At long last, player vs player battles have been released on Pokémon GO. And with its release, we get a behind the scenes look at the new game mode and how the developers had to scale the challenge it brings.
The developers gave insight on the mode in a recent blog post. They explain how they wanted to ensure that the new mode would be easy to get into, regardless of past Pokémon experience, while also appealing to the veteran players looking for a unique and competitive experience. They decided on Battle Leagues in the end.
There are a few different leagues available in a trainer battle. Capping off at Master League, each tier has certain limitations to which Pokémon can be used, such as CP level. The rewards given for participating in a trainer battle don’t vary by league, nor by who wins or loses. Newer or more casual players can participate in a lower league while still getting all of the reward and satisfaction of everyone else.
The league system also allows for a greater sense of strategy. In Master League, max level CP Pokémon and even Legendaries can be seen on the battlefield. Choosing the right counter picks and strongest fighters are essential. While with the CP limited leagues, choosing the right Pokémon-types and moves is more important than choosing who has the highest CP.
“Changes like these enable Trainers to think more creatively in order to beat their opponent in a fast-paced format that is unique to Pokémon GO. Do you want to create a team that’s optimized to counter Pokémon most commonly used among friends? Or do you create a team that has diverse moves that cover more types? Exactly which Charged Attacks do you want your Pokémon to have? Which do you think your opponent has? These are just a few of the many questions we believe Trainers will mull over when picking their ideal Pokémon battle party, creating an interesting and diverse landscape of local metagames.”
Niantic wanted to focus on the social aspect of battling, but they understand that you can’t always be in the same place at the same time. They reach of a healthy balance by allowing Ultra friends and Best friends to battle each other remotely while requiring everyone else to physically be near each other.
Good luck duking it out with your friends, trainers!