Earlier this week, Pokemon Go rolled out a new update which added a handful of useful updates, including the ability to assign a buddy Pokemon. Your designated pal appears with your avatar on the trainer screen, and gradually picks up evolution-fueling candy as you walk with them. This sounds great in theory – having to catch literally thousands of Pokemon to evolve your favorites is a drag – but unfortunately the new buddy system may not be that helpful if you’re not a high level cross-country hiker.
The folks at GameSpot have figured out how far you have to walk to earn a piece of candy with each buddy Pokemon, then multiplied that by how many pieces you need for evolution. In some cases, the results are just a tad absurd. Want to evolve your Charmander into a Charizard? Be prepared to walk 375km (230 miles). How about evolving a Dratini into a Dragonite? You’ll be stomping 625 km (390 miles), or approximately the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Even relatively mundane evolutions, like, say, turning a Zubat into a Golbat, will require 50km (30 miles) of trudging.
Of course, you can argue the buddy system is just supposed to be a passive thing. That you’re not really supposed to put on your hiking boots and set off on 100 mile Pokemon-evolving odysseys. That may be true, but Pokemon Go needs to become less passive, not more. Given the distances you have to walk, the buddy system will simply be a minor aesthetic change for most users.
If you’d like to check out GameSpot’s nifty walking distances chart, you can do that right here.