After teasing trainer battles for Pokemon GO last week, Niantic has now detailed how the feature will work. Trainer battles, of course, are an integral part of the mainline Pokemon games, and they’ve been noticeably absent from Pokemon GO ever since the game launched back in 2016. Though they’re finally coming to Pokemon GO, they’re going to be a bit different from what seasoned Pokemon veterans are used to when they arrive.
Once this feature goes live in the game – something Niantic says is happening this month – players will be able to battle any other trainer they encounter. Battling against Ultra Friends and Best Friends can be done from anywhere, but for everyone else, you’ll need to be with them in-person to scan their battle QR code.
Once you’ve scanned the code of the trainer you want to battle, you’ll need to pick a league: there’s Great League, where the max CP per Pokemon tops out at 1,500; Ultra League, which has a max CP per Pokemon of 2,500; and Master League, a mode that has no limit on CP. You’ll be able to pick three of your Pokemon to take into battle, so long as they fit the restrictions of your chosen league.
Niantic explains in a blog post that battles won’t be turn-based like they are in mainline Pokemon games, and Pokemon will be able to use their fast attack and charged attack moves. You also be able to deploy a shield to block your opponent’s attacks with proper timing, or use Stardust and Candy before a battle to unlock a bonus charged attack for your Pokemon to use.
Finally, Niantic says that players who compete in battles with one another will both earn items when the battle is complete, with the potential for evolution items to drop (though this sounds like it’ll be a rare occurrence). Trainer battles for Pokemon GO don’t have a release date just yet, but Niantic says they’ll be arriving sometime later this month. Stay tuned.