August 9, 2023

A Pokémon GO World Championships Celebration: A Basic Guide to Pokémon GO Battles

A Pokémon GO World Championships Celebration: A Basic Guide to Pokémon GO Battles

Hey, Trainers!

Sophtoph and SpeediestChief2 here!

To celebrate the Pokémon World Championships, we’ll be posting articles that go over Pokémon GO battle basics and more!

With Pokémon GO’s 2023 World Championships event going on now, it’s a great time to cover everything you need to get started on your road to becoming a GO Battle League Legend—or even the next World Champion!

Read on to learn more!

Catching Pokémon to battle with

In Pokémon GO, Pokémon appear all around us, and there are many opportunities to catch Pokémon that can be used in battle. From the Charmander that you caught at your local park to the Scraggy you hatched from an Egg, there’s a huge variety of Pokémon to power up and battle with! Here are some tips and tricks for the best ways to get Pokémon ready for battle.

In-game events are great opportunities to catch lots of a particular Pokémon (and therefore end up with a lot of Candy!) and to teach Pokémon powerful Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks. Some of the most important events to participate in are Community Days. Community Days allow you to teach featured attacks—like Frenzy Plant, Hydro Cannon, and Blast Burn—to specific Pokémon.

Raid Hours increase the frequency of raids for a short time, which can lead to more opportunities to defeat and capture powerful Legendary Pokémon like Tapu Fini and Registeel.

It’s no secret that Shadow Pokémon are very strong, so make sure to battle against Team GO Rocket whenever they appear and rescue the Shadow Pokémon they leave behind! Pokémon like Shadow Alolan Sandshrew and Shadow Mudkip can become the mighty Shadow Alolan Sandslash and Shadow Swampert, respectively! The Shadow Pokémon you rescue are usually stuck with the Charged Attack Frustration, but if you want to teach them a new Charged Attack, you will need to wait until the next Team GO Rocket Takeover and use a Charged TM!

There’s always something exciting happening in Pokémon GO. Check your calendar for upcoming in-game events, from holiday events to Adventure Week and more! These in-game events typically spotlight particular Pokémon or types of Pokémon, so they are a great opportunity to acquire your next GO Battle League all-star! Pokémon that are above Level 40 require a lot of resources to power up, but they can also be the most useful—take advantage of in-game events for opportunities to get Candy XL!

You can also acquire GO Battle League favorites by hatching Eggs and trading with your fellow Trainers! If you trade certain Pokémon—such as Machoke, Haunter, and Phantump—the Candy requirement to evolve them is reduced to 0, so make sure to leverage awesome opportunities like these!

Battling basics

Once we have caught, evolved, and powered up our Pokémon, we’re ready to battle!

Entering a battle

When battling other Trainers, start by selecting a team of three Pokémon. The first Pokémon you select will be your “lead,” and it will appear on the battlefield first. The other two Pokémon will be your reserve Pokémon, and they will remain inside their Poké Balls until they are switched into battle. Once you select your three Pokémon, you can press “Use This Party” to get started!

Once both Trainers have locked in their teams, a countdown will begin. 3…2…1… GO!

Battle screen information

When the battle begins, you can find useful information at the top of the screen, such as the types of the Pokémon in the battle, how many Pokémon each Trainer has remaining (represented by bright Poké Balls), and how many Protect Shields you and your opponent each have remaining. You and your Pokémon are on the left, and the right side has your opponent and their Pokémon.

Fast Attacks

To begin attacking your opponent’s Pokémon, you can tap anywhere on the screen other than the icons that show your own Pokémon or the Charged Attack icons at the bottom. Tapping the screen initiates a Fast Attack, and with each Fast Attack, two things will occur: your Pokémon will deal damage to the opponent’s Pokémon and your Pokémon will gain energy for its Charged Attack.

For example, in the image here, Sableye is dealing damage with each Shadow Claw—its Fast Attack—while gaining energy for both of its Charged Attacks, Foul Play and Return.

Charged Attacks

To use a Charged Attack, you’ll need to build up the required energy by using Fast Attacks until the Charged Attack icon is full, and then tap the Charged Attack icon. Tapping the Charged Attack icon triggers a mini-game that is based on the type of the Charged Attack. Swipe all the icons that appear to fully power up your Charged Attack.

While you are completing the Charged Attack mini-game, your opponent will have the opportunity to use one of their two Protect Shields to block the damage from your impending Charged Attack. You only have two Protect Shields to use per battle, so deciding when to use them is very important! Keep in mind that Protect Shields will not prevent status effects or stop a decrease in Attack or Defense.

Swapping Pokémon

To bring a different Pokémon onto the field, you can tap on one of your remaining Pokémon shown on the right side of your screen. However, you can only switch Pokémon once every 60 seconds, so swap carefully!

End of the battle

The first Trainer to bring all of their opponent’s Pokémon down to zero HP is the winner! Each battle has a time limit of 4.5 minutes, after which the battle will be decided based on which Trainer has more Pokémon remaining. If both Trainers have the same number of Pokémon left, the winner is determined by which Trainer’s Pokémon has the highest percentage of HP remaining.

GO Battle League

The GO Battle League is a great way to test your mettle against other Trainers. Every day, Trainers have the opportunity to play five sets of five battles each in the GO Battle League. All you have to do is tap “Battle” and enter with a team of three Pokémon.

There are three basic formats, the Great League, the Ultra League, and the Master League, which determine the CP limit and which Pokémon you can enter. Every few weeks, you might notice that the available formats change. In general, the formats rotate through the open Great League, Ultra League, and Master League. Special cups also become available throughout the Season, where only Pokémon that meet certain criteria are eligible to compete. For example, the latest Season— Hidden Gems—saw the introduction of the Single-type Cup in the Great League, in which only Pokémon with a single type and 1,500 CP or less were eligible. Each Season also contains special GO Battle Days, during which you can participate in four times as many battles as usual and earn additional rewards, such as extra Stardust, exclusive avatar items, and special rewards, including Elite Fast TMs, Elite Charged TMs, and Rare Candy XL.

As you climb the ranks to the prestigious Legend rank, you will also gain special rewards, such as the opportunity to encounter Legendary Pokémon in the GO Battle League, an encounter with Pikachu Libre, and exclusive avatar items. In addition, you can see the names of the top 500 Trainers in the GO Battle League on the leaderboard.

Pokémon GO Championship Series

If you enjoy the GO Battle League and would like to meet and battle other Trainers in person, you can enter Play! Pokémon tournaments to prove you’re the very best!

To begin your path to becoming a World Champion, you can find Pokémon GO Challenges, Pokémon GO cups, Regional Championships, and International Championships near you on the Play! Pokémon website.

While these tournaments also involve battling teams of three, just like in the GO Battle League, Trainers will need to come prepared with a team of six Pokémon. Before each battle, Trainers have the opportunity to look over their opponent’s team of six to select which three Pokémon to use in each battle.

Tune into the Pokémon GO World Championships this weekend!

The 2023 Pokémon World Championships will take place from August 11 to 13, 2023, in Yokohama, Japan.

The top qualifying Pokémon GO players from around the globe will compete to determine who will be crowned the 2023 Pokémon GO World Champion!

Tune in and watch all the action beginning at 9:00 a.m. JST each day!

Trainers who tune into Twitch may even spot codes to receive rewards!

English Stream

Japanese Stream

That’s all from us for now, Trainers! Best of luck in the GO Battle League!

Sophtoph is a contributing writer for

SpeediestChief2 is a Pokémon GO caster for the Pokémon Company International.