While the rumors have been floating around all week (we wrote about it a couple days ago), it now appears the a Buddy System is officially coming to Pokemon Go.
Developers Niantic confirmed the new feature today on their website, and detailed a bit about how the new feature will work:
The next addition to Pokémon GO will be Buddy Pokémon. You will be able to pick your favorite Pokémon from your collection to become your buddy, opening up unique in-game rewards and experiences. Buddy Pokémon will appear alongside your Trainer avatar on your profile screen, adding helpful bonuses such as awarding Candy for walking together. You’ll also have the ability to change your Buddy Pokémon at any time.
It was already reported that walking with your Buddy Pokemon would help gain extra candies (useful for powering up or evolving you favorite pocket monster), the other “rewards” that Niantic mentioned are still undetermined.
The next version of Pokemon Go doesn’t have a release date, but if it’s anything like all the other ones (including the game’s initial launch), it will just randomly appear one day without an announcement.