That’s right. Another of the most-requested features (and most glaringly obvious oversights) is finally being added to Pokémon GO: PvP battles. Are you ready to be the very best?
If you’ve been following the app’s progress since its release back in July 2016, you’ll know that… well, it’s not always been a smooth ride. GO got bad press for its shonky tracking, bugs, glitches, and other issues, as well as some general mismanagement on Niantic’s part.
Recent improvements have shaken the game to its core, brought players back in droves, and otherwise made GO a much more substantial proposition than it was at launch. The most notable of these, of course, was the update that brought friends lists and trading to the game. You know, as it always should have been right from the start. Still, better late than never.
Now, after days of teasingly tantalizing Tweets, Niantic has gone ahead and made it official: yes, Trainer Battles are coming to the game, and they’re coming sooner than you may have thought.
As reported by Nintendo Life, the first thing to note is that you can only battle your registered friends. This means that, as with trading, you need to be within a certain distance of them, and can’t just link up online as you can with the mainline Pokémon games. Surprisingly, though, there’s an exception to this: any trainers you’ve reached Ultra Friends or Best Friends status with can be battled from any distance. So that’s neat.
But what about the battles themselves? Well, as to that, you’re looking at a setup similar to that of standard Battle Spot battles in the main series games. You share a ‘Battle Code,’ pick three Pokémon (yep, three) and get to the furious Track and Field-style button mashing. Or screen mashing, in this case.
❗ #GOBattle update: With Trainer Battles right around the corner, we’re excited to give you an even closer look at all the Trainer Battle features we previewed in our recent Trainer Battle blog—starting with the basics! [1/4] pic.twitter.com/vm87UnOBqe— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) December 5, 2018
As we reported previously (see above), battles will take place in a series of Leagues (Great, Ultra and Master), each with a CP limit. In this way, things are kept even between trainers of slightly mismatched levels.
Attacking and defending plays out just as it does in gym and raid battles, with just a few minor additions. One of these is a curious Protect Shield mechanic, which defends your active Pokémon momentarily. We don’t know some of the finer details of the system just yet, but it’s great to see it’s being implemented at last.
It looks as though it’ll be rewarding, too, with loot being given to both the winners and losers of matches. There’s one more thing to mention, too: If you’re not quite up to taking on your friends, you can engage in training battles with your team leaders.
One thing’s for sure: there isn’t long to wait, and it’s going to have a big impact on GO when it arrives.