Illustration by Sam Woolley

The buddy system is Pokémon Go’s latest cloying grab at my ‘90s kid nostalgia. Think about it: you, your favorite Pokémon, together, walking into the sunset; growing as one and traversing the unknown. It’s just like Ash’s journey in the Pokémon TV show, except if you’re attempting it with the IRL buddy system, you might realize halfway through that your legs have become bloody stumps.


Want to evolve your Diglett into a Dugtrio? No sweat! Just take a small jaunt from New York to Philadelphia. Your feet hurt? Don’t complain—you’ll be raking in those Diglett candies the whole way!

Below is a rough visual aid for the distances necessary to evolve Pokémon exclusively using the buddy system. Check it out—and don’t get any ideas...

Charmander to Charmeleon: 75 km (the length of Los Angeles, CA)

Charmeleon to Charizard: 300 km (the distance from Dallas, TX to Austin, TX)

Charmander to Charizard: 375 km (more than the width of Italy)

Pidgey to Pidgeot: 62 km (the distance from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD)

Pikachu to Raichu: 50 km (up and down the length of Manhattan, NY)

Magikarp to Gyarados: 400 km (a bit less than the width of England)

Kabuto to Kabutops: 250 km (the length of Pennsylvania)

Dratini to Dragonite: 625 km (the distance from Barcelona to Madrid)