It's happening: Trainer Battles are on their way to Pokémon GO. After being on the market for over two years, it looks like trainers will finally be able to battle one another.
In a string of tweets, Niantic details a key aspect of Trainer Battles: Battle Leagues. According to the company, players will need to choose a league before being able to battle one another. The leagues are Great, Ultra, and Master. With the exception of Master, each of the leagues has a max CP limit. Great's limit is 1,500 CP per Pokémon, while Ultra's is 2,500 CP. This appears to be a good thing because lower level players may find themselves outclassed in Master League battles. So, if two people battle in a Great League, there's a good chance the players will have evenly matched Pokémon. Thus, it becomes less about CP power, and more about carefully deciding which specific Pokémon you want on your team.
Sadly, Niantic did not give any more details on Battles. No release date was given and we're not sure if battling other players will be through online (you can live in New Jersey while someone else lives in New York), or if you have to be face to face with someone. Niantic says Trainer Battles will be available "soon," at the very least. In the meantime, the company encourages players to prepare their Pokémon for when the Leagues do go live.
Trainer Battles should be a great way to revitalize Pokémon GO. The concept of specialized leagues is interesting, as it allows for identical-level players to battle one another. Master League has no max CP limit, allowing for the highest level Pokémon to duke it out. It will be interesting to see how these Trainer Battles will be implemented. Will players have to journey to a gym? Can they stay at home and find others through Wi-Fi? If Niantic is going for an authentic Pokémon experience, there's a big chance that players will have to be in range with one another.
Some fans may hope that Niantic will revamp the battle system when Trainer Battles go live. At the moment, battling other Pokémon is done by simply swiping and tapping, with little strategy involved. Players would welcome a gameplay style more similar to the classic games - turn based strategy. Time will tell, but at the very least, it looks like those who haven't touched Pokémon GO in awhile have a reason to log back on.
Although no release date has been given for Trainer Battles, Niantic did tell Gram Magazine back in August that the company wants to release PvP at the end of the year. So, if that is still the plan, we could be seeing Trainer Battles later this month.