Pokemon Sword and Shield Victory Station HeroSource: iMore/ Casian Holly

The Victory Station is a section of Pokémon Sword and Shield in which you can take part in PVP battles of all sorts. Whether challenging online in casual matches or competitive ranked matches, or even just battling against your friends, everything PVP can be found here. There's quite a lot involved and I'm here to walk you through it all.

How does Victory Station work anyway?

Victory Station is divided up into multiple sections which allow several different types of PVP play. Most of these types of play require connecting online through a Nintendo Switch Online membership. There are still PVP options for those who do not purchase the online membership but they rely on local wireless connecting multiple Switch consoles within the same room.

Nintendo Switch Online

This service lets you take your gaming up a notch with online multiplayer and exclusive benefits.

Once in, you will be given options between Single and Double Battles and be allowed to pick your team. There are usually some restrictions on which Pokémon you can bring into battle. Some types of battle prohibit Mythical or Legendary Pokémon. Others restrict which Gigantimax Pokémon you're allowed to bring. Most prohibit duplicate species of Pokémon or duplicates of held items. Make sure to carefully review the rules for the particular type of battle you want to play in so you can have your team ready to go. And remember, if you are struggling with your own Pokémon, you can always use a Rental Team here.

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Casual Battles

Pokemon Sword and Shield Casual Battle in Victory StationSource: iMore/ Casian Holly

The first of your options for PVP play in the Victory Station are Casual Battles. Casual Battles are informal, but don't let that fool you into thinking these will be easy. Players within the Casual Battles are often just as fierce as those in more competitive types of battle. Most of the players here are trying out new teams or movesets, and getting practice before heading into the other types of battle. Casual Battles offer no rewards but you also don't risk anything by participating.

Ranked Battles

Pokemon Sword and Shield Ranked Battle in Victory StationSource: iMore/ Casian Holly

The next type of PVP battle available in the Victory Station are Ranked Battles. Ranked Battles are all about serious competition. Everyone entering into Ranked Battles is bringing forth their absolute best teams. These battles are super competitive and even the best trainers will find them a struggle. Still, they offer incredible rewards to players willing to put forth the effort.

  • The current season is running from November 14, 2019, until December 31, 2019.

Ranked Battles are divided up into seasons. During the season, each Ranked Battle you win raises your Rank. There are multiple Tiers and many, many players within each of those Tiers. At the end of the season, rewards are distributed based on your Rank and Tier and everyone will find their Tier dropped before the new season begins. This is to make sure that people don't reach the top Tier one season and just stay there forever. If you want to keep getting these awesome rewards, you have to keep battling each season to up your Rank and Tier.

Official Competitions

Pokemon Sword and Shield coming to VCGSource: The Pokémon Company

The next form of PVP battles are Official Competitions. Hosted by The Pokémon Company International, Official Competitions are some of the fiercest and most competitive battles in the world. The lengths, rules, and rewards for Official Competitions vary dramatically, but they always promise some of the best rewards out there, as well as the global prestige of being recognized by The Pokémon Company International officially. You can go to The Pokémon Company International's website here to get a preview of the rule set for the upcoming Official Competition. Currently there are no Official Competitions being held for Pokémon Sword and Shield, but according to the Pokemon website the first Official Competitions will begin on January 4, 2020.

Friendly Competitions

Pokemon Sword and Shield Friendly CompetitionSource: iMore/ Casian Holly

The last type of PVP play is the only one available if you do not have the Nintendo Switch Online Membership: Friendly Competitions. If you want to host a competition between your friends, at your local gaming meetup, or even online this is how you do it. At any point, you can go into the Victory Station and set up a Friendly Competition where you set the rules and requirements, much like those of an Official Competition. These can also be done online, but if you just want to get a group of friends together to compete, Friendly Competitions are the way to go. You won't get any rewards for participating, but they're a lot of fun and a great way to spend the afternoon with a group of friends.

Questions about Victory Station and PVP play in Pokémon Sword and Shield?

Do you have any questions about Victory Station? Tips for fellow Trainers? Just want to brag about your current rank? Drop us a comment below and be sure to check out our many other Pokémon Sword and Shield guides!