Right now, in order to level up specific Pokémon, you have to rely entirely on luck. Luck either being finding spawn nests of rare Pokémon near where you live/work, or luck being the “egg lottery” where you walk around hatching eggs in the hope that you get a Pokémon you’re looking for. With evolutions costing anywhere between 50 and 100 candy, usually, you often need to catch/hatch a dozen or two of the same rare Pokémon, which can often feel impossible.
Now, with the Buddy system, you can specifically choose which Pokémon you want to train, and get candy that way. It will probably be a pretty slow process, but for example, if you started with a Charmander and have yet to see another one in the wild or in eggs, you can put in the work and eventually get the 125 candy you’ll need to evolve it into a Charizard. Or, for other Pokémon where you’ve been crawling to try and reach their final stage evolution for months (in my case, Golem, Alakazam, Primeape), you can get that final stage by grinding out just that 10-20 missing candy you need, rather than waiting weeks to hatch/find 3-5 more of them. Obviously the ideal way to train Pokémon would be to battle them in gyms, but this is the next best thing.
Brings Back the Core Concept of Walking
Right now, many players will find themselves going outside less and less, given that they’ve probably “farmed out” their nearby spawn areas, and egg hatching is a frustrating, random process. But by tying the Buddy system to the same kind of distance walking as egg hatching, players are given a reason to kill two birds with one stone. The egg lottery can still be rewarding, but walking a (presumably lengthy) distance each day can be rewarding for getting the candy they need to leveling up specific Pokémon, something that has been previously impossible. Pokémon GO will only continue to work if it expands on the concept of being outdoors, not just remote battling friends or trading, and the Buddy system is a surprisingly excellent solution to that.d