it should roll out to other territories soon. Pokémon Go is a Google Maps-powered location game that hides digital animals in the world for players to catch. It is the top-grossing game in the $36.6 billion mobile gaming industry, and it recently set a record as the fastest smartphone game ever to reach $500 million in revenues. With today’s update, Niantic is attempting to keep players attached to the game with fresh content and ways to interact with the digital creature-catching simulator.
The update bring the game to version 0.37.0, and here is a breakdown directly from the developer about what’s different and what’s improved:
- Implemented Buddy Pokémon: Trainers will now be able to choose one of their Pokémon to be their buddy. A Trainer can earn Candy for their Buddy Pokémon by walking a certain distance.
- Made it easier to select smaller Pokémon on the screen.
- Fixed an issue where Eggs would sometimes hatch without displaying the animation.
- Improved performance reliability when a device switches networks to no longer cause the application to hang or stop updating.
- Go Plus support.
- Minor text fixes.
As the notes mention, this update includes compatibility with the Pokémon Go Plus wearable device from Nintendo that is due out September 16. The Plus is a wrist sensor that can tell you when pocket monsters and other items of interest are nearby. It will sell for $35, and you’ll probably want to try to head to the store first thing on its launch day because the item will likely sellout quickly.