Pokemon GO has a pretty simple, yet surprisingly strategic battle system. It’s extremely fun and easy to pick up, yet has enough depth for Pokemon to host Championship matches.
In this guide, I’m going to explain how to battle in Pokemon GO with friends and against strangers in the GO league.
I’ll also go over some basic to intermediate strategies to keep in mind as you battle, so you can hold your own against the best.
Starting a Battle
Before you learn how to fight in Pokemon GO, you need to know how to start a battle. There are three options:
- Battle against friends anywhere in the world
- Battle people nearby
- Battle in the GO Battle League
How to Battle Friends in Pokemon GO
In order to battle with someone that’s not near you, you first must become their Best Friend or Ultra Friend. To do this, once a day you must:
- Send them a gift
- Participate in a Raid/Gym together
- Battle against them
If you are Best Friends with someone, you can battle them simply by finding them on your friend list, heading to their profile, and tapping “LET’S BATTLE!”
They will receive a notification and be able to accept your challenge.
Battle Nearby Trainers
In order to battle people nearby, whether you’re their friend or not, you simply need to pull out your Battle Code and have another player scan it.
Your Battle Code is a QR code that can be found on your profile. It is not the same thing as your friendship code.
If you cannot challenge nearby Trainers for some reason, check if:
- “Allow Battle Challenges With Friends” is checked in your game settings
- You are both over Level 10
- Turn on Automatic Date and Time settings on your Phone
The GO Battle League
Finally, for the more competitive players, there is the GO Battle League. This League lets you play against random trainers from around the world, gain rank, and even win prizes.
There are three GO Leagues; Great League, Ultra League, and Master League. Each of these Leagues has its own CP requirements. Most of the time, only one League at a time will be available.
This makes it necessary to keep multiple teams of Pokemon so that you can compete in the GO Battle League no matter which League is active.
Now How To Battle in Pokemon Go
There are two types of attacks: Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks. Simply put, you use your Fast Attacks to charge up your Charged attacks.
Just tap the screen anywhere during a battle to use your Fast Attacks. I recommend using two fingers so that you’re tapping and charging as fast as you possibly can.
Charged Attacks are your Pokemon’s bread and butter. Each Pokemon knows at least one Charged Attack and some are better than others.
During the battle, there will be a circle at the bottom of the screen, when it’s full, your Charge Attack is ready to go. Just click that symbol and get ready to touch as many energy icons as possible.
Each Charged Attack has its own pattern, but you’ll get used to your main patterns pretty quickly and be able to get every single one of them.
Note: You can store multiple Charged Attacks at a time for most Charged Attacks
How to Defend in Pokemon GO
Pokemon Battles are decided by how you use your Charged Attacks and Protection Shields. Protection Shields completely block Charged Attacks, but you only get a limited number of these shields per battle.
Another way to defend against Charged Attacks is to switch out your Pokemon before your opponent has a chance to use it.
This can save your current Pokemon and give them a chance to charge up their attack later on when their health points aren’t as threatened.
Pokemon GO Battle Tips
You know how to battle, now it’s time for some pro tips. The system is pretty simple, the hard part is building a strong team and managing your Charged Attacks and Protection Shields.
Building Your Team
Type advantages and disadvantages still exist in Pokemon GO. This means your Fire-type fast Attacks will deal more damage against Grass Pokemon.
This also means that your Charged Attacks will deal massive damage against Pokemon with a type-weakness against them.
This is why it is important to build a strong, well-rounded team that covers as many types as possible. Pokemon that have many strengths and few weaknesses are King.
Picking your Attacks
You actually get to change your Pokemon’s Fast and Charged Attacks in Pokemon GO. Some Charged Attacks take less time to charge up, but they do a lot less damage.
I like to bring a Pokemon with a Charge Attack that can be built up quickly. Doing this gives me the opportunity to bait out at least my opponent’s Protection Shields, which opens them up to much more powerful Charged Attacks from my other Pokemon.