Battling other trainers is an integral part of Pokémon GO. These battles are somewhat similar to gym leader battles or encounters with Team GO Rocket, with the caveat that PvP battles are faster and more dynamic. There are also certain aspects unique to this mode. 

At first glance, the system seems simple: a couple of attacks, a shield, a mini-game, but internally, many subtle processes are taking place, knowledge of which gives a player a distinct advantage. 

In our article, we will share the best tips for Pokémon Go Battle.

Choose characters with the best CP (Combat Power) rating

Choose characters with the best CP rating in Pokemon GOImage:

CP determines a character’s overall strength based on four metrics:

  • Attack;
  • Defense;
  • Stamina;
  • Level.

It varies individually and is present in all creatures: wild, tamed. The higher the CP, the stronger the fighter in both PvE + PvP contexts. As time progresses, leveling up becomes more expensive, and the increase in CP becomes less noticeable.

Choose characters with the best CP rating in Pokemon GOImage: Ensiplay

Therefore, if a gamer is looking for a companion for PvP battles, it is important to choose the most powerful companions. Also, remember that the higher the CP, the lower the creature’s level should be to fit into one of the leagues.

Moreover, you’ll likely find useful information about levels in Pokémon GO. The more knowledge about the game, the better the tactics!

Remember the diversity in your team and the types

Pokemon types in Pokemon GOImage:

Pokémon are divided into 18 types, each with a weakness or advantage over others. For example, Rock is effective against Bug, and, say, Gigalith will deal increased damage to Venomoth. The enhancement can be of three types:

  • Super effective – injury is multiplied by 1.6 (indicated in green on the table);
  • Not very effective – damage is multiplied by 0.6 (orange in the table);
  • Not effective or ineffective – harm to the opponent is multiplied by only 0.4 (gray in the table).

Pokemon types in Pokemon GOImage: Ensiplay

If a Pokémon has two elements, the strength of the attack can either increase further or decrease depending on the opponent's types. For example, assault by Charizard (Fire + Flying) will be devastating for Abomasnow (Ice + Grass), as the latter has reduced resistance to Fire/Flying.

Remembering 18 types, their combinations, interactions can be quite challenging. In our table, you can familiarize yourself with all types, their strengths, vulnerabilities.

Pokemon types in Pokemon GOImage: Ensiplay

Thus, it's important for all three Pokémon in the team to be of different types. This allows the party to be more versatile and deal increased damage to as many opponents as possible.

Properly combine fast and charged attacks 

Properly combine fast and charged attacks in Pokemon GOImage:

Fast attacks charge the enhanced ones, but if the energy bar is already full, no additional energy is added. This is a crucial aspect of each fight, as losing energy for a charged variant means you can't use it later. Therefore, it is more effective to use a powerful strike as soon as it becomes available.

Properly combine fast and charged attacks in Pokemon GOImage:

However, this rule does not always apply because sometimes it may be inefficient for a player to deal a lot of damage to an enemy Pokémon with minimal HP. Conversely, in some battles, it is more advantageous to deal with the opponent with fast attacks, thereby accumulating charged attacks for the next warriors in the enemy squad.

The speed of the animation varies from 0.5 to 2 seconds, and this should also be considered when selecting a character for PvP. If you are not satisfied with the damage or the amount of energy provided by a fast version, you can replace it with another using a Fast TM. However, such an item is quite rare, so it should be used cautiously.

Choose STAB (Same-Type Attack Bonus) attacks 

Choose STAB attacks in Pokemon GOImage:

STAB enhances the damage of a charged attack by 20% if it matches the character's type. This effect is not displayed in the game, so many gamers are unaware of the bonus. It is particularly effective for dual-type fighters. For instance, Scyther would receive a damage bonus on X-Scissor (Bug type) + Iron Head (Steel type).

Grant strong Pokémon a second charged attack

Grant strong Pokémon a second charged attackImage:

A second charged attack is an expensive but necessary luxury that makes a character even stronger. To learn this ability requires a lot of stardust and candies, so choose fighters with high developmental potential. For example, for Azumarill, one of the finest characters for the Great League, its combo of the fast Bubble plus charged Ice Beam, Hydro Pump allows it to handle many opponents effectively.

Grant strong Pokémon a second charged attackImage:

It is also important to strategically use charged attacks. The maximum amount of energy that can be accumulated is only 100 units. Some moves use half of the bar or more. For example, the quite powerful Boomburst (150 damage) requires 70 energy points.

Replacing a skill with another is possible, but quite labor-intensive. For this, the user will need a Charged TM, which can be obtained from victories in raids or battle leagues, as well as from Research Breakthroughs and some Special Research Tasks.

Make rational use of shields

Pokémon Go BattleImage: Ensiplay

In a single battle, a player has the opportunity to defend against an opponent's charged attack twice. The strength is indicated by the color of the shield:

  • Red – blocks a Super Effective Charged Attack. Without protection, the Pokémon would have lost a lot of HP.
  • Blue – blocks a Not Very Effective Charged Attack. Such an assault would not have caused significant harm to the creature.
  • Pink – blocks an assault that could have caused moderate or low damage.

Gamers might think this feature is useless, but it isn't. Essentially, the opponent reveals their hand: by blocking a powerful charged type, you know that the next time, the enemy will deal significant damage with the attack. In such a situation, there are several decisions to make: switch to another fighter, try to finish the game if the enemy has low HP, and so on.

Pokémon Go BattleImage:

Here are a few recommendations for strategic use of shields:

  • Do not block all charged attacks. If a Pokémon has more than 80% HP, there's a chance the character will survive the hit. Conversely, if the fighter has low HP, it makes no sense to defend — it's better to switch to another if possible.
  • Do not waste shields at the beginning of the battle. Blocking is an aspect that can save your warriors in a critical situation.

Despite its simplicity, defense in Pokémon GO is a tactic akin to a chess game: some heroes must be sacrificed, while stronger ones should be protected.

Tricks for removing shields

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Considering that the opponent also has two shields per battle, the main task for the gamer is to remove them as quickly as possible. One way is to "spam" with charged attacks that do not require a lot of energy, followed by the most destructive ones. This will make the opponent believe that the next attack must be blocked.

For example, consider Gyarados with its Aqua Tail, Hydro Pump. The first only requires 35 energy. Constant use will help break the shields. Then you can strike with Hydro Pump and knock out the enemy Pokémon.

Pokémon Go Battle shiedsImage:

The drawback of the tactic described is that if the opponent deciphers the plan early on, like any bluff, it will not work. However, there is an advanced version of this strategy that also requires two charged attacks.

The essence is to continuously hit the enemy with fast attacks, creating a false impression that you are accumulating energy for one powerful assault. Here comes the perfect moment for a trick! The player can strike with a move that requires little energy, and then follow up with a stronger assault, catching the opponent off guard.

In this respect, Pokémon GO is surprisingly an intellectual game. The title requires the gamer to be attentive, observant, and to develop their own style, complete with tricks, tactics.

Switching between Pokémon as a way to avoid damage

Pokémon Go BattleImage:

In a team, there is always a leader who appears first on the battlefield. However, if desired, you can call another pet "from the pocket" by pressing its icon. This function is available only once per minute.

Timely switching allows you to avoid high damage if you choose a character who has more HP or resistance to the enemy's harm.

Pokémon Go Battle is an engaging activity: selecting a team, battling other trainers, where players rely on their skills and, to a large extent, on luck.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you, and our recommendations have helped all readers achieve even more victories in PvP mode.

Main image by Ensiplay