The Pokémon Go Battle League has just had a huge overhaul. You can battle other Trainers, friends and strangers alike, to move up 24 ranks and win amazing prizes. The seventh official season began March 1, 2021, and runs through May 30.
Seasons in the Pokémon Go Battle League
The Pokémon Go Battle League is divided up into seasons that stretch three months. Each season provides players with a new chance to test their mettle and vie for a spot at the top. The seventh season of the Pokémon Go Battle League kicked off on Monday, March 1, 2021. This season introduces a new Great League Remix cup, as well as additional updates.
Great, Ultra, or Master League in the Pokémon Go Battle League
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 April 12-26. The Great League Remix runs concurrently but doesn't allow the 10 most used Pokémon in the Great League.
- The Ultra League allows for Pokémon up to 2,500 CP and will run April 26 through May 10.
- The Master League has no CP limits and will run May 17-24.
- All three Leagues will run from May 17-24.
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 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 7, the following Cups will be featured:
- The Ultra League Premier Cup will run April 26 through May 10.
- The Great League Remix Cup will run April 12-26.
- The Retro Cup only allows the first 15 Pokémon types excluding Dark, Steel, and Fairy and has a 1,500 CP limit. It will run May 10-17.
- The Kanto Cup has a 1,500 CP limit and only allows Pokémon with a Pokédex number from 1 to 151. It is unranked and runs from May 24-31.
- More cups will be revealed in the second half of Season 7.
Move changes for Season 7 of the Pokémon Go Battle League
The following moves are being implemented or changed beginning with Season 7:
- Sunflora, Celebi, Ludicolo, Roserade, and Leavanny will be able to learn Leaf Storm, a powerful grass-type charged attack that decreases your Pokémon's attack stat after it's used.
- Persian, Alolan Persian, Cacnea, Cacturne, Absol, Bronzor, Bronzong, and Liepard will be able to learn the powerful dark-type charged attack Payback.
How to enter the Pokémon Go Battle League
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 Seven, the Pokémon reward encounters and some of the other rewards are inspired by Elesa, a trainer introduced in Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version:
- Rank 1: Guaranteed encounter with Zebstrika.
- Rank 1-9: Possible encounters with Poliwhirl, Flaaffy, Pupitar, or Galvantula.
- Rank 10: Pikachu Libre avatar items.
- Rank 10-15: Possible encounters with Medicham, Frillish, or Stunfisk.
- Rank 15-20: Possible encounters with Scraggy, Lampent, Rufflet, or Shiny Rufflet.
- Rank 19: An Elite Charged TM plus an Elite Fast TM as an end-of-season reward.
- Rank 20-24: Encounter the Legendary Pokémon appearing in five-star raids at the time.
- Ace Rank: Encounter with Deino.
- Legend Rank: Encounter with Pikachu Libre. This will be the only time you'll be able to encounter a Pikachu Libre during the season. You'll also earn a pose and avatar items inspired by Elesa.
- Catching Poliwhirl, Flaaffy, Pupitar, Medicham, Scraggy, Galvantula, Lampent, and Stunfisk in Battle League reward encounters will also earn you more Candy XL than normal.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- The sixth season ran from November 30, 2020, through March 1, 2021.
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 and our guide to the best Pokémon Go accessories so you too can be a Pokémon Master!