Pokémon

How to Battle in Pokemon GO

We've put together a guide on everything trainers need to know about battling in Pokemon GO.
We've put together a guide on everything trainers need to know about battling in Pokemon GO. / Niantic Labs

We've put together a guide on everything trainers need to know about battling in Pokemon GO.

Battling Pokemon has been an integral part of the franchise since its inception in 1996. Most of the games' and films' narratives centers on it to the point where entire competitive leagues have been set up to celebrate the sport. In fact, the primary storyline of every main series release requires players to undertake the gym challenge and use their Pokemon to battle and collect all eight badges in that region. Pokemon GO is no different.

Here's everything trainers need to know about battling in Pokemon GO.

How to Battle in Pokemon GO

As trainers no doubt have noticed, instead of the traditional four-option move set, Pokemon in Pokemon GO only have two: a fast attack and a charged attack.

Fast Attacks deal less damage than charged attacks, but take less time to cast and generate a resource known as "energy." This energy can be used to power charged attacks. Trainers can prompt their Pokemon to perform a fast attack by rapidly tapping the screen.

Charged Attacks deal much more damage than fast attacks and take longer to perform, but require a specific amount of energy to cast. This amount varies from move to move, but each cast is only available once that amount has been generated by fast move use.

The corresponding charged move will appear as a type-specific button in the bottom center of the screen. Trainers can track how close they are to the energy needed to perform a charged move by examining the level of color within the button. Trainers can prompt their Pokemon to perform a charged move by tapping the button once.

Performing a charged attack requires trainers to complete a mini-game where they must tap or touch all the moving type-icons on the screen. The number of icons tapped correlates with how effective the Pokemon is with that attack.

Don't worry—type advantages still apply as they did in the main series.

Types of Battles and Specific Mechanics

There are two types of battles in Pokemon GO: Player versus Environment (PvE) and Player versus Player (PvP). PvE battles include Gym Conquests, Raids, GO Battle League training, and battles with Team GO Rocket. PvP battles are exclusively found within the GO Battle League.

When battling against another character or trainer as with the GO Battle League or with Team GO Rocket, trainers will have the option of using shields to protect themselves against the opponent's charged moves. Each trainer gets two shields per battle. Whether NPCs use their shields depends on the type of NPC—for example, Team GO Rocket Grunts don't bother while Executives burn through them at first chance.

Gym Conquests allow trainers to have a traditional six-Pokemon team which, upon defeat, will knock the player from combat. Raids can be re-entered immediately following the defeat of the first six-Pokemon team. Battles against other trainers or characters are limited to three Pokemon per person.

Healing Your Pokemon After Battle

Trainers may find they need to heal their Pokemon after a battle. This can be done by using the healing items found in their inventory. These include revives and potions of various strengths. There are two ways to apply a healing item in Pokemon GO:

  1. From the Item's listing in the trainer's inventory.
  2. From the Pokemon's page by tapping the button with three horizontal lines on the lower right and selecting "Items."

Pokemon must be conscious to battle. Their health value, however, does no matter.

Good luck, trainers!