Real-Life Pokemon Battles (Sort Of) Are on the Way
Since launch in 2016, Pokemon GO has witnessed a steady growth and maintained a dedicated playerbaseThe mobile title has witnessed hundreds of millions of downloads and retained a playerbase that exceeds 100 million. It’s no surprise then that developer Niantic will expand the game with player battles, the details of which have been released.
While the kinks are still being worked out, Pokemon GO currently has a playable build for its player-vs-player battle system. According to Kotaku, Niantic designed the upcoming mode with one question in mind: “What does it mean to be good at Pokémon?” The result is a departure from turn-based battles, one that favors tactical thinking alongside dedication. In the case of GO, the player must tap his or her way to victory in order to build charge attacks. Here’s what we’ve learned thus far.
Pokemon Go Trainer Battles
- Pokemon lineups have been limited to 3. The idea is to be “fast and tactical.” With larger battles in playtesting, people too frequently switched pokemon for type advantages.
- The ability to switch Pokemon has a cooldown period. Players must think twice about their use.
- You can unlock a second charge move for Pokemon, via an undisclosed amount of Stardust and Candies.
- A new ability called Protect Shield will replace dodging. The new defensive item can absorb a large amount of damage from other players’ Charge Movies. As of yet, the designers haven’t decided whether to great each player with two shields. Playtests are underway.
- If you’re not inclined to battle other live players, you can battle against NPCs Blanche, Candela, and Spark for limited-time rewards.
- In the true spirit of Pokemon, Pokemon GO PvP will be divided into three separate leagues. Great League battles are reserved for Pokemon no higher than 1,500 CP, Ultra League maxes out at 2,500, and Master League extends to 10,000
Last but not least, the addition of head-to-head player battles will offer the opportunity to be more social. “As a result of the friend system, trainers now have a good idea of how to meet and engage with other trainers in the real world,” Niantic said. “With trainer battles, trainers will have even more social reward loops at their fingertips.” Check back for updates on what the future social rewards will be.
So long as the devs maintain their pipeline of content, it’s hard to imagine Pokemon GO’s popularity fading anytime soon. Expect some stiff competition when trainer battles finally arrive. Until then,