It must be one of the most requested features for a mobile game ever. Finally, Pokémon Go players can battle one another with the introduction of player vs player Pokémon battles.
When Pokémon Go launched in the summer of 2016 it became an instant hit with not only fans of the series, but with pretty much everyone who has even a vague interest in mobile gaming. Bugs and strange accidents aside (bellends walking into lamp posts etc) the game received much praise, except for one very noticeable omission – players couldn’t battle each others Pokemon. Once the Summer had ended (along with the decent weather,) the craze that was Pokémon Go died down for everyone but the most die-hard fans. Many—including myself—were left wondering how much longer the craze would have continued if player vs player battles had been included at launch.
Over 2 years later, developer Niantic has finally introduced player vs player battles. The feature arrives via the latest update to the game, allowing Pokémon trainers to use their creatures and skills to take on other like-minded collectors.
Niantic has stated that Pokémon battles won’t just benefit those players who have built a strong stable of Pokémon over the years, but will reward all comers for taking part with ‘special rewards.’
There will also be restrictions for players, meaning higher level trainers will have to fight players who are in the same league as them. These leagues set a maximum power level for creatures used, with certain options unavailable to those trainers of a lower level. Reaching level 10 will also be required to access the PvP trainer battles, this means that everyone taking part will at least have some idea of how the game is played.
Being that Pokémon Go is a mobile game, battles will be fast-paced affairs that emphasize a strategic approach. Skill will also be a factor, with timing specific moves playing a key role in the outcome of battles. Niantic said:
“If you keep an eye on your opponent’s moves, you may be able to deploy a Protect Shield to save your Pokémon from taking critical damage. But you only have a limited number of Protect Shields before your Pokémon will be left defenseless against big attacks.”
The Pokemon PvP Trainer Battles update is available now for Pokémon Go via a free update.