After selecting your buddy Pokémon, you’ll be able to level up your friendship with it by feeding it berries and playing with it. You’ll be able to play with it in AR+ mode, with the Pokémon interacting differently to various actions, like petting its head.
Your Pokémon’s mood can change depending on how affectionate you are with your ‘mon. Battling with, petting, and feeding your buddy will increase its affection. When it’s excited, it’ll reduce the distance you’ll have to walk to get buddy candy and it’ll gain bonus affection.
As you tier up your buddy, you’ll have access to better perks, as follows:
- Good Buddy: Walk with you on the map view screen
- Great Buddy: Helps out catching Pokémon and brings you items
- Ultra Buddy: Alerts you of “interesting places nearby” and brings Souvenirs
- Best Buddy: Gets a special ribbon and gets a CP boost in combat as long as they’re set at your buddy
Walking distance to get buddy candy will also no longer be reset upon switching out your buddies, which will be a nice quality-of-life change.
Players will also be able to take AR photos together with their Pokémon in Shared AR Experience mode, but that will be released at an undisclosed date.