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How to Challenge Friends in Pokémon Go

Have you tried playing PvP to challenge friends in Pokémon Go?

When Pokémon Go was first released a few years ago, it did not allow you to engage in battles against other players. But after the Pokémon Go PvP (Player vs. Player) Battle feature went live, it allowed players from all over to fight one another using its prized Pokémon.

The original Pokémon handheld games inspired this most-awaited feature. In those classic games, players could compete directly with other players and trade Pokémon with each other. This unlocked a whole new facet of the game that players could enjoy.

In this guide for Pokémon Go PvP Battles, we will provide you with a detailed overview of the Battle feature to get you started on challenging nearby trainers right away. We will teach you how to battle your friends in Pokémon Go. It includes all you need to know about the Leagues system and the minimum requirements that you need to challenge your friends.

The PvP Gameplay

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Firstly, it is important for you to know the basics and technicalities in PvP trainer battles. You need to be at least level 10 to access PvP Battles in Pokémon Go. You can also only play in one-on-one or three-on-three Trainer battles. There are three tiers for PvP, with the max Combat Power (CP) set to 1,500, 2,500, and 5,000.

You should tap on your screen rapidly to build up your special Charge attack. A Charge Attack comes with a countdown, so you need to time it well. You also get two uses of Protect per battle. This nullifies all the damage done by the Charge Attack, so remember to use it against strong Pokémon. Like all the other games, a Pokémon’s type will affect how it performs against other Pokémon. Make sure to have different types for versatility.

Unlike the trainer battles in the handheld Pokémon’s games, you cannot use any Pokémon Go PvP battles items. However, you can switch between Pokemon, although it comes with a cooldown between switches. Form a team of Pokémon with the highest stats and different types, so you don’t have glaring weaknesses.

You can also only remotely battle users who you have Ultra or Best Friend levels with. Remember this, so you don’t try to battle new friends online. The only other way you can battle users is by using a QR code. Whether you win or lose the battle, both of you will get a reward, and your Friendship level with the other player will increase. This is an additional incentive to challenge friends in Pokémon GO.

Battle Leagues

An image of Pokémon Battle Leagues where you can challenge friends in Pokémon GO.

There are three Pokémon Go Battle Leagues: Great League, Ultra League, and Master League. Each one has its respective Combat Power caps. The implementation of these leagues means that all your Pokémon will have a chance to shine. You can use all your Pokémon regardless of Combat Power level.

Lower leagues allow lower CP Pokémon to battle, which puts your whole team or collection to the test. You can even have specific Pokémon that you will only use for the League they are best qualified for.

How to Start a Battle With Friends

An image of battles where you can challenge friends in Pokémon GO.

The easiest way to challenge friends in Pokémon GO is to play locally. Check your friends list when you and your friend are near each other. The option to battle will appear, and as long as you are still close to each other, you can head into a game.

Once you select Battle and choose your League, wait for the game to load you in. You will then have to select a party of three Pokémon to use. After you select your party, Pokémon Go will send an invite to your friend to accept. You can always choose to back out by tapping ‘No Thanks‘ icon on the invite notification

As we mentioned, you can only battle remotely if you are Best or Ultra friends with your opponent. Then you can battle from anywhere in the world. If your Friendship level is lower than that, you will have to be in the same area to engage in a battle.

If you want to practice with your Pokémon before starting battles, you can actually battle AI opponents first. You can even earn item rewards through this mode. However, these opponents will only award you with one item a day, so you cannot grind them repeatedly. This is a good way to get familiar with battling mechanics, though.

To access AI battles, head into the locations menu and tap the ‘Battle icon where you will see the available trainers. Just switch tabs to battle from there, and you have a choice between three AI opponents. These are the three leaders of Team Valor, Mystic, and Instinct. 

Battle Rewards

Rewards for winning battles after you challenge friends in Pokémon GO.

Win or lose, you will get some rewards after a battle. You can receive Stardust, Rare Candy, or a Sinnoh Stone (this is a 1-in-7 chance). You can use the Sinnoh Stone to evolve certain Gen 4 Pokémon . Take note that when training with the AI, you can only get a reward once per day, but you can get one up to three times a day when battling other players.

Sadly, rewards are not given equally to both participating players, as experienced by some players in the community. However, you never know what you’re going to get because they’re randomized.

Additional Tips and Facts

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Pokémon GO battles have time limits. If at the end of the timer some Pokémon are still standing, the winner is determined by who still has more Pokémon available. If both players have the same number of remaining Pokémon, whoever has more HP left wins.

The game has no leaderboards, which gives players more flexibility to go at their own pace. Niantic is said to be interested in expanding Trainer Battles with more mechanics in future updates. This will possibly include status effects, hidden powers, and even Mega Evolutions, which are inspired by the main series of games and shows.

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