When Niantic first announced Pokemon Go, it teased many of the features from the core games. Catching, trading, and battling Pokemon with other players were all shown off in the initial trailer. Nevertheless, many seemingly key features were rolled out over time. The game saw the successful implementation of trading just a few months ago, two years after its release. The last core feature players awaited was battling, and now, it looks like the game will finally feel complete. Niantic announced that battling is on the horizon, and has been transparent in showing off what the feature will entail.
There are a surprising number of intricacies to the feature, as it will thankfully not be a copy of the tap-tap-tap battling used for raids. It seems like Niantic has found a middle ground between its pre-existing form of battling and the more nuanced turn-based battling of the core Pokemon games. Let’s dive in, shall we?
First off, challenging another player to a battle will work much like the new trading feature. Players can scan each other QR codes in person to invite them to a battle. One interesting difference is that players can also challenge each other from far away, provided they’ve reached the Ultra or Best Friend tier levels of their friendship in-game.
As for the battling itself, trainers will use teams of three Pokemon to duel their opponent. In addition to the standard two moves that each Pokemon currently has, trainers will be able to unlock a new move for each of their Pokemon to use. They’ll also have a certain number of Protect Shields that block oncoming attacks.
After the battle is over and the winner emerges victorious, players will receive rewards depending upon how they did. These rewards will include evolution items and stardust, and can also be won from battling NPCs, such as each team’s leader.
In order to even the playing field and make battling more accessible to new players, battles will be divided into three leagues. Each will have a CP cap for the Pokemon that players may use. The Great League will have a cap of 1500, Ultra League a cap of 2500, and Master League an unlimited cap.
The feature has yet to arrive in game but Niantic has teased that it will debut soon. In a recent hands on video with IGN, Niantic showed off the real-time battling in action. Until it arrives, players would be wise to start thinking about what Pokemon they’ll want to use for each league. While it’s taken over two years, Pokemon Go will finally serve the complete mobile Pokemon gameplay it promised. Better late than never!