PVP – Player v Player Battles – An introduction.


High Level Overview.

What is PVP?

In short, PVP is Player Versus Player, where you battle against another player with a team of 3 Pokémon’s in each players team in hope of winning in order to get a reward. There are 4 types of PVP type battles in Pokémon Go.

  1. Battle against a friend (either nearby or remote).
  2. Battle against someone who isn’t on your friends list (Via the QR Barcode).
  3. Battle against a Pokémon trainer (Blanche, Candela, Spark).
  4. PVP Battles via the in-game Go Battle League or via an external league such as the Silph Road.

Within Pokémon Go, there are 3 Battle Leagues.

  1. Great League. Where the Pokémon are 1500 CP or lower.
  2. Ultra League. Where the Pokémon are 2500 CP or lower.
  3. Master League. Where the Pokémon have any level of CP, generally above 2500 CP.

For the purpose of this article, the Great Battle League (that is provided by the in-game mechanics) does not support Mega Evolved Pokémon’s, but this may change over time as more Mega Pokémon’s are released.

Niantic introduced the Go Battle League within Pokémon Go after the success of the Silph Road’s PVP implementation of the Silph Arena. The main difference between the Go Battle League and the Silph Arena include the rewards you get within the game. The Silph Road may have their own rewards outside the PVP mechanics, which may be covered on their website. Other than the standard rewards you get for participating in the first 3 battles, there is no in-game rewards for the Silph Arena.

Within Pokémon Go PVP Go Battle League, you will need to select a team of 3 Pokémon’s that will battle against the opponent in the given league. This article (and the subsequent articles) will cover what specific Pokémon’s you should use, as the selection is based on who the opponent(s) will use during the battle.

The are 10 ranking levels in Niantic’s implementation of PVP, since season 4, you are automatically awarded Rank 1, and you earn rank progression for every game you win. The system used to score your rank is based on Niantic’s implementation of the ELO system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system). I don’t know the exact formula behind the scoring system used by Niantic, but have heard this term being used by some high ranking PVP players.

For the first 8 levels, you won’t see your ELO score. But at rank 9, you will see your ELO score, and you will need to get to 3000 points to get to Rank 10. Once you get to Rank 10, no matter if you drop points or gain points, you will stay at Rank 10.

These are the Pokemon rewards you will get and the specific rank level and win 3 battles against your opponent (or the first battle win if you use a Premium Pass)

  • Pidgeot starting at rank 1
  • Galarian Zigzagoon starting at rank 4
  • Galarian Farfetch’d starting at rank 7
  • Rufflet starting at rank 8
  • Scraggy starting at rank 9
  • Pikachu Libre starting at rank 10

In addition to the above rewards, you will get the following rewards.

  • Stardust, TMs, Sinnoh Stone, amongst other rewards from rank 4 to rank 10
  • If you reach rank 10, you’ll earn a brand-new avatar pose, plus the opportunity to encounter the battle league exclusive of Pikachu Libra.
  • If you finish Season 4 at rank 7 or higher, you’ll receive an Elite Fast TM rather than an Elite Charged TM. In Season 5 at rank 7 or higher, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM rather than an Elite Fast TM.

The Basics of Team Building.

It is commonplace for the team of Pokémon to have 2 Charge Moves. The 2nd Charge Moves is a function that is available in Pokémon Go and is available via the “New Attack” button under the move set. The option of the 2nd move allows you to have, potentially, the necessary move set to do the necessary damage to the opponent. Sites such as www.pvpoke.com will give you a good indicator as to which moves you should give to your chosen team.

Also, it is commonplace for the Great League and Ultra League for the Pokémon not to have the perfect IV (i.e. 15/15/15). There are a few exceptions, which relates to Pokémon that are less than 1500 CP when powered up to maximum, where the perfect IV would be required. There is no exact rule as to what the IV must be, but websites such as https://www.stadiumgaming.gg/rank-checker will give you an indicator of what IV you should aim for with certain Pokémon’s you wish to use in your team. It is harder to get the Legendary Pokémon with the right IV level for the Great and Ultra League, as they generally can only be got via Tier 5 raids. (Mesprit, Azelf and Uxie are the exception Legendary raid bosses as they spawn in the wild, but are very rare).

You may ask why the perfect IV isn’t the best ones to use in the Great and Ultra League. The main reason, from general understanding, comes down to breakpoints, as to how long it will take your team to feint. This will be expanded on in a future article.

Future articles will look into areas of PVP such as Charge Move Priorities, Team Building and team building in more detail.


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