Pokemon Go Battle League AnnouncementSource: Niantic

The Pokémon Go Battle League has just had a huge overhaul. Y can battle other Trainers, friends and strangers alike, to move up 24 ranks and win amazing prizes. The sixth official season began November 30, 2020, and will run the entire Season of Celebration.

Seasons in the Pokémon Go Battle League

The Pokémon Go Battle League is divided up into seasons that stretch over several weeks. Beginning November 30, 2020, the season in the Pokémon Go Battle League now runs the length of the current Pokémon Go Season, three months. Each season provides players with a new chance to test their mettle and vie for a spot at the top. The sixth season of the Pokémon Go Battle League kicked off on Monday, November 30, 2020. The first half is scheduled to run til Monday, January 11, 2021. This season will introduce an all new Holiday Cup, as well as additional updates. As we get closer to the second half of Season Six, Niantic will announce more details.

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Great, Ultra, or Master League in the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League Great, Ultra, or MasterSource: iMore

The Go Battle League is divided into three different Leagues: Great, Ultra, and Master League. These are set up the same as Trainer battles and Team Leader Training before with CP caps:

  • The Great allows for Pokémon up to 1,500 CP and will run November 30 through December 14.
  • The Ultra League allows for Pokémon up to 2,500 CP and will run December 14 through December 28.
  • The Master League has no CP limits and will Run December 28 through January 4, 2021.
  • All three Leagues will run from January 4 through January 11.

Each League is featured separately before rotating to the next League. This means you can usually only participate in one League at a time, but during the Season, you have the opportunity to participate in all three Leagues. However, all three leagues are also available during a final week, in which players can choose any league they wish to battle.

Cups in the Pokémon Go Battle League

In addtion to the various leagues, the Pokémon Go Battle League also holds cups. These themed special competitions have different restrictions than the standard leagues. In the past, these cups have included Premier Cups, which had similar CP restrictions as the various leagues, but only non-Legendary Pokémon could participate, and the Flying Cup, which only allowed Flying type Pokémon.

For Season Six, the following Cups will be featured:

  • The Ultra Premier Cup will run December 14 through December 28 and January 4 through January 11.
  • The Master Premier Cup will run December 28 through January 4.
  • The Holiday Cup allows Normal, Grass, Electric, Ice, Flying, and Ghost type Pokémon up to 1,500 CP and will run December through January 4.
  • Additional Cups will be announced closer to the second half of Season Six.

Move changes for Season Six of the Pokémon Go Battle League

The following moves are being implemented or changed beginning with Season Four:

  • To be announced.

How to enter the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League MenuSource: iMore

The Pokémon Go Battle League has its own icon on the main menu screen now. Just click Battle, and you're in. Normally, any player can enter and complete their first five Battles for free. After completing those first five Battles, however, Players are supposed to have to earn additional Battle Sets. Because of the global pandemic, Niantic has suspended walking requirements.

Basic vs Premium Rewards in the Pokémon Go Battle League

For players who have the extra PokéCoins (or have a healthy stash of Premium Battle Passes - previously known as Premium Raid Passes,) there is an option to earn better Rewards for winning Battles. At the beginning of each Pokémon Go Battle League Set, you can choose between Basic and Premium Rewards. These Rewards include Berries, Stardust, TMs, and Pokémon Encounters.

The Pokémon you can encounter do not change between Premium and Basic, but they do get better as you rank up. Your first encounters for certain Ranks are guaranteed. For Season six, the guarenteed Pokémon reward encounters are:

  • Chespin is guaranteed at Rank 16.
  • Fennekin is guaranteed at Rank 17.
  • Froakie is guaranteed at Rank 18.
  • A surprise Pokémon is guaranteed at Rank 19 during the second half of Season Six.
  • Pikachu Libre is guaranteed at Legend Rank. This will be the only time you'll be able to encounter a Pikachu Libre during the season.

Pokemon 025 Pikachu Cosplay LibreSource: The Pokémon Company

As mentioned, Pikachu Libre is a guaranteed encounter once you reach Legend Rank. For those who aren't familiar, Pikachu Libre is a special Cosplay Pikachu from Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. She is dressed like a Lucha Libre wrestler and knows the Fighting Type move Flying Press, one of the strongest moves to come to Pokémon Go. While Pikachu Libre will be available in other ways in future seasons, for now you still have to reach Legend Rank to get her.

Battles in the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League Start BattleSource: iMore

Battles within the Go Battle League are set up the same way as Trainer Battles and Team Leader Training Battles. You select three Pokémon and will be matched up with another Trainer at random. The Battle begins with your first Pokémon against your opponent's first Pokémon, and until a Pokémon is sent out, neither Trainer knows what the other has brought with them. If you're lucky, the Pokémon you've chosen will have a Type advantage, or at least not be weak against the other Trainer's choice. There are definitely some Pokémon better suited for these Battles than others, but there isn't a single Pokémon that cannot be countered, so there's a fair bit of luck involved in winning these matches.

To learn more about which Pokémon you should focus on for the Pokémon Go Battle League, see our Pokémon Go Battle League Prep Guide.

Like other Battles within Pokémon Go, you'll mostly be using your Fast Move until you've built up your Charged Move, which will involve hitting several bubbles on the screen to determine how strong it hits. Each Trainer will have two Shields they can deploy against any Charged Move, but dodging isn't really an option like it is in Raids. Whichever Trainer's Pokémon faint first loses. The winner will move up in Rank, as well as get an increase to their Matchmaking Rating. The loser won't lose Rank, but in higher Ranks, you can lose points in your Rating.

Moving up Rank and Rating in the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League SeasonSource: Niantic

Speaking of Rank and Rating, the way that you increase your Rank and Rating is by completing Battles and winning Battles. The following requirements must be met to increase your Rank:

  • Rank 1: Starting Rank.
  • Rank 2: Complete five additional Battles.
  • Rank 3: Win three additional Battles.
  • Rank 4: Win four additional Battles.
  • Rank 5: Win five additional Battles.
  • Rank 6: Complete five additional Battles.
  • Rank 7: Win seven additional Battles.
  • Rank 8: Win eight additional Battles.
  • Rank 9: Win nine additional Battles.
  • Rank 10: Win ten additional Battles.
  • Rank 11: Complete five additional Battles.
  • Rank 12: Win 12 additional Battles.
  • Rank 13: Win 13 additional Battles.
  • Rank 14: Win 14 additional Battles.
  • Rank 15: Win 15 additional Battles.
  • Rank 16: Complete five additional Battles.
  • Rank 17: Win 17 additional Battles.
  • Rank 18: Win 18 additional Battles.
  • Rank 19: Win 19 additional Battles.
  • Rank 20: Complete five additional Battles.
  • Ace (Rank 21): Reach 2,000+ Rating.
  • Veteran (Rank 22): Reach 2,500+ Rating.
  • Expert (Rank 23): Reach 2,750+ Rating.
  • Legend (Rank 24): Reach 3,000+ Rating.

The following Ranks include unique rewards:

  • Rank 5 will earn mystery items.
  • Rank 10 will earn Stardust.
  • Rank 15 will earn Rare Candies.
  • Rank 19 will earn Pokémon encounters.

Training outside of the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League QR Code and Team LeadersSource: iMore

For those who have noticed that Nearby Battles and Team Leader Battles are no longer where they used to be, don't worry. You can still battle your friends in PVP Battles, and you can still Train against the Team Leaders: Blanche, Candela, and Spark. Once inside the Battle Menu, swipe down to the bottom, and you'll find your QR Code, along with a button to Scan a Battle Code for a Nearby Battle and Training options with each of the Team Leaders. You can also still Battle your Ultra and Best Friends from their profiles in your Friend List. These PVP and NPC Battles are a great way to practice for the real deal and still grant rewards all their own. However, your Rank and Rating won't be impacted by any of these Battles, and you won't get the Go Battle League Rewards from them either.

Setting Battle Parties for the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League PartiesSource: iMore

Another thing you can do to prepare for your next Battle is set Parties. Pokémon Go allows you to set up multiple Parties for each League (as well as for Gyms and Raids.) This lets you pick out specific Pokémon ahead of time. When you go to Battle in the League, your chosen Party will be there waiting for you so you won't have to wade through your hundreds of Pokémon to find the specific Tyranitar you want to bring. This is especially useful for players who have multiple of the same type of Pokémon for different purposes.

Earning Go Battle League Sets in the Pokémon Go Battle League

Pokemon Go Battle League Battle NowSource: Niantic

Until further notice, walking will not be required to unlock Battle Sets

Battles in the Pokémon Go Battle League come in five Battle increments called Go Battle League Sets. The first of these Sets is free, but each Set after that has to be earned and/or purchased. To earn a Go Battle League Set, you need to walk five KM, but you also have the option of paying Poké Coins to speed this up. Even if you pay to Battle early, you still need to walk at least 2 KM, so players who sink lots of money into the game will still have to work for their Battle Sets.

Players can earn up to five Sets each day. However, each Set requires walking another 5 KM, so participation really requires keeping active and playing a lot. You can see your progress towards earning your next Set in the Battle Menu, and the app also notifies you when you've earned another Set.

Legendary Encounters in the Pokémon Go Battle League

Trainers who reach Rank 20 or higher will be able to encounter the current Legendary Raid Pokémon as Reward Encounters. The current Legendary Raid Pokémon are:

Previous Seasons in the Pokémon Go Battle League

  • The first preseason ran from January 29, 2020, through March 13, 2020.
  • The first season ran from March 13, 2020, through May 11, 2020.
  • The second season ran from May 11, 2020, through July 27, 2020.
  • The third season ran from July 27, 2020, through September 14, 2020.
  • The fourth season ran from September 14, 2020, through November 9, 2020.
  • The fifth season ran from November 9, 2020, through November 30, 2020.

Questions about the Pokémon Go Battle League?

Do you have any questions about the Pokémon Go Battle League? Have any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many other Pokémon Go Guides so you too can be a Pokémon Master!

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Pokemon Go Banner Source: Niantic