The new Pokemon Go buddy system has launched. But not for everyone.
On September 10th, Niantic Labs officially announced that their new update, which includes the buddy system, would begin rolling out. But this does not happen all at once, with some players receiving it long before others.
All over the Pokemon Go online communities, videos and screenshots can be seen of trainers testing out the system. But if you don’t have it yet, you’re not alone. What’s happening is known as a staged rollout, where the update is made available to a certain percentage of users first rather than hitting everyone all at once.
Niantic has done this with updates in the past, and in those instances, it usually took about two days for most players to receive the update. Therefore, if you don’t have it yet, you should expect to see it in your app store by Monday, September 12th at the latest.
Sometimes Niantic makes new features available to players in certain parts of the world but not others, as was the case with their new nearby tracker. That rolled out just to certain players in California, still not being made available to the vast majority of phones yet. But this does not seem to be the case with the buddy system. It’s available for trainers all over the world, and there doesn’t appear to be much of a pattern to it; it’s not as if players in the west coast of the U.S. have it but those on the east coast don’t, for example.
In fact, one user from Alberta, Canada reported on Reddit that they have the update but their significant other does not, and there have been many other similar reports suggesting it is not region based.
However, the update does seem to have reached Android devices far quicker than it is reaching iOS devices. You may have noticed that virtually all of the screenshots and videos of the new feature are taken from Android phones, rarely from iPhones. That’s because Apple sometimes takes a few days to approve app store updates, so if you’re one of the millions of trainers playing the game on an iPhone, you may have to be a bit more patient and expect the update closer to Monday.