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Pokemon GO Battle League Season 1 guide - How to play, rewards, more

by Paul Cot
Pokemon Company

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Pokemon GO Battle League is finally here. The new PvP battling mode will allow trainers to earn rewards and ascend the league's ranks in search of Pokemon battling supremacy. Here's everything you need to know.

The new PvP mode enables trainers to compete with one another from across the world. With that, Pokemon Go appears to be morphing from just a simple pick up and play title to something with more of a competitive feel to it.

How to play GO Battle League

Firstly, tap the Main Menu button (PokeBall) and then tap the "Battle" icon. Usually you will need to walk 3km to enable the next set. It can also be enabled by paying 200 PokeCoins - which does decrease the closer to the 3km target you get.

Pokemon Go Battle League
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Battling is about to get a lot more intense in Pokemon Go...

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Niantic wipe walking requirements

However, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the 3km requirement has currently been wiped. In addition to this, the maximum number of sets (of five battles) has been increased for today (March 13). It is unclear whether this will be eight going forward, also.

The removal of the 3km walking requirement will last for 30 days with the potential of that being longer depending on world events. Lots of trainers had been asking for its removal as walking that distance for every set you want to do isn't ideal for people who are being rightfully cautious of COVID-19.

Fortunately Niantic have listened to feedback and acted quickly. We'll have to wait and see if the walking requirement does return at some point.

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Rewards

Rewards in both the free and premium variety will vary between the following:

  • Charge TM
  • Mystery Item
  • Pokemon Encounter
  • Rare Candy
  • Stardust

The Pokemon you can encounter as a reward depend on your ranking. Naturally the higher your rank, the rarer the species you can find. There is a guaranteed Metagross awaiting you on your first rank increase, though.

  • Rank 1-3: **Metagross, Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott
  • Rank 4-6: **Scraggy, *Skarmory, *Beldum
  • Rank 7-10: *Lapras, *Larvitar, Shieldon, Litwick, Deino, Rufflet
  • Rank 10: Pika Libre

*Potential shiny | **Guaranteed encounter upon reaching that rank

For clarification, you can also encounter any of the Pokemon from a lower rank. For example, if you're Rank 7 you can encounter any of the Pokemon from 1-6.

We are still verifying these rewards and these have come courtesy of a datamine from Pokeminers.

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Ranks

The Pokemon GO Battle League works on a ranking system from levels 1 to 10. You can climb the ranks in a given season but cannot fall.

Your rating is separate from your rank and is determined by wins and losses in battles. Unlike your ranking, your rating can decrease in a season. Your rating won't be visible until you hit Rank 7.

You will need to achieve the following to rise through the ranks:

  • Rank 1: Starting rank
  • Rank 2: Complete 5 battles
  • Rank 3: Win 2 battles
  • Rank 4: Win 3 additional battles (5 in total)
  • Rank 5: Win 5 additional battles (10 in total)
  • Rank 6: Win 7 additional battles (17 in total)
  • Rank 7: Win 10 additional battles (27 in total)
  • Rank 8: Reach a battle rating of 2,000 or higher
  • Rank 9: Reach a battle rating of 2,500 or higher
  • Rank 10: Reach a battle rating of 3,000 or higher

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Battle League season schedule

Season 1 of GO Battle League starts with the Great League where you will have a 1,500 CP limit on Pokemon selection. The full schedule for Season 1 is as follows:

  • Great League: Friday, March 13, 1pm to Friday, March 27, 1pm PDT
  • Ultra League: Friday, March 27, 1pm to Friday, April 10, 1pm PDT
  • Master League: Friday, April 10 1pm to Friday, April 24 1pm PDT
  • All three leagues concurrently: Friday, April 24 1pm to Friday, May 1 1pm PDT
  • Season 2 starts Friday, May 1, 1pm PDT

Pre-season is over trainers and now we're playing for keeps. Let's find out who the true Pokemon masters are.