Categories: NewsTrainer Battles

Pokemon GO PVP has finally arrived

Well, that was rather unexpected! Following a forced update on iOS and Android devices in the late hours of the Pacific Time Zone, the long awaited flood of new content had arrived! PVP, Trainer Battles against Team Leaders Blanche, Candela, and Spark, and a whole heaping helping of combat changes! To be frank, we’re gonna have to change a lot of things on our database to accommodate all of the wild behind the scene changes that Niantic has brought around.


This is the big one, you can now challenge your friends and fellow trainers to battles, and from firsthand experience, it is incredibly fun! As we’ve no doubt mentioned in our coverage, there is an incredible amount of strategy to it! You’ve got the 1-2 charge moves, the two allotted shields, the mystery of your opponents moves and Pokémon, it makes raids seem incredibly paltry in comparison!

That being said, we would like to advise all readers that PVP in its current state is incredibly buggy. We are talking desync among players, random error pop-ups, the whole game freezing, the game becoming unresponsive, delayed responses in touches, and even just getting into a PVP battle is difficult to say the least. While the community at large is still attempting to figure out bugs and workarounds, we can at least recommend the following to help your experience:

  • Before a battle, it’s recommended for both players to restart their game.
  • Make sure your signal is strong.
  • When battling, control your tapping and do not mindlessly spam like you do in raids. With the massive desync issues, you need to be prepared to stop at a seconds notice if the shield prompt comes up, even if it only has a second for you to do so. Conversely be ready to tap if you are only given short notice.
  • Be prepared to be a bit frustrated, the glitches appear bountiful currently. The fun and rewards are worth it though.

If you can manage to work your way through the bugs, there are some enticing rewards to obtain. Namely, Sinnoh Stones are available and they are seemingly plentiful, being obtained even when losing against a fellow trainer, up to a max of 2. Beyond that, there is the opportunity for 500 Stardust. Rewards for PVP appear to be unlimited, while Trainer Battles against the Team Leaders only give 1 reward a day.

Spark, Blanche, and Candela

The Team Leaders finally get a chance to shine, fighting you with their own set teams. Consider this a spoiler warning, if you want nothing of the team leader battles spoiled, stop here. 

All clear? Good. As stated previously, you can only receive rewards from doing battles with them once a day, but the good part is that doing battles with them will raise that legacy Ace Trainer badge old time players may have rotting away at the bottom of their medal list. Those rewards as of now appear to be Sinnoh Stones and Stardust.

Now for the things that might be spoilers, their team compositions change based on the tier you are fighting on. The Master League, being the hardest, brings out the legendary birds that represent their teams, presenting a modest challenge. I say modest, because frankly at high enough levels you can sweep the master league team with a single Pokemon. I myself swept with just a Latios with Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw, and it was only level 33.5. In any case, for those not rocking the highest Pokemon, or those seeking a challenge, here are the teams you will need to plan around (keep in mind, their is a bug where Blanche’s Alolan Ninetails has the typing as its Kantonian counterpart, being Fire instead of Fairy and Ice):

Team Leader Great League Team Ultra League Team Master League Team

Combat Changes

As I mentioned, behind the scenes changed occurred with the switch being flipped for PVP, with a startling change in Type Effectiveness. The values in the Game Master have gone higher for attacks that deal Super Effective (SE) Damage, and lower for those that deal Not Very Effective (NVE) Damage. In actual terms, SE Damage is more dangerous, and NVE Damage is not as serious.

To show what they did, I will give the Example of the Fighting type. Fighting before PVP had a value of 1.4 against types it was SE against, like Rock, Steel, Normal, Dark, and Ice while having a value of 0.625 against types it was NVE against, such as Poison, Flying, Psychic, and Bug. Finally, Ghost has a immunity to Fighting so Fighting only dealt 0.51 times the damage.

Now, if you would take a look below, you can see how things have changed.

item_templates {
  template_id: "POKEMON_TYPE_FIGHTING"
  type_effective {
    attack_scalar: 1.6
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 0.625
    attack_scalar: 0.625
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 1.6

    attack_scalar: 0.625
    attack_scalar: 0.390625
    attack_scalar: 1.6
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 0.625
    attack_scalar: 1.6
    attack_scalar: 1
    attack_scalar: 1.6
    attack_scalar: 0.625
    attack_type: POKEMON_TYPE_FIGHTING

In short, in everything, from Gyms to PVP and everything in between, your Pokemon have to have type advantage in mind as it can lead to either a swift victory or a disappointing temporary setback. For a more detailed explanation however, please see our new article on the matter here.

Switching to charge moves now, yes you can now have two and yes they are persistent among all facets of Pokemon Go. They do have different costs, and the breakdown happens alongside walking distance lines, save for babies and starters being the lowest option instead of their respective tiers. Legendaries and Mythical are the most expensive investments when it comes to unlocking another charge moves while 1km walking Pokemon are the cheapest. Below, we will break down the new costs and their criteria:

Buddy Distance 1km (Starters and Babies) 3km 5km 20km (Legendary)
Upgrade Cost
  • 10,000 Stardust
  • 25 Candy
  • 50,000 Stardust
  • 50 Candy
  • 75,000 Stardust
  • 75 Candy
  • 100,000 Stardust
  • 100 Candy

Level 40 Dedicated Mystic Player, Small town player, loves writing and burning other gyms with Charizard. Age 20

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