Pokémon GO Game Launches Trainer Battle Feature

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Smartphone game's new player-versus-player battles have 3 leagues

Niantic launched the Trainer Battles feature in its Pokémon GO smartphone game on Wednesday. The features allows player-versus-player battles in the game.

Players can battle any player they encounter by scanning a special QR code. Most players must be nearby each other to use the feature, but Ultra and Best Friends in the game can battle each other from any distance. Both players in a battle receive rewards, including rare Evolution items such as new Sinnoh Stones.

Players choose teams of three Pokémon to use in Trainer Battles. The previously revealed league system determines which Pokémon players can use in each battle. Trainer Battles have three leagues: the Great League, which has a maximum of 1,500 CP per Pokémon; the Ultra League, which has a maximum of 2,500 CP per Pokémon; and the Master League, which has no CP limit.

In addition to the Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks that can already be used in other types of battles in the game, players can unlock an additional Charged Attack by using Stardust and Candy. Players can use new Protect Shields during Trainer Battles, but only two are available in each battle.

Players can also train in battles with team leaders Spark, Candela, and Blanche to earn rewards once per day. Battles with team leaders increase the level of the Ace Trainer medal. Players have not been able to advance the Ace Trainer medal since the game's major battle system update in summer 2017.

The game's development team said they will "be keeping an eye on the game balance" going forward. Vice president of product at Niantic Kei Kawai previously said, “Trainer Battles have been created from the ground up for Pokémon GO under Niantic's core principles of social gameplay: getting players outside and exploring the real world together." Niantic's product manager for Pokémon GO Matt Slemon said, "The upcoming launch of Trainer Battles marks the very beginning for what we envision for this new dynamic social feature which will grow and evolve over time with new gameplay mechanics.”

The game began releasing Pokémon that originally appeared in the Sinnoh region, which debuted in the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games, in October. The game revealed the all-new Mythical Pokémon Meltan in September, and the Pokémon became obtainable with the release of the Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Nintendo Switch games on November 18.

The smartphone game received the Fan Favorite Mobile Game award at CBS' inaugural Gamers' Choice Awards on Sunday. The Pokémon GO app launched in select countries including the United States in July 2016.

Sources: Pokémon GO game, Pokémon GO game's website

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