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Pokemon Go’s Buddy System Wants You To Walk 400 Kilometers To Evolve A Magicarp

Pokemon Go's New Buddy System

Get ready to walk your feet off. Pokemon Go really thinks you want to walk 400 kilometers to evolve your Magikarp. Distances for pretty much every other pokemon are also comparable.

Yesterday, Niantic released its Buddy Pokemon update. With this update, you can assign one pokemon to be your “buddy”. As your buddy, the pokemon appears next to you in your profile and next to your headshot. As you walk, your buddy has a distance meter that fills up. When full, you get one solitary candy.

The problem with this update is the sheer distances you need to walk to get enough candies to evolve your pokemon. The distances needed to get the candy vary, 1, 3, and 5 kilometers. Most pokemon seem to fall in the 3k range, but there are some that are 1 and quite a few that are 5.

If all of the pokemon were 1k for 1 candy, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If you walk an average of 5k a day, you could evolve your Pikachu in as little as 10 days. However, if you want to evolve your starter pokemon, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, or Charmander, you will need to walk 75k to evolve it the first time and then another 300k to evolve it the second. That is 75 days worth of walking or nearly 11 weeks. It is even worse for something like a Dratini. That one gives you one candy for every 5k walked. To get your Dragonite, you would have to walk 625k, or 5k a day for 125 days.

The idea of this update was to help those people who either only ever find one pokemon or hatch only one, but can’t seem to find any more in the wild. Or for those people who are just a couple of candies away from getting that sought after evolution. This update is nearly useless for the first group as the distances needed to travel are very prohibitive. But for the second group, it seems to be fine.

This update wouldn’t have been so bad had it been 1 candy for 1 kilometer walked for all pokemon. But that is not what we got. Instead, we got something that is nearly useless for pretty much everyone.


  1. Zachary Knight
    Zachary Knight September 16, 2016

    For those curious, based on this morning’s calculations, here are some interesting stats.

    Based on the pokemon I actually have, I need a total of 1994 candies to evolve them all to their top evolution. To get all those candies just from walking, I would have to travel a distance of 5,658km. If I started walking 5km a day, it would take me 1131.6 days or a little over 3 years of walking.

    The shortest distance I need to travel to evolve a pokemon is 28km to evolve my Jigglypuff. I have 22 candies for it right now gained from hatching two Jigglypuffs.

    The longest distance I need to travel for one pokemon is 550km to evolve my Dratini to a Dragonite. I have 15 candies for it right now.

    Only 7 pokemon out of the 30 I have that need evolutions are in the double digits distance wise. 6 pokemon require more than 300km traveled, one of which is the previously mentioned Dratini.

  2. MechaTama31
    MechaTama31 September 16, 2016

    And I would walk 300k and I would walk 300 more,
    just to be the man who waked 600k to get a bulbasaur.

    • MechaTama31
      MechaTama31 September 16, 2016


      I miss the edit button… 🙁

    • Infophile
      Infophile September 19, 2016

      This is the third time I’ve seen this, everytime with a Bulbasaur… and Bulbasaur can’t be obtained through this method. Why couldn’t the first person to say it have simply said “Venusaur” instead? Why, WHY!?

      • Zachary Knight
        Zachary Knight September 19, 2016

        Yeah, it is a really odd choice of Pokemon for the song parody. But it is still kind of funny.

        • MechaTama31
          MechaTama31 September 20, 2016

          1: I have heard of Bulbasaur.
          2: I have not heard of Venusaur.
          3: Bulbasaur rhymes with door.

          And now you know.

  3. Joar Bergum
    Joar Bergum March 21, 2017

    I’ve walked 208,5km with Charmander, just got 72km left to walk before i have the 100 candy i need for evolving Charmeleon into Charizard.

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