Niantic is starting to roll out v0.37 of their popular game Pokémon GO as of today, implementing the buddy system which will allow you to pair up with your favourite Pokémon to earn candy for it just by walking. There’s other updates as well, like support for their new accessory which launches this week, oh and you can’t use the game if you’re rooted now.

The rooting thing is also being applied to iOS Jailbroken devices, attempting to crack down on people who spoof GPS and basically cheat. The game is supposed to be fun, and since the majority of people cheating are rooted it’s a case of a minority ruining for everyone who roots their phone.

The major update of course is the Buddy System. Just like Ash teamed up with Pikachu in the cartoon, you can now partner up with your (or in my case, my sons) favourite Pokémon. Once partnered up you’ll earn candy for their class of Pokémon just by walking around, candy is earned by walking increments – say 3km to start with.

To buddy up with a Pokémon, go to your profile, hit the menu button in the bottom right and select buddy. You can then select your favourite Pokémon from a list. You’re not stuck with that Pokémon, you can change it whenever the fancy takes you by repeating the process, but bear in mind any progress you’ve made collecting candy so far will be lost. Your buddy Pokémon will now also show up on your avatar in the main game screen.

The full list of feature updates included in v0.37:

  • 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.
  • Pokémon GO Plus support
  • Minor text fixes.

The Pokémon GoPlus accessory of course goes on-sale this week, with pre-orders starting at EB Games tomorrow at midday for $49.95. There’s very limited stock, and sales are limited to one per customer so if you’re a fan of the game you’ll want to get in fast.

The update seems to be rolling out as usual in a staggered pattern, so you may have to wait a day or two to receive the update. You may be tempted to download elsewhere, but the Niantic team has reminded players not to download the APK from anywhere other than the Google Play store, so just hang tight, it’s a game remember.

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    Dean Rosolen

    I just hope the update makes it to everyone before Pokemon Go Plus becomes available.