GO Battle League Season 1: Everything You Need to Know

GO Battle League

Trainers, attention! The GO Battle League preseason is coming to an end, and Niantic has just announced that Season 1 starts this month on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7)!

Niantic has prepared a metric ton of events, rewards and challenges in the period leading up to the start of Season 1, all of which we’ve collected and broken down in this article. New shiny Pokémon and Elite Fast and Charged TMs are on their way as well!

Note for all events mentioned in this post: In-game events for may vary in the following areas until further notice. Players in these areas can stay tuned to official Niantic and GO Hub channels for updates.

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Italy

Rewards for Rank 4 or Higher in the Preseason

As a thank you for participating in Preseason, Trainers who achieved rank 4 or higher will receive a Premium Battle Pass as part of their end-of-preseason rewards.

To celebrate the end of the preseason, from today, Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7), all three leagues will be available to play in the GO Battle League!


Shiny Darkrai, shiny Altered Forme Giratina and Thundurus coming to GO Battle Rewards for a limited time

For a limited time, Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Thundurus will be coming to the GO Battle League as rare reward encounters, starting at rank 4! Darkrai and Altered Forme Giratina especially can be powerful additions to your Ultra League and Master League teams, so be sure to catch them if you can!

Pokemon GO DarkraiDarkrai Pokemon GO Giratina (Altered)Giratina (Altered) Pokemon GO ThundurusThundurus
  • You’ll have a chance to encounter Darkrai as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 9, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Darkrai!
  • You’ll have a chance to encounter Altered Forme Giratina as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Altered Forme Giratina!
  • For all other time periods, Thundurus you’ll have a chance to encounter Legendary Pokémon reward encounter in the GO Battle League until further notice.
Shiny Darkrai and shiny Altered Forme Giratina

Season 1 warm-up with two special events

Leading up to and at the beginning of Season 1, look forward to the following GO Battle League–themed events to help you catch strong Pokémon to use in battle and gain more Stardust to power up your Pokémon.

Please note, the event-exclusive Pokémon appearing in raids and in the wild will not occur in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Event bonuses will still occur in Japan, South Korea, and Italy.

Prepare for GO Battle League event

Date and time:

  • From Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 8:00 a.m.
  • To Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time

Strong Pokémon will be appearing in raids, including Skarmory, Swampert, Shieldon, and more! Registeel and Cresselia will be appearing in five-star raids. You’ll also earn twice the usual Stardust from Raid Battles and Trainer Battles during this event. Please note that this bonus will not apply to GO Battle League Trainer Battles.

Featured Pokémon:

Pokemon GO SkarmorySkarmory Pokemon GO SwampertSwampert Pokemon GO ShieldonShieldon
Pokemon GO RegisteelRegisteel Pokemon GO CresseliaCresselia

GO Battle League Season 1 launch celebration event

Date and time:

  • From Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m.
  • To Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time

More Pokémon thought to be powerful in the GO Battle League will be available in raids, including Altered Forme Giratina in five-star raids. Fighting-type Pokémon will also be appearing more frequently in the wild! Also if you’re lucky, you might find a Shiny Timburr! Your best bet would be battling and catching it in one-star raids!

There will also be the following GO Battle League bonuses during the event period.

  • You’ll receive a Premium Battle Pass when you win all five battles in a set on the premium track of the GO Battle League.
  • You’ll be able to complete seven sets of GO Battle League battles per day, up from the regular five sets, for a total of up to 35 battles a day!
  • You’ll receive bonus Stardust in the GO Battle League.

Featured Pokémon

Pokemon GO Giratina (Altered)Giratina (Altered) Pokemon GO TimburrTimburr

GO Battle League Season 1 Launch changes

Niantic is tuning and tweaking several aspects of the GO Battle League. We’re excited to announce the following changes to the GO Battle League for Season 1:

Ranks and rewards tuned

  • Fine-tuning the GO Battle League’s rewards. Depending on your rank, you’ll receive increased Stardust rewards and a different number of Charged and Fast TMs.
  • Winning matters much earlier in the ranks now. Ranks 2 and 3 now require you to win a certain number of battles to advance to the next rank. Previously, wins mattered only beginning at rank 4.

Pokémon encounters changed

  • The Pokémon you can encounter as GO Battle League rewards will change for Season 1.
    • Metagross will be your guaranteed first encounter reward for Season 1.
    • At rank 4, you’ll have a chance to encounter Beldum.
    • At rank 7, you’ll have a chance to encounter Rufflet, making its Pokémon GO debut ahead of appearing in Safari Zone Philadelphia.
    • And last but not least, the tough Pikachu Libre will be making its debut as a guaranteed reward encounter when you reach rank 10! In the future, Pikachu Libre will be available starting at lower ranks, but this season is your chance to challenge yourself to see if you can make it to rank 10, Trainers.
    • Machop, Snorlax, and Meditite will no longer appear as GO Battle League encounters, but you’ll encounter Scraggy more often. These reward encounters might change next season, so be sure to give it your all and climb as high as you can in the rankings, Trainers!

Steven avatar pose reward

  • Reach rank 10 to earn avatar items and an avatar pose inspired by Steven. Steven is a Pokémon League Champion in the Hoenn region. Steven is both an incredibly skilled Pokémon Trainer and a kind and helpful mentor. His dedication to battle makes his avatar items and avatar pose rewards a perfect match for the GO Battle League. The pose is a reward exclusive to Season 1.

Elite Charged and Elite Fast TMs

  • At the end of Season 1, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM if you’ve reached Rank 7 or higher. Introducing Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs! By using an Elite Charged TM or Elite Fast TM, you’ll be able to select the attack that your Pokémon learns. Not only that, but Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs will also allow Pokémon to learn attacks previously available only during events such as Raid Days or Community Days.

GO Battle League Season 1 timeline

Season 1 will rotate through leagues, just like the preseason did. Season 2 is set to begin in early May, but please note that all these dates are still tentative. Stay tuned—we’ll update you as soon as anything changes.

  • The Great League will run from Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Ultra League will run from Friday, March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Master League will run from Friday, April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • All three leagues will be available from Friday, April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • Season 2 will begin Friday, May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
Antonio started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. Software developer. Discord username: Zeroghan. 29 years old.