After weeks of teasing, Niantic has finally detailed the PvP mode coming to Pokémon Go “later this month.”
Trainer Battles will see players take on other Go players in real-time battles with teams of three Pokémon each, the developer said in a blog post.
Expanding on the existing Gym battling system, players will have to choose between fast and charged attacks to defeat the opposing monsters.
Unlike in Gyms, however, battles won’t simply be governed by a Pokémon’s power level (CP). Instead, trainers that wish to battle will need to both choose a specific Trainer Battle League category which sets a maximum CP limit for each monster to keep things fair.
There’s also a new mechanic called Protect Shield, which players can use strategically to block damage a limited number of times per battle.
Players can take on their pals registered as Ultra Friends or Best Friends at any time, but if everyone else will have to be in the same location to initiate a battle.
A new feature is also being added which lets you train with your chosen team’s leader once per day to earn Stardust to level up your Pokémon.
“The Trainer Battles feature infuses the spirit of Pokémon Go with the classic concept of battling Pokémon, creating an exciting competitive angle for Pokémon Go Battles that also feels familiar to Pokémon GO and main series fans alike,” said Matt Slemon, Product Manager for Pokémon Go at Niantic. “The upcoming launch of Trainer Battles marks the very beginning for what we envision for this new dynamic social feature which will grow and evolve over time with new gameplay mechanics.”
The introduction of Trainer Battles marks the final piece of the Pokémon Go puzzle, with all three pillars of the traditional Pokemon experience — catching, trading, and battling — all now present in the location-based smash hit.
It sounds as though the game’s evolution is far from over, however. In an interview with Eurogamer to mark the arrival of Trainer Battles, Niantic’s Matt Slemon teased the prospect of bringing characters from the games/anime into Go as opponents, as well as further gameplay mechanics such as status effects or even Mega Evolutions.
What do you think of Go’s Trainer Battles? Let us know in the comments.