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Pokémon Go Battle League Season 12 release date, changes, plus Season 12 rank rewards, dates and rules

Everything you need to know about the matchmade competitive league.

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.

Following the release of Season 6 in November 2020, the Go Battle League underwent a number of significant changes - 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.

Despite these changes, the overall structure of the Go Battle League in Pokémon Go 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:

Pokémon Go PvP gameplay: AI battle against Blanche

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.
  • From Season 6 onwards, the number of Pokémon Go Battle League Ranks increased 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. During the current Interlude season, however, the rankings have been capped at 20.
  • 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.
  • 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 Pass. 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 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 Season 12 dates explained

Season 12 of the Go Battle League is running throughout the Season of Light in Pokémon. During this season, you'll be able to compete in a selection of special cups and all three leagues - Great, Ultra and Master.

The Leagues will rotate on a fortnightly basis, while the special cups change every week apart. The only exception is when all three Leagues are running simultaneously in the middle of Season 12 and, during this time, no special cup will be available.

It's important to remember that these dates are subject to change and we'll keep this page updated with any changes which occur.

The Go Battle League Season 12 begins on Thursday, 1st September at 1pm PDT / 9pm UK time and ends on Thursday, 1st December at 1pm PDT / 9pm UK time.

Here are all the dates, including the Go Battle Days, for the Go Battle League Season 12:

  • Great League and Little Jungle Cup Remix dates - 1st September to 8th September
  • Great League and Psychic Cup - 8th September to 15th September
  • Ultra League and Weather Cup dates - 15th September to 22nd September
  • Ultra League and Ultra Premier Classic dates - 22nd September to 29th September
  • Master League and Master Premier Classic dates - 29th September to 6th October
  • Go Battle Day: Guzma - Saturday, 1st October
  • Master League and Evolution Cup dates - 6th October to 13th October
  • Great League, Ultra League and Master League dates - 13th October to 20th October
  • Great League and Halloween Cup dates - 20th October to 27th October
  • Great League and Halloween Cup: Ultra League Edition dates - 27th October to 3rd November
  • Ultra League and Willpower Cup dates - 3rd November to 10th November
  • Go Battle Day: Miltank - Sunday, 6th November
  • Ultra League and Ultra Premier dates - 10th November to 17th November
  • Master League and Element Cup Remix dates - 17th November to 24th November
  • Master League and Catch Cup: Season of Light Edition dates - 24th November to 1st December

You'll receive triple Stardust for win rewards, but not end-of-set rewards, between the following dates:

  • 29th September to 13th October
  • 17th November to 1st December

Go Battle League Season 12 events in Pokémon Go

There are three different Go Battle League events running throughout Season 12 in Pokémon Go.

The first is the Go Battle League Timed Research running throughout Season 12.

This quest tracks your victories throughout Season 12, with each step requiring 100 wins to complete. When you achieve this feat, you'll receive some Stardust and a selection of items, which include Elite TMs. To unlock this quest, you need to select it from the in-game store and, thankfully, its free.

The second event is the Go Battle Day: Guzma on Saturday, 1st October. From 12am to 11:59pm (local time), the maximum set of battles you can partake in will be increased to 20, which means you can fight in 100 battles.

You can also completed a timed research quest during this day, which will reward you with XP, Rare Candy, an Elite Charged TM and the Guzma Watch and Bracelet. You'll only get the Guzma avatar items, however, if you haven't already earned them.

Finally, you'll earn x4 Stardust from win rewards.

The third and final event is the Go Battle Day: Miltank on Sunday, 6th November. Throughout this day - between 12am to 11:59pm (local time) - your maximum battle sets will be increased to 20, which means you can compete in 100 battles in total. You will also earn x4 Stardust from any win rewards.

Miltank will be a guaranteed encounter between 11am to 2pm (local time) when you reach the Pokémon encounter reward, which will also be the first win reward you can earn on the Basic track during this event. If you're on the Premium track, however, then all of the win rewards will be Pokémon encounters.

You also have an increased chance of finding a shiny Miltank, so it's worth partaking in this event if you want one for your collection.

The Go Battle Day: Miltank will also have a timed research quest, which will reward you with XP, Rare Candy, an Elite Charged TM and a Miltank encounter.

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

Currently live is the Fashion Week event, and along with it the debut of Mareanie and Toxapex. Recently, we've seen the arrival of Season of Light and special research quest A Cosmic Companion. Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. There's also a new special research quest - A Mysterious Incense. Finally - don't forget about the new Prime Gaming rewards every fortnight.


Pokémon Go Battle League item 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

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.

Under the ranking system from Season 6 onwards, 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:

  • Stardust
  • Charged TMs
  • Mystery Item (either a Sinnoh Stone, Charged TMs, Golden Razz Berry or Silver Pinap Berry
  • Rare Candy
  • Pokémon Encounter (some suaranteed at certain ranks)
  • When you hit certain ranks - Avatar items, such Pikachu Libre and character-inspired clothing and avatar pose exclusive to that season

Pokémon Go Battle League Season 12 encounter rewards

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 the Interlude Season:

RankGuaranteed Pokémon encounterPokémon added to encounter pool
1PinsirPoliwag
Wingull
Meditite
Woobat
Litwick
6MienfooSkarmory
Frillish
Mienfoo
11NoneOnix
Lickitung
Hitmontop
Ralts
Phantump
16NoneEspeon
Umbreon
Miltank
20NoneCurrent five-star raid boss
Ace RankAxewAxew
Veteran RankNoibatNoibat
Expert RankGoomyNoibat
Legend RankPikachu LibreNo new Pokémon

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 if you haven't had your encounter with Pinsir by the time you reach Rank 6 and then earn an encounter, you'll have to face that Pokémon before Mienfoo.

Once you've caught Pinsir, you'll be able to catch Mienfoo during your next Pokémon encounter and this is the same all the guaranteed Pokémon encounters.

Other Pokémon Go Battle League rewards

In Season 12, you'll receive the Pikachu Libre avatar items when you reach Rank 3.

The exclusive clothing for Season 12 is inspired by Guzma - the leader of Team Skull in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

There are five pieces in the Guzma-themed clothing set, including a new pose, and you'll earn each piece by reaching a specifc Rank in the Go Battle League.

The only expection is the Guzma Watch and Bracelet, which can be earned by completing the Go Battle Day: Guzma timed research quest. If you've already earned the Guzma Watch and Bracelet, however, you can't earn them again.

Below you'll find which pieces of the Guzma-themed clothing set you'll earn at each Rank:

  • Ace Rank - Guzma Watch and Bracelet
  • Veteran Rank - Guzma Pants
  • Expert Rank - Guzma Glasses
  • Legend Rank - Guzma Shirt and Pose

Finally, by reaching Rank 19, you'll earn an Elite Charged TM and, when Season 12 ends, you'll also receive an Elite Fast TM.

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!

About the Author

Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds

Managing Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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