Pokémon GO got a little closer to its established universe when Pokémon trading was added to the game, which was soon followed by player versus player (PvP) Trainer Battles. Players are required to be within close physical proximity — or have a certain friendship level for battle — to use either feature. Niantic plans to get rid of this limit, at least for trainer fights, with the upcoming GO Battle League that will pair you with an opponent, regardless of their location

GO Battle League will do away with trainers’ proximity restrictions of the existing Trainer Battles in favor of a new matching system that will have no geographical limitations. This online mode will pair you with opponents from around the world based on some unspecified parameters. Winners of such one-on-one battles will rise in the league’s leaderboard that will supposedly be maintained on a global level. The league will be released for all players sometime in early 2020.

The trainers will be required to walk for getting an entry into the GO Battle League — which makes no sense without more context. Pokémon GO’s team refrained from sharing any additional useful information about this new battle mode but has confirmed more details will come in a special Dev Insights video. Meanwhile, a host of new Pokémon from the Unova region were introduced in a recent update, which you can try to catch while the league is being prepared for release.

GO Battle League is starting to roll out

Niantic and The Pokémon Company have just revealed that the GO Battle League is starting to roll out to trainers in Pokémon GO. This is a gradual process that's dependant on the trainer level, so it could take up to a week before everyone sees the new feature. Ideally, GO Battle League will exist as a semi-regular PvP tournament where players can compete to earn exclusive rewards. The first five matches will be free, and then more matches can be earned by walking a certain length every day. Of course, players will also have the option to pay via PokéCoins to skip the majority of walking required to earn new Battle League matches. A premium Battle Pass is also expected, and those that pay for this pass will get to earn higher-quality rewards over those that don't pay.

Since GO Battle League is still in testing despite its launch today, players can expect to play through something known as preseason, a period of time before a season of competitive play begins, and it will rotate through three leagues in the coming month. The first is the Great League, and it starts today. After that, the Ultra League will start on the 10th of February, and then Master League will start on the 24th of February, and after that, the Great League will repeat on the 9th of March. Ideally, the first season of GO Battle League will begin after March, but so far, no date has been provided, most likely because this new PvP mode needs to be stress-tested first, hence the preseason.

Press Release

Battle other Trainers globally soon—the GO Battle League has started rolling out!

Niantic and The Pokémon Company International are beginning to roll out the GO Battle League to Trainers worldwide in Pokémon GO this week.


The GO Battle League is on its way! This week, the GO Battle League will start gradually becoming available to Trainers based on Trainer level. Game features are rolled out in this fashion in order to maintain stability. At launch, the first preseason of the GO Battle League will kick off. During preseason, we will continue to optimize and tune the feature so that Season 1 can be the best season that it can be!

**What is preseason?**

Preseason is a period of time before a season of competitive play begins. With your help, we will be able to optimize and balance the GO Battle League feature during this time. We will also be taking this time to learn about how the GO Battle League is being used in order to determine things like ideal length of seasons, rating thresholds for ranks, and more. In a previous blog post, we mentioned some details that have already been decided: Trainer Battles within the GO Battle League will rotate between the three leagues, you’ll be able to rank against your fellow Trainers, and you’ll earn rewards for ranking.

For the preseason, the GO Battle League will begin with the Great League, then move on to the Ultra League and the Master League. Leagues will rotate every two weeks. You can still rank during preseason, but your rank will be partially reset at the beginning of Season 1. You will still earn rewards for battling and winning, so this is a great time to practice and earn some cool rewards as well.

The GO Battle League’s preseason kicks off now with the Great League. The preseason will rotate formats to the Ultra League on Monday, February 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST. The Master League will follow on Monday, February 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST, with the Great League returning once again on Monday, March 9, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST. Stay tuned for more details on when the preseason will end and Season 1 will begin.

**GO Battle League rewards**

We’d like to share some info about the rewards you’ll be receiving for taking part in the GO Battle League.

* **Rewards will be determined by rank and battles won.** Trainers will be asked to walk five kilometers in order to earn entry into the GO Battle League and unlock five online matches, and this can be done up to three times a day—keep in mind that you’ll need to complete those five matches before you can earn progress toward the five-kilometer goal to unlock the next set. As you battle, you can receive a large amount of Stardust depending on your rank and how many of the five battles you win. More wins earn you more Stardust! You’ll also be able to earn important battle-related items (like Rare Candies and TMs) and exclusive Pokémon encounters!

* **Pikachu Libre and avatar items inspired by it will be GO Battle League rewards!** Clad in a wrestling-themed costume, Pikachu Libre was first featured in _Pokémon Omega Ruby_, _Pokémon Alpha Sapphire_, and _Pokkén Tournament_. It’ll be making its Pokémon GO debut as a Pokémon that can be encountered exclusively via participation in the GO Battle League. As you rise in the ranks during the preseason, you can also look forward to avatar items inspired by Pikachu Libre as exclusive rewards. Be sure to dress up with some of those items to show off your battling prowess, since only participants in the GO Battle League can obtain them!

**Premium Raid Passes are now Premium Battle Passes.** This pass might look familiar—it’s the Premium Raid Pass but with a new name! This pass can be used to enter Raid Battles or to enter the premium track in the GO Battle League. Trainers might find winning on the premium track even more rewarding! The Premium Battle Pass will allow you to receive better rewards each time you win, and it will also lower the number of wins needed to earn certain Pokémon encounters. Using a Premium Battle Pass does not affect your rank or rating—the only way to improve those is to win.

* **Use Battle Now to gain early access to the GO Battle League.** Just finished your walk and realized you still have one kilometer left to walk before you can battle? The Battle Now feature gives you the ability to spend PokéCoins to enter the GO Battle League early. The cost decreases as you get closer to the five-kilometer goal. Note that you still need to walk at least two kilometers before you can use this option. There’s no substitute for getting out and walking! You can always walk the full distance to enter the GO Battle League without spending PokéCoins.

Make sure you’re subscribed to receive push notifications to find out when the GO Battle League will become available to everyone! In celebration of the release of GO Battle League, your first set of GO Battle League battles is on us, so you won’t need to walk five kilometers to try it out! Follow our social channels after the feature rolls out this week to stay updated as the preseason progresses, and share your favorite battle moments with #GOBattle.

Now, Trainers—let’s GO battle!

GO Battle League's first season starts March 13th

Back in January, Niantic opened GO Battle League to the public, but at the time, the PvP mode was still in testing as a preseason, and so it was hinted that the first actual season would start sometime around the end of March. Well, Niantic has just announced that the first season is now slated to arrive on March 13th, at 1:00 p.m. PDT. It would also appear that if you reached rank four or higher during the preseason, you will receive a Premium Battle Pass, which is a nice touch to award those willing to test a new feature for the company. It would also appear that all three leagues from the preseason will be available to play until the first season goes live on the 13th, so this should keep players busy for the next week.

Now, if you take a quick trip to Twitter, you'll see that many fans don't feel the game is ready to launch the first season of the GO Battle League, thanks to server and lag issues. Of course, buggy code has rarely stopped Niantic from pushing out unfinished updates, so it would seem these issues may very well still be around on March 13th.

If you'd prefer to dig into the finer points of the upcoming release for GO Battle League, the above video offers many insights. What isn't mentioned in the video is that Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are coming to the GO Battle League, such as Darkrai, Thundurus, and Giratina. They will be available during timed events, and it would appear that shiny, as well as altered forms, will be in the mix. Further events and rewards will also be on offer, so if you'd like to dig up the specific dates for each, you can find them over on the official Pokémon GO website.

Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO
Developer: Niantic, Inc.
Price: Free+