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Pokémon Go Battle League: Interlude Season release date, changes, plus Interlude Season 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. During the Season of Alola, however, the Go Battle League rankings have been capped to 20 due to this being an Interlude Season.

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:

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 Interlude Season dates explained

Throughout the Season of Alola, the Go Battle League is having an Interlude Season. Due to this, the rankings have been capped at 20 and, aside when all three Leagues - Great, Ultra and Master - are available during the final week, there's a special cup running alongside every League.

Each individual League and special cup will also only run for one week, rather than typical two.

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 Interlude Season began on Tuesday, 1st March at 1pm PST / 9pm UK time - as will any Leagues or special cups before Saturday, 12th March. After this date, the start time will be 1pm PDT / 8pm UK time.

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

  • Great League and Johto Cup dates - 1st March to 8th March
  • Go Battle Day: Seel date - Saturday, 5th March
  • Ultra League and Ultra Premier Classic dates - 8th March to 15th March
  • Master League and Love Cup dates - 15th March to 22nd March
  • Great League and Little Jungle Cup dates - 22nd March to 29th March
  • Ultra League and Catch Cup dates - 29th March to 5th April
  • Master League and Halloween Cup dates - 5th April to 12th April
  • Great League and Little Cup dates - 12th April to 19th April
  • Go Battle Day: Beginner's Paradise date - Sunday, 17th April
  • Ultra League and Retro Cup dates - 19th April to 26th April
  • Master League and Kanto Cup dates - 26th April to 3rd May
  • Great League and Flying Cup dates - 3rd May to 10th May
  • Ultra League and Element Cup dates - 10th May to 17th May
  • Master League and Master Premier Classic dates - 17th May to 24th May
  • Great League, Ultra League and Master League dates - 24th May to 1st June
  • Go Battle Day: Mega Stardust Surprise date - Sunday, 29th May

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

  • 15th March to 22nd March
  • 5th April to 12th April
  • 26th April to 3rd May
  • 17th May to 24th May

Battle timed research during the Go Battle League Interlude Season explained

Throughout the Interlude Season, players - no matter your experience with the Go Battle League - can claim the free BATTLE timed research quest from the in-game store.

You'll find this quest in the 'Free' section of the shop, next to the Daily Free Box, and it looks like a battle pass.

Each step will challenge you to win Trainer Battles in the Go Battle League, with the number of victories required increasing as you proceed through the quest. You'll be rewarded with Stardust for every challenge and ques step you complete as part of this timed research quest.

Remember - if you want this quest, you must first unlock it in the in-game shop.

Go Battle Days for the Go Battle League Interlude Season in Pokémon Go explained

There will be three Go Battle Days for you to partake in throughout the Go Battle League Interlude Season in Pokémon Go and each one has its own set of themes.

On every Go Battle Day, you can partake in 20 sets of battles - 100 individual matches in total.

The first is Go Battle Day: Seel on Saturday, 5th March, with the bonuses being available between 11am to 2pm (local time).

If you're playing the Basic track, the first win for every set on this will be a Pokémon encounter. Meanwhile, if you're on the Premium track, every reward will be a Pokémon encounter. No matter which track you're on, however, you're guaranteed to have an encounter with Seel.

Any Seel you evolve into a Dewgong when the bonuses are live will learn the following moves:

  • Ice Shard - Fast Attack
  • Icy Wind - Charged Attack

Completing a set of battles at any rank during this day will unlock the Gladion's Shoes avatar item.

The second is Go Battle Day: Beginner's Paradise on Saturday, 17th April. On this day, you'll be able to complete a timed research quest which will reward you with XP.

Completing a set of battles at any rank during this day will earn you the Gladion's Hoodie item for your avatar.

Finally, the last is Go Battle Day: Mega Stardust Surprise on Sunday, 29th May and you'll receive x4 Stardust from win rewards. There is also an unannounced 'mega' surprise, which, considering the wording, may be related to Mega Pokémon.

Completing a set of battles at any rank on this day will unlock the Gladion's Pants item for your avatar.

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.

During the Interlude Season running throughout the Season of Alola, however, the ranks have been capped at 20.

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

New to the game is a long overdue Mega Evolution update, which has arrived alongside the A Mega Moment research. May 2022 in Pokémon Go includes the Water Festival, which celebrates the release of Dewpider and Araquanid. Tapu Fini has also been released alongside A Poni Adventure - the last Alola region-themed special research quest. Currently both the Ultra League and Element Cup are running in the Go Battle League. Elsewhere, we've recently seen the release of more Gen 7 Pokémon as part of the Season of Alola. The first details surrounding Go Fest 2022 have also been announced, including the event date.

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 Interlude Season 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
20Pikachu LibreCurrent five-star raid boss

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 Crobat by the time you reach Rank 20 and then earn an encounter, you'll have to face that Pokémon before Pikachu Libre.

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

Other Pokémon Go Battle League rewards

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

The exclusive clothing for the Interlude Season is inspired by Gladion - a rival character who appears in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

All of the Gladion clothing items, including the animated pose, can be earned by reaching Rank 20.

Three pieces of the Gladion clothing set can be earned, however, by completing a set of battles at any rank during a Go Battle Day. Here are the clothing items available and the Go Battle Day you need to participate in:

  • Go Battle Day: Seel - Gladion's Shoes
  • Go Battle Day: Beginner's Paradise - Gladion's Hoodie
  • Go Battle Day: Mega Stardust Surprise - Gladion's Pants

Finally, by reaching Rank 19, you'll earn an Elite Charged TM and, when the Interlude Season 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!

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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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