Pokémon Go became known for its augmented reality tech upon its launch, as it came one step closer to bringing fictional Pokémon to the real world. Three years later, Niantic has a new live multiplayer AR feature on its way to Pokémon Go in the next few months called “Buddy Adventure.” The feature will be similar to their Codename: Neon tech, which allows two separate devices to have interactive AR objects within the same frame, so two players can see the same AR objects when looking through the camera of their game.
In Buddy Adventure, players can pick a buddy Pokémon to pair up with and bring on an adventure with another player. This will build upon the existing Buddy system, which currently allows players to pick one Pokémon to walk with to earn candy for that Pokémon species as they accumulate kilometers. What adding another player and AR to this system will do has not yet been clarified, but there is a cute demo video previewing Buddy Adventure.
— Serebii.net (@SerebiiNet) November 7, 2019
The first part of the video appears similar to the Pokémon Amie feature of a few of the mainstream Pokémon games, such as X and Y where it made its debut. The player can feed Pikachu berries by tossing or handing them to it, or use a berry to make their Pokémon follow them. The player can also pet Pikachu and trigger its fight animation.
The second part of the video shows a Togetic and Snorlax join Pikachu, added to the frame by nearby players using Pokémon Go on their own devices. The original player then takes a photo of the two other players posing with their group of Pokémon. Everyone can interact with each other’s Pokémon in the same frame.
Buddy Adventure will “provide Trainers with a shared experience of seeing their real world friends interacting with their buddy Pokémon in real time,” Diana Hu, director of AR Platform at Niantic, wrote in a blog post on the company’s website. She also assured that regardless of the device players and their friends each individually use—iPhone or Android—everyone can still use Buddy Adventure together.
There is no set release window yet, but Hu said Buddy Adventure will be coming to the app “in the months ahead.”