The Pokémon Go Battle League takes Pokémon Go's Battle system - which until 2020 allowed friends or local players to complete against one another - and make it into a competitive, worldwide matchmade league anyone can compete in.
The Go Battle League has a structure - placing players into Ranks that reset every Season.
Like Raids, it also has paid and free participation, with different Go Battle League rewards accordingly.
On this page:
How the Pokémon Go Battle League works, from Ranks to Seasons
There are many components to how the Pokémon Go Battle League works, but here it is at a glance:
- The Pokémon Go Battle League takes place over the course of a Season, and will rotate through all three existing Leagues which cap Pokémon by their CP - the Great League (1500 CP), Ultra League (2500 CP) and Master League (any CP) - every two weeks.
- Participating increases your Pokémon Go Battle League Rank, starting with Rank 1 and ending with Rank 10. Each Rank has a different requirement to progress - whether it's playing a set number of matches or winning - and once you reach a Rank, you cannot drop below it until the Season ends.
- There is also an additional 'battle rating' that increases when you win and drops when you lose. Though this exists outside of the Rank system, you are required to progress past certain thresholds to progress the last three Ranks. It also gives you an additional metric to complete against (with your friends, or even yourself) once you reach Rank 10 within a Season.
- To participate in the Go Battle League, you must first walk 3km to gain entry, with your progress displayed in the Battle screen. This has a few requirements worth noting: each charge gives you 5 matches, and you can 'bank' a charge, meaning you can walk to build up another. You play a maximum of three sets (15) battles per day.
- Additionally, provided you've walked a set distance, you can pay PokéCoins to fast track the recharge, with the cost reducing the closer to 3km you are. (Update: Until further notice, you no longer need to walk or use PokéCoins to charge Go Battle League. So fight away!)
- For the five matches you play within a set, you can receive rewards, which are displayed on screen in a 'free' and 'premium' track, the latter you can enter by using a Premium Battle Pass (which will replace the Premium Raid Pass, and allow you to enter either activity). Note once you have entered a run of battles, you cannot change track partway through.
- There are also additional rewards you earn when you level up a rank, and more at the end of the season.
Pokémon Go Battle League Season 2 dates and Go Battle League level requirement
- Season 2 Great League dates: Monday, May 11th to Monday, 1st June
- Season 2 Ultra League dates: Monday, 1st June to Monday, 22nd June
- Season 2 Master League dates: Monday, 22nd June to Monday, 6th July
- Season 2 All Leagues available: Monday, 6th July to Monday, 13th July
Each League will change over at Pokémon Go's usual reset time of 1pm PST / 9pm UK time.
The first Premier Cup will also run throughout Go Battle League Season 2. It will start on Monday 15th June alongside the Master League and continue till the end of the Season 2 on Monday 6th July.
Though there is no limit on the CP of the Pokémon you can enter in the Premier Cup, both Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are restricted, which is great for players who are fed up of fighting Giratina.
Season 3 will then begin on Monday, 13th July.
Pokémon Go Battle League rules and battle restrictions
Go Battle League battles seem to behave the same as a standard Battle against a Friend or someone locally, but there are some competitive-orientated rules and restrictions to make things fair:
- Each time you enter the Go Battle League, you will play a 'set' of five matches.
- There is a limit to how many Go League Battles you can participate in per day, whether free or paid, at five sets (or 25 battles) per day.
- You can only use one of each Pokémon species in your Battle team in a contest.
- As per game-wide Battle rule changes, if Pokémon use Charged Attacks at the same time, the Pokémon with the highest Attack stat will go first. If they are the same, one Pokémon chosen at random will go first.
- Switching between Pokémon will reset any changes made to Attack or Defence, such as buffs or debuffs from moves made during battle.
Thanks to martycochrane on reddit for helping with some of the above information.
Pokémon Go Battle League Rank requirements
Go Battle League has you progress through 10 Ranks per Season. Each Rank requires a different objective for you to progress, and each Rank also has its own set of rewards. First, let's look at Rank progression:
Pokémon Go Battle League Ranks list
- Go Battle League Rank 1 - Already unlocked
- Go Battle League Rank 2 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 3 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 4 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 5 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 6 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 7 - Win a certain number of Go League Battles
- Go Battle League Rank 8 - Have a Go League Battle rating of 2000
- Go Battle League Rank 9 - Have a Go League Battle rating of 2500
- Go Battle League Rank 10 - Have a Go League Battle rating of 3000
In short - Ranks 2-7 require match wins and Ranks 8-10 require you to increase your Battle League rating.
Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League, Remote Raids and the trade evolution feature. There are also planned changes to PokéCoins on the way. Meanwhile, coming soon is the Sinnoh Throwback quest. Last year saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, and with it new regional exclusive Pokémon and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day.
Pokémon Go Battle League rewards
There are multiple types of reward in the Go Battle League - but the ones to be most aware of are set wins and Pokémon Encounters.
All the following are likely to change season-to-season, and at the time of writing, the following Pokémon Go Battle League rewards are true for the pre-season.
Go League set win rewards
Each set contains five matches, and you earn more rewards for each subsequent win, allowing you to win a total of five rewards if you win every match.
Before you play, you can either earn basic (free) rewards or use a Premium Pass to earn a different set of rewards. These are usually more of the same reward types, or will see the order shuffled so it's easier to get certain rewards.
You can see what the rewards in both the basic and premium sets are before you begin, so you can make the call of whether you want to spend a Premium Pass or not (after all, winning isn't guaranteed!).
Possible rewards in both tracks include:
- Charged TMs
- Mystery Item (either a Sinnoh Stone, Charged TMs or Silver Pinap Berry - thanks to oAbuttre on reddit for confirming these)
- Rare Candy
- Pokémon Encounter
- Avatar items, such Pikachu Libre and Steven Stone inspired clothing
- Avatar pose
All Go League Rank Encounters
Pokémon Encounters are the same regardless of whether you go for the free or premium reward track, but differ according to your Rank. If your playing the free reward track, then you're guaranteed a Pokémon encounter after three wins, but, if you're on premium, then you only need one win to earn your encounter.
The higher the rank, the wider the pool of possible encounters gets, with more rare creatures available. These are as follows:
|Rank||Guaranteed Pokémon encounters||Other possible Pokémon|
|2||None if Metagross caught||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|3||None if Metagross caught||Previous Pokémon encounters|
Previous Pokémon encounters
|5||None if Metagross and Stunfisk caught||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|6||None if Metagross and Stunfisk caught||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|7||None if Metagross and Stunfisk caught||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|9||Scraggy||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|10||Pikachu Libre||Previous Pokémon encounters|
Guaranteed Pokémon encounters will always occur, even if you don't earn enough wins on that encounter specific rank. This means that if you haven't had your encounter with Stunfisk by the time you reach Rank 8 and then finally do earn an encounter, you'll find yourself facing that Pokémon instead of Rufflet.
Once you've caught Stunfisk, you'll be able to caught Rufflet during your next Pokémon encounter and it's the same all the guaranteed Pokémon encounters.
Other Pokémon Go Battle League rewards
Like in Season 1, if you manage to reach Rank 10 in Season 2 you'll be rewarded with avatar items and a new pose inspired Steven Stone.
Steven was the Champion of the Hoenn Pokémon League in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. He specialised in steel-type Pokémon, which is probably why both Beldum and Metagross are included in this Season's Pokémon encounter rewards.
You'll also receive clothing items inspired by Pikachu Libre, seen above, after you reach Rank 7.
Finally if your rank as Rank 7 or above by the end of Season 1, you'll receive an Elite Fast TM.