Pokémon Go creator Niantic Labs says its augmented reality multiplayer feature, Buddy Adventure, is coming “very soon” to the iOS and Android versions of the mobile game. Buddy Adventure was first shown off last month at a press event, and it allows players to use the existing buddy system in Pokémon Go to bring a more realistic version of their favorite pokémon into the real world using more sophisticated AR technology.
Niantic’s says Buddy Adventure takes advantage of Pokémon Go’s existing AR+ mode, which launched first in 2017. AR+ taps into Apple and Google’s respective AR platforms to access more detailed depth maps and other data necessary to create advanced AR visualizations. Once it’s active, you’ll be able to see your buddy pokémon more realistically blended with the real world where you can then interact with it and feed it snacks to earn special perks that help the pokémon grow over time.
“Each Pokémon has different quirks and ways to express itself. Watch closely to see a diverse range of movements and expressions, whether you and your buddy are playing together or exploring the world around you,” the company said in a blog post. “Along with feeding your buddy, you can also play with it. Watch what your buddy does when you interact with it in AR+ mode. Different Pokémon react in different ways.”
Niantic is also bringing a tiered level feature to its buddy system that lets you build a relationship with a pokémon through feeding it and playing with it in AR+ mode. Higher levels unlock better perks as your buddy pokémon’s mood improves.
Soon, Niantic says you’ll also be able to use its so-called Shared AR Experience mode, which is the multiplayer component of Biddy Adventure. That will let two players exist in the same shared AR world, meaning you’ll be able to see a friend’s buddy pokémon, interact with it, and also take photos with all four of you in the same frame. The multiplayer component is launching at a later date after the initial launch of Buddy Adventure sometime in early 2020.