Pokémon may be about catching them all, but the series would be nothing without battles. Whether you’re a veteran of Pokémon GO’s battle system or if you’re just starting out, these five tips should help to bolster your win rate by entering battles prepared.
Choose Your League – Or Build Teams For Them All!
In Pokémon GO, PVP consists of different leagues. Each league—Great, Ultra and Master—has a maximum CP per Pokémon. These are 1500 for Great, 2500 for Ultra and unlimited for Master.
If you’re new to the PVP scene, it’s best to build your team for the Great or Ultra league as the Master league is headed by rare Pokémon which may take you a while to obtain!
Once you’ve chosen you’re league, you’ll want to start constructing a team consisting of a variety of different types near the CP cap.
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Take Advantage of Limited League
Even if your team looks good on paper, the main leagues can be very tough for new players as veteran players have been min-maxing their teams for years. This is where the Limited Leagues come in.
When selecting a battle type, you’ll always be given two options for the week—one core league (Great, Ultra or Master) and one limited league. These limited leagues can be great for newer players as they add restrictions on which Pokémon can be included in the battles.
While these rules change each week, they can range from using specific types to creating super-low-level leagues (under 500 CP) based purely on matchups. Thus, even new players can go on some serious win streaks in these limited leagues, if they’re lucky enough to have the right Pokémon for the limited league.
Use 3 Star Pokémon
Veterans will know this well, but newcomers may take a while to even know that Pokémon have star ratings in Pokémon go. This is because they are a “hidden” mechanic.
To discover your Pokémon’s star rating, simply select them in the menu and click “appraise”. Your team leader will let you know where that Pokémon is on a scale from zero to three stars.
This star rating will affect your Pokémon’s stats, with the best Pokémon always having a three-star rating.
Fighting in PVP relies a lot on having Pokémon with good stats, so you’ll always want to be using (and powering up or evolving) those which have three stars.
Change Your Pokémon’s Moveset
When you catch a Pokémon, they will come with a moveset. You can find this moveset on their character page, just under their CP.
Each Pokémon’s moveset is randomly created from a variety of options specific to that Pokémon. But, of course, some moves are stronger than others. Meaning when you catch a new Pokémon you may be lucky or unlucky.
Fortunately, though, you can change your Pokémon’s fast and charged attacks with Fast TMs and Charged TMs—items which you can obtain in various ways by doing field research, completing quests, spinning stops or participating in PVP.
But before you switch up their moveset, I suggest doing a quick google search as to what the Pokémon’s best moves are—so you don’t throw away the best ones if you already have them!
While we can talk about CP, stats and star ratings all day, Pokémon is a game of types—and knowing what types are strong or weak against each other is the most sure-fire way to win at PVP.
Given that there are 18 types, each with strengths and weaknesses both offensively and defensively, learning all the matchups can be a bit of a headache.
Fortunately, when you’re building your team you don’t need to learn them all at once. I recommend you simply learn the matchups which relate to your strongest (or most used) 3-6 PVP Pokémon, so that you don’t overload with information.
Then, as you obtain more Pokémon, you’ll be able to add to your knowledge until you learn all the matchups.
When fighting, be sure to remember this so that you can make smart switches or intelligent charged attack plays to maximise your damage output and minimise the damage taken.
Get a Second Charged Attack
I don’t need to tell you that charged attacks can swing games. Especially when they are super effective.
For this reason, it can be worth investing 100 of your candies in getting some of your PVP Pokémon a second charged attack.
While 100 candies is quite an investment, this means your Pokémon can have charged attacks of two different types—doubling their chance of landing a super-effective killing blow. With these tips under your belt, it’s time to hop back into the game and start carving you’re your perfect team to secure those PVP wins—and the glorious rewards that come with them!