Before the end of November, Niantic, the developer behind the popular augmented reality-based mobile game, Pokémon GO, teased the future launch of the long awaited player-versus-player (PvP) mode, Trainer Battles.
In early December we got a look at how the new mode was going to shake out, and how players in the game would be able to battle one another in real-time pocket monster combat. At the time, the expectation was that Trainer Battles would arrive before the end of 2018, but there wasn’t an exact date to circle on the calendar at the time. But for anyone out there eagerly anticipating the feature’s arrival, the wait is over.
The official Twitter account for the game tweeted out early this morning that Trainer Battles began rolling out earlier today. To start, the feature was only available for Level 40 trainers within the game, with lower level trainers getting the feature sometime later in the day. At the time of publication, though, many level 10 trainers should already have the feature available to them. Level 10 will be the minimum to partake in a trainer-versus-trainer battle.
The trainer battles can be played against a real person or against an AI opponent, and they will run in a similar fashion to the standard Raid Battle and gym fights. This means players will be tapping and swiping on the screen to control one of the three pocket monsters they bring into the fight, what Niantic is calling the Battle Party. Each trainer battle will have a timer of four minutes in place, which Niantic hopes will make it so players can take on a lot of battles every day to build engagement.
Rewards will be handed out to both participants, whether they win or lose. The winner of the battle will be the trainer with the most health remaining. Trainer battles will also have a training mode for players who want to learn the ropes in greater detail before they strike out into the world and start battling other trainers in real-time.
Trainer Battles is one of the most anticipated features for Pokémon GO, with Niantic always having it in the pipeline since the game’s debut. Now that it’s here, though, will it be enough to give a shot of adrenaline to the mobile AR title? That remains to be seen. There is no doubt the game still has a loyal fanbase, but can PvP bring the wayward players back, or, better yet, add new players to the mix?
Are you planning on jumping back into Pokémon GO with the rollout of Trainer Battles?