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.
With the release of Season 7 on March 1st 2021, the Go Battle League underwent a number of changes which includes increasing the number of ranks to 24 with the highest ranks being marked by special names (Ace, Veteran, Expert, Legend), new rewards and an increased length, meaning Season 7 will end alongside the Story of Leagues on Tuesday, 1st June 2021.
Despite these changes the overall structure of the Go Battle League has remained the same - players are still placed Ranks that reset at the end of 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, with a number of changes being introduced in Season 6 alongside the Season of Celebration, 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. There are bonus leagues introduced in new seasons, but those three will feature in every season.
- With the introduction of Season 6, the number of Pokémon Go Battle League Ranks were increased to Rank 1 to 24. The ranks still have a number of different progression requirements; climbing from Rank 1 to Rank 20 requires you to partake and win a number of battles, while Rank 21 to Rank 24, each with it's own unique title, requires you to reach a certain rating.
- Your '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 four Ranks. It also gives you an additional metric to complete against (with your friends, or even yourself) once you reach Rank 24 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 7 dates explained
Season 7 of the Go Battle League in Pokémon Go follows the familiar format of the three main leagues - Great, Ultra and Master - with the Premier Cups and a number of special cups running alongside to shake up the competition.
It's important to remember that these dates are subject to change and we'll keep this page updated with any changes which may occur.
Below you can find all the League dates for Season 7. Each League will change over at the usual reset time of 1pm PST / 9pm UK time:
- Great League dates - Monday, 1st March to Monday, 15th March
- Ultra League and Premier Cup dates - Monday, 15th March to Monday, 29th March
- Master League, Master League Classic and Great League dates - Monday, 29th March to Monday, 5th April
- All three leagues dates - Monday, 5th April to Monday, 12th April
- Great League and Great League Remix - Monday, 12th April to Monday, 26th April
- Ultra League and Premier Cup dates - Monday, 26th April to Monday, 10th May
- Master League, Master League Classic and Retro Cup dates - Monday, 10th May to Monday, 17th May
- All three leagues dates - Monday, 17th May to Monday, 24th May
- Ranked play will end at - Monday, 24th May
- Unranked Kanto Cup dates - Monday, 24th May to Monday, 31st May
There will also be a to-be-announced surprise for the Season 7 of the Go Battle League between Monday, 29th March to Monday, 5th April.
Please read the section below to learn more about the Master League Classic, Great League Remix, Retro Cup and Kanto Cup below.
Season 8 will most likely begin when the Season of Legends ends on Tuesday, 1st June.
Pokémon Go Battle League Season 7 special cups and leagues explained
There are a number of special cups and leagues for you to partake in throughout Season 7 of the Go Battle League.
The first is the Master League Classic which runs during both of the dedicated Master League periods for Season 7 - Monday, 29th March to Monday, 5th April and Monday, 10th May to Monday, 17th May.
If you want to partake in this league you must ensure none of the Pokémon in your team have been powered up with Candy XL.
The Great League Remix comes next and runs during the second Great League - Monday, 12th April to Monday, 26th April.
In this special league you won't be able to use the top most-used Pokémon for the Great League, which will be announced on Monday, 15th March.
The third special cup is the Retro Cup which will run from Monday, 10th May to Monday, 17th May.
The CP limit for this cup will be set to 1,500 and you'll be restricted to the original 15 Pokémon types. This means you won't be able to use any dark, fairy or steel-type Pokémon.
The next special cup is the Kanto Cup and it will run from Monday, 24th May to Monday, 31st May.
During this cup, you'll only be able to use Pokémon from the Kanto Pokédex, which are the Pokémon lying between numbers 1 and 151 in the National Pokédex. The CP limit will also be restricted to 1,500 CP and your rating won't be affected by the Kanto Cup, which means you can freely participate in this cup without having to worry about lowering your ranking.
Finally, there will be an unannounced surprise between Monday, 29th March to Monday, 5th April, which may be a new special cup or league.
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 six sets (or 30 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 24 Ranks per Season. This number was increased from 10 on November 30th 2020, alongside the release of Season 6 of the Go Battle League and the Season of Celebrations.
Each Rank requires a different objective for you to progress, and each one also has it's own set of rewards.
From Season 6 onwards, you'll need to participate and win a number of battles to progress from Rank 1 to Rank 20.
Certain ranks will be easier to overcome than others, because they will only require you to complete one set of battles to progress. This means that, even if you only win one battle out of five, you'll still progress to the next rank.
The Ranks that only require you to complete one battle set are - Rank 5, Rank 10, Rank 15 and Rank 19.
If you wish to climb from Rank 21 to Rank 24, however, you need to obtain a certain rating by remaining undefeated for a certain number of matches.
Each Rank from 21 to 24 also has it's own specific title - Ace, Veteran, Expert and Legend - which not only helps you identify which rating you need to achieve, but gives you some good bragging rights too.
Below you can find which title has been assigned to each rank, alongside the rating you'll need to progress to that specific rank:
- Rank 21 - Ace - 2,000 rating
- Rank 22 - Veteran - 2,500 rating
- Rank 23 - Expert - 2,750 rating
- Rank 24 - Legend - 3,000 rating
The Season of Legends is here! With it comes a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, the Legacy 40 Challenge quest and boosts to some XP sources - Platinum Medals, the arrival of Gen 6 Pokémon such as Espurr and changes to the Go Battle League We've recently seen the addition of 'Strange' red eggs and new Arlo, Cliff, Sierra and Giovanni line-ups.
Pokémon Go Battle League rewards
As you climb through each Season's in the Go Battle League, you'll find yourself being rewarded in a number of way. This includes set win rewards, Pokémon encounters and rewards for progressing to new a Rank.
The specifics of rewards, especially the Pokémon encounters, tend to change from season to season, so it's always a good idea to read through this section at the beginning of each season, so that you know what's waiting for you.
Rank-rewards are, as the name suggests, the rewards you receive for progressing to a new rank in the Go Battle League. These rewards often include useful items, like Potions, and Stardust.
Season 6 heralded a number of important changes for the Go Battle League and one of them was to the rank-rewards.
Under the new Ranking system, a number of ranks now only require you to complete one set of battles, be it win or lose, for you to progress to the next rank. These ranks have also been given specific reward tracks, which means you're guaranteed a certain type of reward for completing them.
Below you can find these special ranks and the type of rewards you'll receive for completing them:
- Rank 5 - Mystery items
- Rank 10 - Stardust
- Rank 15 - Rare Candies
- Rank 19 - Pokémon encounters and an Elite Fast TM
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. Here are the Pokémon encounter rewards which have been currently announced for Season 7:
|Rank||Guaranteed Pokémon encounters||Other possible Pokémon|
|Previous Pokémon encounters|
|Previous Pokémon encounters|
|20||Legendary currently in five-star raids||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|Ace||Deino||Previous Pokémon encounters|
|Legend||Pikachu Libre||Previous Pokémon encounters|
We know that you'll have encounters with Pokémon inspired by Elesa - the electric-type gym leader from Pokémon Black, White, Black 2 and White 2.
You'll also earn more Candy XL when you catch Poliwhirl, Flaaffy, Pupitar, Medicham, Scraggy, Galvantula, Lampent and Stunfisk as Pokémon encouter rewards for the Go Battle League.
If you reach rank 20, you're also guaranteed an encounter with the legendary Pokémon which is in five-star raids at the time you reach the Pokémon encounter reward.
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 Zebstrika by the time you reach Ace Rank and then finally do earn an encounter, you'll find yourself facing that Pokémon instead before Deino.
Once you've caught Zebstrika, you'll be able to catch Deino during your next Pokémon encounter and it's the same all the guaranteed Pokémon encounters.
Other Pokémon Go Battle League rewards
If you reach Rank 10 in the Pokémon Go Battle League, then you'll be rewarded with clothing items inspired by Pikachu Libre.
If you reach the Legend Rank, the highest rank in the Go Battle League, you'll be rewarded with a new pose and clothing items inspired by Elesa.
Elesa, introduced in Pokémon Black and White, is the fourth gym leader for the Unova Pokémon League. Her gym is located in Nimbasa City and specialises in electric-type Pokémon. Elesa also works as a model, with her clothing style representing both this profession and her love of electric-type Pokémon. The Pokémon you receive as rewards from the Go Battle League will also be inspired by Elesa.
If you reach Rank 19 by the end of the Season 7, you'll receive a second Elite Charged TM and you'll also receive an Elite Fast TM at the season's end.
Remember - your ranking will reset at the end of every season, so, if a certain reward has caught your eye, make sure you get it this season or else you risk missing it!
Watch this page as Season 7 of the Go Battle League develops!