Pokémon GO's buddy update is finally here. Players can now choose one Pokémon at a time to be their "buddy," which, in turn, earns candy for that particular pocket monster over time as players walk, and that also appears on a player's trainer profile.
It's a cool new system that was desperately needed. No longer do players need to simply hope to stumble upon a certain Pokemon in order to receive more candies for it. Now, players can earn candies, which are then used to train or evolve Pokémon, simply by walking.
However, that's not all Niantic has added in the latest update for the wildly-popular mobile game. It has also thrown in yet another Pikachu Easter egg for fans of the Pokémon anime.
Normally, a buddy Pokémon stands on the ground next to the player on their trainer profile screen. However, according to Silph Road (via Reddit), players who choose Pikachu as their buddy Pokémon will find that, after walking 10 km with him, the Pokémon mascot will instead appear on the player's shoulder in their trainer picture. Below is a graphic put together by Silph Road to demonstrate the Easter egg.
It's a familiar sight for anybody who has watched the Pokémon anime. Pikachu is a bit of a rebel on the show, and hates to be cooped up in his PokeBall. At first, Pikachu and his trainer Ash fail to get along. It's only when Ash acts selflessly to save Pikachu that the two begin to bond. From then on out, Pikachu walks around on foot with Ash on his journey, and can often be found on Ash's shoulder.
Having Pikachu hitch a ride on his trainer only after bonding over 10 km, then, is a nice nod to the original anime. It is, however, far from the first anime-related Easter egg to make its way into the game. Just like the in the show, players who refuse (or in Ash's case, fail) to take one of three original starter Pokémon get Pikachu instead. Players can also name their Eevees Pyro, Rainer or Sparky in order to evolve an Eevee into a Flareon, Vaporeon or Jolteon respectively, which are the names of the three Eevee brothers from the anime.