It’s been over ninety days since friendship launched in Pokémon GO and I have finally gotten my first three best friends in the game. Initially I thought getting three best friends was a dumb idea because you’d get them all on the same day. It turns out it took me about a week between my first and third best friend. This doesn’t seem gold medal worthy since I am still working on my gold Fisherman badge and am likely six months away from completing.
With nearly 100 days played in this new friendship system I’m really enjoying the feature but I think there are a lot of flaws that are still yet to be addressed. Overall it is a tedious, repetitive, and mundane process in a tedious, repetitive, and mundane game. Not that I’m knocking it! I love things that are tedious, repetitive, and mundane!
The problem with friendship is that it’s also a little confusing.
If you open a gift from someone it will have a blue halo around their avatar for the day. If you send them a gift there will be a grey arrow indicating that they have an unopened gift from you. However, if they open that gift the arrow goes away and you have no indication if you’ve send them a gift today. This is probably fine if you have ten friends or fewer. I currently have 88 and it’s an impossible task. There’s also no way to see if they are sitting on a gift that you sent them previously.
In order to make the friendship experience more enjoyable, here is what I’d like to see introduced in the game.
Sort By Gift Needed
You can already sort by gifts you need to open, it would be great if you could sort by friends with open gift slots. This would make dishing out gifts so that you can collect more a much easier task.
Graphic Indicators of Gift Slots
We have a big gift to show they’ve sent us one. We have the arrow to show we’ve sent one today. We need a simple graphic on the friends list that shows whether or not their gift slot is empty. Anything so that we don’t have to tap on each friend individually.
Scroll Bar For Friends List
This was added to the Pokédex and Pokémon Storage. It would be very helpful to see this on the Friends List as well.
Friendship “Level Change Approaching” Notification
I’ve had a few Ultra Friends sneak up on me and, therefore, was unable to put on a lucky egg with enough time. So far I’ve been fortunate that my best friends in game are people I have contact with in real life. Otherwise coordinating the opening of gifts would just be up to dumb luck. I do not think they should have any sort of in game messaging as that would have for more negative implications than positive but if the game could let us know we were due for a level increase it would take a lot of pressure off the daily checking.
Sort By Days Until Next Level Up
Organizing by who is leveling up and how many days would be another great feature to try to maximize XP. It’s great to know who my top friends are but knowing that in 3 days I’ll have 1 best friend, 3 ultra friends, and 9 good friends on deck would be extremely helpful.
Sort By Friends Needing Daily Level Up
It would be great if it could sort and prioritize to the top all those friends that still are in need of a level up today. By putting all those friends at the top you’ll know who you need to exchange gifts with, send gifts to, raid with, or trade with.
Instead of laying out friends in list form, why not lay them out like Pokémon are arranged in a grid? You could also have the option to bulk gift (think of the way that bulk transfers work) where a random gift is assigned to all selected friends. Friends that are grayed out mean they can’t accept a gift, full color indicates gifts can be given, blue background (like Pokémon caught in the past 24 hours) indicate a gifts has already been given and received that day. It would simplify and clarify the whole process.
With gift sending limited to how many you can acquire and gift opening limited to twenty per day we need a better way to maximize efficiency in the process.
I’ve even considered keeping a written list so I can track days until leveling up, ensure I don’t open gifts from the same friend twice, and not waste sending gifts to friends I’ve already sent to that day.
Even for someone who relishes the tedious, repetitive, and mundane having to keep a written list is a bridge too far.