Trainer Battles are a new Player versus Player (PvP) mode coming to Pokemon GO and they allow trainers to fight versus their friends using teams of three Pokemon. Trainer Battles feature a handful of new mechanics, including Protect Shield, a second charge move, charging up and swapping Pokemon in and out of battle.
You can access the new Battle feature from your Nearby screen: Just tap the Nearby button and there should be a new “Battle” tab, sitting right next to Pokemon and Raid tabs. There are no premium item requirements for participating in PvP (Trainer Battles) – you can do them infinitely and they are free, but some restrictions apply for obtaining rewards.
Important note: every number, cool downs, etc mentioned in this article is not final. The numbers / charges / etc mentioned were featured in the hands-on demo, but they are all not final so don’t take them for granted – they could be inaccurate.
Trainer Battle Mechanics
Trainer Battles are quite different from Gym and Raid Battles. They allow you to unlock a second charge move for you Pokemon, they don’t feature dodging and they introduce new strategic mechanics: Protect Shields and charging up your charge attacks. You can also switch Pokemon, but every time you perform a switch, your switch button will be disabled and you can’t switch for another 50 seconds. Trainer Battles in Pokemon GO feature a mix of tap and charge time battle based mechanics which was never done in a Pokemon game before.
In order to win a Trainer battle one of the players needs to defeat all opponent’s Pokemon. If the match is not decided before the battle limit ends, a tie breaker mechanism will kick in and determine the winner by taking a look at the number of remaining Pokemon and percentage of health left.
Protect Shields allow you to completely mitigate an incoming charge attack from your opponent. You get a few Protect shields each battle and you have three seconds to activate the shield once your opponent activates a charge attack. You do not know which charge attack is coming, so knowing which charge moves the attacker can have is extremely important. The number of Protect shields you get is not final and is still being discussed, but in our hands on it was two.
Activating a Protect shield has the following effects:
Properly using Protect Shields is key to achieving victory in Trainer Battles, as how you and your opponents use your shield charges will dramatically impact the course of the battle.
Charging up charge attacks
Charge up is a new mechanic that is available once you activate your charge attack. During charge up, the attacker is given 3 seconds to furiously tap the screen in order to increase the move’s potential damage output (multiplier unknown), while the defender has 3 seconds to decide whether or not he should use a Protect Shield to mitigate the attack.
Anecdotally, charging up a charge move seems to increase its damage output by roughly 20%, but this is still up in the air and not final numbers by any means.
You can freely switch Pokemon at any moment during the battle, however, switching a Pokemon will trigger a 50 second cooldown before you can switch again. When you switch Pokemon, the outgoing Pokemon remember its energy state and will re-enter the battle arena with the same energy level it had when it was switched out. Switching out and in is a key mechanic in Trainer Battles, especially when fighting against Super Effective opponents.
Second charge move
In addition to Protect Shield and Charging Up, PvP has brought another new mechanic into Pokemon GO: unlocking a second charge move for your Pokemon. Unlocking a second charge move is simple, it is available from the good ol’ Pokemon page and it costs Stardust and Candy. Once you unlock a second charge move, your Pokemon will receive a new random move from its respective move pool and this move can be used in Trainer Battles (Gym Battles and Raids as well).
Here are some key mechanics for the second charged move:
The cost to unlock the second charge move is not yet known, as the numbers we were given during our hands-on session were all not final. We do know it includes Stardust and Candy, but how much is still not clear.
Trainer Battle rewards
Although only one player can claim victory, both players will get rewards to train their Pokemon for playing together. Participating in Trainer Battles will result in increasing Friendship Level for both players and fighting against Team Leaders will give you a change to receive a special item reward (including hard to find evolution items). Other rewards are also possible, but are not yet known at the moment.
You can get rewards from battling against each Team Leader once a day, and you can get rewards from battling against other players three times a day. Beyond that, you will not receive rewards, but your progress will count towards the new medals. You can battle any number of times you want throughout the day, the only limitations is on how many times you can get the item rewards (three times a day).
Battle against Team Leaders
In addition to fighting against real Trainers, players can participate in single player Trainer Battles against Team Leaders: Spark, Candela and Blanche. Team Leader battles are powered by AI and allow players to prepare for real world battles at the comfort of their home.
By playing (training) against Team Leaders, players can earn rewards and earn progress towards their Ace Trainer badge. Team Leader battles are designed to do two things:
Local and remote Trainer Battles
There are two ways you can battle other Trainers: remote and local battles.
In order to participate in Local Battles, you need to meet face to face and exchange Battle QR Codes, similarly to how you exchange your Trainer Code before trading with new people. Remote play has no geographical limitations, but the person you are trying to battle needs to be able to accept the battle invitation. No, you can’t fight someone while they sleep.
Everything else we know about Trainer Battles and PvP in Pokemon GO
As loyal Pokémon trainers expand their Pokédexes in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee!, here's where to find and how to capture the elusive Dratini in the Kanto region. While catching the original 151 Pokémon is sure to be the first mission on many players' list, the likes of Dratini, the original three starter Pokémon, and the Legendary Birds can only be found in specific areas of the game. With this in mind, here's where Dratini and its evolutions are hiding in the Let's Go games.
Anyone who's played the first generation of Pokémon games will know that Dratini may be small in size compared to its evolutions, but given that it turns into the ultra-powerful Dragonite, it's well worth tracking down. Sadly, it's not as simple as pulling out an old copy of Pokémon Yellow and heading to the same spot to find Dratini in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee!.
With the Pokémon: Let's Go games lack a coin purse, it means the old days of saving up and buying Dratini from the Celadon Game Corner are long gone. Firstly, trainers need to learn the Sea Skim move from the Lapras trainer in Fuchsia City's GO Park. It's effectively the Pokémon: Let's Go equivalent of Surf and gives access to some previously inaccessible areas. Once players have taught their Pikachu or Eevee the handy HM, they should head to Route 10 and prepare to do some swimming. Charting the waters east of Cerulean City, there's a slim chance that Dratini will be out there.
The waters of Route 10 are chock full of Tentacool and Magikarp, but Dratini's spawn rate is only 4%. The chances of finding a Dragonair are reduced to just 1%, and you'll have to search elsewhere to find a Dragonite (more on that it a minute). Using a lure or getting a Catch Combo from all those Magikarp can increase the likelihood of swimming into the path of a hiding Dratini, but expect there to a substantial grind.
In all honesty, most gamers are only looking for a Dratini in the hopes that they'll one day be able to evolve into a Dragonite. Dragonite can be found in the wild in the air around the likes of Route 4, 7, and 12, but with its spawn rate being only a fraction of even Dragonair's minute probability, it could be a very long time until Pokémon trainers find one. The other option is to transfer a shiny Community Day Dratini from Pokémon GO, but bear in mind that Pokémon players can't send it back once the dragon-type has been sent. Also, simply transferring an easily caught Dratini from Pokémon GO takes the thrill out of the chase.
For those lucky enough to start catching Dratini early on, it evolves into Dragonair at Level 30 and Dragonite at Level 55. Of course, the other big pull of bobbing for Dratini's on Route 10 is that it neatly ties into finding Zapdos at the Power Plant. Now that trainers can cross another hard to find Pokémon off their list, they can head out into Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee! to find Dratini for themselves.
Not too long ago, the video game developer Niantic announced that after years of waiting, Trainer Battles would finally be making their way into the wildly successful mobile augmented reality title, Pokemon GO. Now, the studio behind PoGO have decided to provide a date as to when players will be able to learn more about the highly anticipated PvP activity, by confirming that additional details about the feature will drop tomorrow on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
This much was stated by Niantic through Pokemon GO‘s official Twitter account, with many having unintentionally read the date listed as the actual start date for Trainer Battles. Thankfully, as indicated by the tweet even further below from the fine folks over at The Silph Road, it looks as if December 4 won’t actually see the PvP feature’s release, as there will apparently only be additional information given about its mechanics. Perhaps, though, Niantic will use also tomorrow’s announcement as a way to officially lock in the start date for Trainer Battles, too.
As seen directly below, Niantic’s announcement of an announcement came with an attached picture of a Nidorino taking on a Gengar during a skirmish. The reference wasn’t lost on the majority of the PoGO player base, as the image is a nod to the very first battle ever shown in the original Pokemon titles for Game Boy. For those unaware, anytime a player starts up Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, or even Green, the intro sequence features both of the Poison-types sparring.
As if it needed to be said, Trainer Battles in Pokemon GO have been a long time coming, with Niantic having initially teased the feature’s inclusion in the mobile ARG as early as the game’s release way back in the summer of 2016. Throughout the ups and downs of PoGO‘s development over the past couple of years, fans have constantly hounded the developer to bring PvP battles into the game, and it looks as if putting pressure on the company has finally paid off.
As of now, it’s not totally clear as to how Trainer Battles will work in Pokemon GO, but tomorrow’s detail dump should address the matter in a thorough manner. Niantic did recently decide to give fans a brief primer as to what they should expect out of the PvP mode, though, by breaking down how Battle Leagues work. Naturally, players will get a much more in-depth understanding of the feature once it’s live, but for now, at least the developer is planning to give players a decent foundation on which to prepare.
Augmented reality monster catching game Pokémon Go is planning to introduce a classic feature from the original Pokémon games: player-versus-player battles.
In a pinned tweet, Niantic – through its Pokémon Go account – confirmed that Trainer Battles feature will be introduced soon, though it gave no deadline for its rollout.
The Pokémon franchise has often allowed players to fight each other using teams of monsters.
Though Pokémon Go allows players to battle monsters belonging to other players place in gyms, these battles are against an automated enemy, rather than another player in real time.
Niantic has not yet explained the mechanics of how a Trainer Battle will be fought, but it revealed that battles will be in three leagues – Great, Ultra, and Master – which correspond to different tiers of their Pokémon's strength, based on Combat Power (CP).
"Think that CP strength is the only deciding factor in Pokémon Go Trainer Battles? Think again, Trainer! Trainers will need to choose a league before going into a Trainer Battle, with each league having different maximum Pokémon CP limits," it tweeted.
The league caps are 1,500 CP limit per Pokémon for Great League, 2,500 CP limit for Ultra League and no CP limit for Master League.
By putting limits on how strong a Pokémon can be, players would need to be more creative in choosing which to use, rather than defaulting to pure brawn.
"Developer note: When designing Trainer Battles, we wanted to create an experience that everyone can enjoy and ensure that different kinds of Pokémon can show their strengths! With Leagues in Trainer Battles, we hope to create a system that’s accessible to many Trainers," explains Niantic.
Originally hinted at the launch of the game two-plus years ago, Trainer Battles is another feature to only recently be introduced along with Pokémon trading, which was added about six months ago.
Trainers, quite a few things happened in the past 20-or-so hours in Pokemon GO, and instead of publishing four or five different posts, we’re just going to condense everything into one single post. From Sinnoh Stone no longer being guaranteed to forced updates, this is everything new in Pokemon GO.
Sinnoh Stone no longer guaranteed from the weekly research breakthrough
You read it right: Sinnoh Stone is randomized in the same fashion as other research breakthrough rewards. Apparently, it was a guaranteed drop only during the first week of availability. We already discussed using the Sinnoh Stone in our Using the Sinnoh Stone: how to prioritize your evolutions article, and given the latest changes, it could be a while before you collect all of the Sinnoh evolutions. No additional ways of obtaining the stone have been announced.
Misty and Brock clothes leaked
Chrales is at it again, this time leaking two new upcoming avatar clothing sets: Misty and Brock in their Pokemon Let’s Go shirts and shoes!
New raid bosses
Just a few hours after we published our Current Pokemon GO Raid Bosses: 11/28/2018 (Let’s GO Event end) article, Niantic has re-shuffled raid bosses once again. Shinx, Houndoom and Drifloon are back, Pinsir is Tier 3 and there are returning Alolan Forms. We’ll give it a couple of hours and post a new “Current raid bosses” article once the reports are stabilized and verified.
For now we have this:
Tier 1: Duskull, Shinx, Shuppet, Drifloon, Snorunt
Tier 2: Sableye, Sneasel, Mawile, Misdreavus
Tier 3: Gengar, Scyther, Pinsir, Sharpedo, Machamp
Tier 4: Absol, Houndoom, Alolan Marowak, Tyranitar
Tier 5: Cresselia
Smaller notable news
The gaming company behind Pokemon Go may be set to get a big investment soon from Samsung.
According to a report citing anonymous sources, Niantic will be the recipient of a $40 million infusion from Samsung in a deal that includes the two companies collaborating on exclusive game titles. We’ve reached out to Samsung (though The Inquirer notes Samsung declined to respond to its report), but if the news is true, this will reportedly be announced as soon as the next few weeks.
The details also include Niantic games getting pre-installed on Galaxy smartphones along the lines of Samsung’s deal with Epic Games that resulted in Fornite pre-installs on the Galaxy Note 9.
One source told it the focus of the Samsung-Niantic deal will be a Harry Potter game that uses the stylus to act as a magic wand. “It’s currently unclear whether this will arrive as a reworked version of Niantic’s incoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite title, which is set to be released in 2019, or as an all-new game designed for Galaxy handsets.”
About the Harry Potter game: It was revealed earlier this month that that title (originally expected to launch in 2017) is being delayed until next year. According to a press release, players in the game will “explore real-world surroundings to unravel a global mystery, cast spells, and encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way.”
Meanwhile, other details about a Samsung-Niantic deal are still sketchy at this point, but — again, if true — there certainly seems to be a solid rationale for both companies to jump into this. Niantic reportedly needs to shore up its coffers ahead of an IPO, while Samsung’s mobile division has been looking hard for a way to set itself apart from the pack. Both sides started talking. Niantic didn’t want to get too far down the tracks in a relationship around exclusive games without an investment from Samsung, and they both mutually agreed on $40 million as the figure, according to The Inquirer.
While the rumor is we may hear official word about this before the end of the year, there’s always a chance, of course, that both companies may decide to wait and let this be part of the series of announcements unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, when Samsung is expected to reveal its Galaxy S10.
Niantic is planning to end their successful 2018 year with Pokemon Go with a massive event.
The details of the upcoming December Community Day have been shared by the development team and confirms it will be one of the biggest celebrations ever.
Fans had to wait longer than usual to receive the news, something probably connected with the rollout of the Nintendo Switch’s Let’s Go Pikachu game.
POKEMON GO DECEMBER COMMUNITY DAY
It has now been confirmed that December’s Community Day will feature every Pokémon species from the last year.
They will all appear in the wild during the event, which is set to start onFriday, November 30, at 1 p.m. PST.
That means a 9pm start in the UK, followed by the even ending on Sunday, December 2, at 11 p.m. PST.
All of the featured moves from each Community Day will also be available, so your evolved Pokémon can get them!
Additionally, special bonuses will be available for just three hours in each region.
The biggest bonus of all will be all the returning Pokemon from the previous Community Day events.
This includes Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Eevee, Dratini, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Larvitar, and Beldum appearing more frequently in the wild.
As mentioned above, special bonuses will be available during the set times confirmed by Niantic.
These bonuses and rewards include Double Catch XP, Double Catch Stardust and Double Incubator effectiveness.
Here are the times fans can expect the Pokemon Go celebrations to kick off in their regions:
Fans have also been on the lookout for new Gen 4 Pokemon to catch, following the most recent releases from Niantic.
This includes the launch of the Sinnoh Stone, a new item that makes it possible to evolve certain types of Gen 1 and Gen 2 Pokemon into their Generation 4 forms.
It’s been over a week since the Sinnoh Stone was released by Niantic in Pokemon Go.
And it looks like Trainers have not found any other way to collect one, other than by completing a Research Breakthrough.
Completing your seven-day field research will land you a Sinnoh Stone as a reward, although you do need to be level 10 or higher.
Niantic has yet to officially confirm anything about the new item outside of the game, with the official item description providing the only explanation for it:
A special stone originally found in the Sinnoh region that can make certain species of Pokémon evolve. It is very tough and has a beautiful sheen.
To collect Field Research tasks, Trainers have to spin the Photo Disc at nearby PokéStops, which allows for one Field Research task per PokéStop per day.
From November 30 at 1:00PM PST to Sunday, December 2 at 11:00PM PST, the following Pokémon and their special community day moves will be available:
When you evolve most of these Pokémon, their charge attacks will be their respective special moves. Pikachu, meanwhile, can use Surf from the get-go without having to evolve to Raichu. On a side note, it will be good to stock up on as many Eevees as possible due to Glaceon and Leafeon possibly appearing in Pokémon Go in the near future.
In addition to the event Pokemon, the December Community Day will include special bonuses like double catch XP, double catch Stardust, and double incubator effectiveness. The bonuses will be available December 1 from 11:00AM to 2:00PM PST.
In related news, Pokémon Go increased the limit of Pokémon storage to 2,000. Finally, Psychic-type legendary Pokémon Cresselia from the Sinnoh region will appear in Raid Battles from now to December 18 at 1:00PM PST.
Pokemon Go players will have one last chance to capture Pokemon featured in this year's Community Day event.
One of Pokemon Go's biggest successes has been the introduction of Community Day, a monthly mini-event that gives players a chance to capture a specific Pokemon species during a three hour window. Not only can players catch dozens of that one Pokemon species, it (or its evolution) also knows a special move that usually makes it much better in gyms or raids.
The only problem with the Community Day events that is you only have three hours to catch these Pokemon, so if you had other plans you ended up falling a step behind other Pokemon Go players. To help with that, Pokemon Go announced a special weekend-long Community Day event featuring all of the Pokemon seen in Community Day over the last year.
From November 30th through December 2nd, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Eevee, Dratini, Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Larvitar, and Beldum will all appear in the wild with increased frequency. All Community Day moves will be available too, so players can evolve their best Pokemon during the event. That means that players can get Blast Burn Charizard or Typholsion, or a Draco Meteor Dragonite if they weren't actively playing the game earlier this year.
In addition, players will get Double Catch XP, Double Catch Stardust, and Double Incubator effectiveness on December 1st during their region's usual Community Day times, combining all of the secondary benefits from Community Days over the past year.
The only real question is whether the Community Day weekend event will have a boosted Shiny rate. While Shiny Pokemon are usually quite rare, their appearance rate is almost always higher during Community Day. If the weekend event keeps those rates, it could be a major Shiny bonanza for players.
This past week has been huge for Pokemon GO. The release of Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee on the Nintendo Switch has introduced some additional connectivity and purpose for the Pokemon players catch in the mobile game, not to mention Niantic also released the Meltan Special Research quest. If all that weren’t enough, there’s a new legendary raid boss appearing in the game world as well, giving players the chance to better complete their gen 4 Pokedex.
Earlier today, the legendary ghost-type Pokemon Giratina left legendary raid battles, and has been replaced by none other than Cresselia. Known as the lunar Pokemon, Cresselia is a psychic-type that will be featured in legendary raids from now until December 18 at 1:00pm PST, at which point it will presumably be replaced by a different legendary Pokemon.
Pokemon GO fans who live in northern parts of the world may be unwilling to brave the cold weather to take on Cresselia in legendary raid battles. Luckily, the game now gives players more ways than ever to add legendary Pokemon to their collection, so missing out on fighting Cresselia in legendary raids isn’t as big of a deal as it would have been a year ago. Nowadays, players can get Cresselia by trading with other players, or potentially through the Field Research breakthrough system at some point in the future.
It’s also possible Niantic will run a special Cresselia Day like it did for the Gen 1 legendary birds. These special events see the featured Pokemon take over every gym for a three hour window, giving players the opportunity to beat and catch a number of legendary creatures in quick succession.
Meanwhile, some Pokemon GO fans may have gotten lucky and already added Cresselia to their collection when it was introduced to the game earlier today. If so, they’re likely looking forward to the next legendary raid boss, though who that will be remains to be seen.