Pokémon GO is finally getting player-versus-player battles. Here’s how they’ll work

TechCrunch | 12/4/2018 | Staff
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Two and a half years after launch, Pokémon GO is at last getting player-versus-player battling.

If you’ve already had your fun with GO and moved on, that headline is probably all you need to know — it’s either enough to re-spark your interest, or not.

Pokédex - Hatchin - Eggs - Weekend - Details

But if you’re still polishing up that Pokédex, hatchin’ eggs, and raiding every weekend, you’re probably itching for a few more details. Good news! I got to run through a few battles late last week, and I noted damned near everything that was mentioned.

Here’s what I learned:

Player - Pokémon - Battle - Series - Trainer

Each player brings three Pokémon into a battle (rather than 6, as with the main series). The first trainer to knock out all three of their opponent’s Pokémon wins. Niantic says that 6-on-6 just took too long for a game meant to be played, as the name implies, on the go.

The thinking there: different Pokémon might shine at different strength tiers, which increases the number of “worthwhile” Pokémon. It also lets newer players jump into battling at lower levels, where higher CP Pokémon aren’t on the table.

Attack - Screen - Battles/raids

To fast attack, you tap the screen. Unlike gym battles/raids, there is no swiping to dodge.

Tapping to fast attack juices up your charge attack.

Charge - TMs - Attack

You can use Charge TMs to change either attack.

When you fire a charge attack, a circle and timer appear on screen. The faster you tap that circle before the timer counts down, the more damage your charge attack can potentially do.

Opponent - Charge - Attack - Opportunity - Shield

When your opponent fires a charge attack, you’ll have the opportunity to use a “Protect Shield” which greatly limits the damage it can do. The catch: you only get two protect shields per battle, so you’ll want to use them at the right time.

Matches are timed (thought Niantic hadn’t settled on a match length when I did my test battles). If the...
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