Pokémon Go’s Buddy Adventure is set to launch 'very soon'

The update will bring more nuanced interactions and, later, a multiplayer mode.

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Niantic first teased Pokémon Go’s multiplayer “Buddy Adventure” last month, and now the company says it’s coming “very soon.” The app’s Shared AR Experience, which allows users to exist within the same AR world, will launch sometime in early 2020, according to a blog post published today.

Buddy Adventure? — The upcoming feature promises “an elevated bonding experience for Trainers and their buddies.” Essentially, players will be able to interact with Pokémon in more nuanced ways, like feeding them berries, playing with them, and taking photos of them. By interacting more with their Pokémon, Trainers can improve their buddies’ moods and unlock perks.

Advanced AR interactions — Buddy Adventure is all about utilizing Pokémon Go’s existing AR+ mapping to its fullest extent. AR+ uses both Google and Apple’s AR clients to create detailed depth maps and complex AR interactions. Buddy Adventure uses AR+ to allow Pokémon-specific interactions, such as unique movements and expressions.

Multiplayer is on its way, too — Perhaps the most significant update to come with Buddy Adventure is the game’s new multiplayer mode, known as the Shared AR Experience. Players will be able to run around in the same AR world, interacting with other players and their own buddy Pokémon. Demos thus far have only shown two players co-existing.

This update has been a long time coming: Niantic first showed off its multiplayer AR technology last June. With the underlying technology open to third-party developers, it’s likely this is only the first of many multiplayer AR experiences to come.