Everything you need to know about the matchmade competitive league.
The Pokémon Go Battle League takes Pokémon Go’s Battle system – which until 2020 allowed friends or local players to complete against one another – and make it into a competitive, worldwide matchmade league anyone can compete in.
Following the release of Season 6 in November 2020, the Go Battle League underwent a number of significant changes – increasing the number of ranks to 24 with the highest ranks being marked by special names (Ace, Veteran, Expert, Legend), new rewards and an increased length.
Despite these changes, the overall structure of the Go Battle League in Pokémon Go has remained the same – players are still placed Ranks that reset at the end of every Season.
Like Raids, it also has paid and free participation, with different Go Battle League rewards accordingly.
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- 1 How the Pokémon Go Battle League works, from Ranks to Seasons
- 2 Pokémon Go Battle League rules and battle restrictions
- 3 Pokémon Go Battle League Season 17 dates explained
- 4 Go Battle League Season 17 events in Pokémon Go
- 5 Pokémon Go Battle League Rank requirements
- 6 Pokémon Go Battle League item rewards
- 7 Pokémon Go Battle League Season 17 encounter rewards
How the Pokémon Go Battle League works, from Ranks to Seasons
There are many components to how the Pokémon Go Battle League works, with a number of changes being introduced in Season 6 alongside the Season of Celebration, but here it is at a glance:
- The Pokémon Go Battle League takes place over the course of a Season, and will rotate through all three existing Leagues which cap Pokémon by their CP – the Great League (1500 CP), Ultra League (2500 CP) and Master League (any CP) – every two weeks. There are bonus leagues introduced in new seasons, but those three will feature in every season.
- From Season 6 onwards, the number of Pokémon Go Battle League Ranks increased to 24. The ranks still have a number of different progression requirements; climbing from Rank 1 to Rank 20 requires you to partake and win a number of battles, while Rank 21 to Rank 24, each with it’s own unique title, requires you to reach a certain rating. During the current Interlude season, however, the rankings have been capped at 20.
- Your ‘battle rating’ that increases when you win and drops when you lose. Though this exists outside of the Rank system, you are required to progress past certain thresholds to progress the last four Ranks. It also gives you an additional metric to complete against (with your friends, or even yourself) once you reach Rank 24 within a Season.
- For the five matches you play within a set, you can receive rewards, which are displayed on screen in a ‘free’ and ‘premium’ track, the latter you can enter by using a Premium Pass. Note once you have entered a run of battles, you cannot change track partway through.
- There are also additional rewards you earn when you level up a rank, and more at the end of the season.
Pokémon Go Battle League rules and battle restrictions
Go Battle League battles seem to behave the same as a standard Battle against a Friend or someone locally, but there are some competitive-orientated rules and restrictions to make things fair:
- Each time you enter the Go Battle League, you will play a ‘set’ of five matches.
- There is a limit to how many Go League Battles you can participate in per day, whether free or paid, at six sets (or 30 battles) per day.
- You can only use one of each Pokémon species in your Battle team in a contest.
- As per game-wide Battle rule changes, if Pokémon use Charged Attacks at the same time, the Pokémon with the highest Attack stat will go first. If they are the same, one Pokémon chosen at random will go first.
- Switching between Pokémon will reset any changes made to Attack or Defence, such as buffs or debuffs from moves made during battle.
Thanks to martycochrane on reddit for helping with some of the above information.
Pokémon Go Battle League Season 17 dates explained
Season 17 of the Go Battle League is running throughout the Season of Timeless Travels in Pokémon Go. During this season, you’ll be able to compete in a selection of special cups and all three leagues – Great, Ultra and Master.
The Leagues will rotate on a weekly basis, aside from one week towards the end of February, while the special cups change every week apart. The only exception is when all three Leagues are running simultaneously and, during this time, no special cup will be available.
It’s important to remember that these dates are subject to change and we’ll keep this page updated with any changes which occur.
The Go Battle League Season 17 begins on Friday, 1st December at 8pm UK time / 1pm PDT and ends on Friday, 1st March.
Here are all the dates, including the Go Battle Days, for the Go Battle League Season 17:
- Great League and Retro Cup: Great League Edition dates – 1st December to 8th December
- Ultra League and Retro Cup: Great League Edition dates – 8th December to 15th December
- Master League and Holiday Cup: Great League Edition dates – 15th December to 22nd December
- Great League, Ultra League and Master League dates – 22nd December to 29th December
- Great League and Holiday Cup: Litte Edition dates – 29th December to 5th January
- Ultra League and Great League Remix dates – 5th January to 12th January
- Master League and Fantasy Cup: Great League Edition dates – 12th January to 19th January
- Go Battle Week: Timeless Travels dates – 19th January to 24th January
- Great League, Ultra League and Master League dates – 19th January to 26th January
- Great League and Hisui Cup: Great League Edition dates – 26th January to 2nd February
- Ultra League and Hisui Cup: Great League Edition dates – 2nd February to 9th February
- Master League and Evolution Cup: Great League Edition dates – 9th February to 16th February
- Timeless Travels: Go Battle Day date – Saturday 10th February
- Catch Cup: Little Edition and Great League Edition dates – 16th February to 23rd February
- Great, Ultra and Master League dates – 23rd February to 1st March
You’ll receive quadruple Stardust for win rewards, but not end-of-set rewards, between the following dates:
- 15th December to 29th December
- 12th January to 26th January
- 9th February to 1st March
Go Battle League Season 17 events in Pokémon Go
There are three Go Battle League event running throughout Season 17 in Pokémon Go.
First off, there will be a free Go Battle League-themed timed researh quest available in the in-game shop. Each step of the quest tracks your victories during the Season of Timeless Travels and you’ll be rewarded for every 100 wins you earn. Alongside Stardust and useful items, you’ll earn an Elite Fast TM at 400 wins and an Elite Charged TM at 500 wins.
After this, the first proper event is the Go Battle Week: Timeless Travels running from Friday 19th January at 10am (local time) to Wednesday 24th January at 8pm (local time). All three main leagues -Great, Ultra and Master – will be running during this time.
You’ll earn quadruple Stardust from win rewards throughout this week – though this does not include any end-of-set rewards and doesn’t stack with the other Stardust bonus running at the same time. The maximum number of battle sets you can compete in every day will also be increased to 10, meaning you can partake in 50 battles per day.
There will also be both a free timed research quest, which will reward you with an Ingo-Style Hat for your avatar, and a pay-to-play timed research quest available during this event.
The second event is Timeless Travels: Go Battle Day, which is running on Saturday 10th February from 12am to 11:59pm (local time).
During this event, the number of battle sets you can complete will be increased to 20, meaning you can complete 100 battles throughout this day. Both the Master League and Evolution Cup: Great League Edition will be live throughout this weekend.
You will receive quadruple Stardust from the win rewards during this event, but this doesn’t include the end-of-set rewards. Not to forget about the free timed research quest which will reward you with XP and battle-related items.
Pokémon Go Battle League Rank requirements
Go Battle League has you progress through 24 Ranks per Season. This number was increased from 10 on November 30th 2020, alongside the release of Season 6 of the Go Battle League and the Season of Celebrations.
Each Rank requires a different objective for you to progress, and each one also has it’s own set of rewards.
From Season 6 onwards, you’ll need to participate and win a number of battles to progress from Rank 1 to Rank 20.
Certain ranks will be easier to overcome than others, because they will only require you to complete one set of battles to progress. This means that, even if you only win one battle out of five, you’ll still progress to the next rank.
The Ranks that only require you to complete one battle set are – Rank 5, Rank 10, Rank 15 and Rank 19.
If you wish to climb from Rank 21 to Rank 24, however, you need to obtain a certain rating by remaining undefeated for a certain number of matches.
Each Rank from 21 to 24 also has it’s own specific title – Ace, Veteran, Expert and Legend – which not only helps you identify which rating you need to achieve, but gives you some good bragging rights too.
Below you can find which title has been assigned to each rank, alongside the rating you’ll need to progress to that specific rank:
- Rank 21 – Ace – 2,000 rating
- Rank 22 – Veteran – 2,500 rating
- Rank 23 – Expert – 2,750 rating
- Rank 24 – Legend – 3,000 rating
The Season of Adventures Abound is here! The Party Up! event is currently running and players who didn’t earn a Master Ball via Timed Investigation: Master Ball can purchase the Special Research: Master Ball quest.
Party Play – Pokémon Go’s multiplayer feature – is here, along with the Welcome Party quest.
Be sure to fight in the Go Battle League, compete in Shadow Raids, complete Routes, use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. This incense may also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go Battle League item rewards
As you climb through each Season’s in the Go Battle League, you’ll find yourself being rewarded in a number of way. This includes set win rewards, Pokémon encounters and rewards for progressing to new a Rank.
The specifics of rewards, especially the Pokémon encounters, tend to change from season to season, so it’s always a good idea to read through this section at the beginning of each season, so that you know what’s waiting for you.
Rank rewards are, as the name suggests, the rewards you receive for progressing to a new rank in the Go Battle League. These rewards often include useful items, like Potions, and Stardust.
Under the ranking system from Season 6 onwards, a number of ranks now only require you to complete one set of battles, be it win or lose, for you to progress to the next rank. These ranks have also been given specific reward tracks, which means you’re guaranteed a certain type of reward for completing them.
Below you can find these special ranks and the type of rewards you’ll receive for completing them:
- Rank 5 – Mystery items
- Rank 10 – Stardust
- Rank 15 – Rare Candies
- Rank 19 – Pokémon encounters and an Elite Fast TM
Go League set win rewards
Each set contains five matches, and you earn more rewards for each subsequent win, allowing you to win a total of five rewards if you win every match.
Before you play, you can either earn basic (free) rewards or use a Premium Pass to earn a different set of rewards. These are usually more of the same reward types, or will see the order shuffled so it’s easier to get certain rewards.
You can see what the rewards in both the basic and premium sets are before you begin, so you can make the call of whether you want to spend a Premium Pass or not (after all, winning isn’t guaranteed!).
Possible rewards in both tracks include:
- Charged TMs
- Mystery Item (either a Sinnoh Stone, Charged TMs, Golden Razz Berry or Silver Pinap Berry
- Rare Candy
- Pokémon Encounter (some suaranteed at certain ranks)
- When you hit certain ranks – Avatar items, such Pikachu Libre and character-inspired clothing and avatar pose exclusive to that season
Pokémon Go Battle League Season 17 encounter rewards
Pokémon encounters are the same regardless of whether you go for the free or premium reward track, but differ according to your Rank. If your playing the free reward track, then you’re guaranteed a Pokémon encounter after three wins, but, if you’re on premium, then you only need one win to earn your encounter.
The higher the rank, the wider the pool of possible encounters gets, with more rare creatures available. Here are the Pokémon encounter rewards which have been currently announced for the Interlude Season:
|Guaranteed Pokémon encounter
|Pokémon added to encounter pool
|Current five-star raid boss
|No new Pokémon
If you reach rank 20, you’re also guaranteed an encounter with the legendary Pokémon which is in five-star raids at the time you reach the Pokémon encounter reward.
Guaranteed Pokémon encounters will always occur, even if you don’t earn enough wins on that encounter specific rank. This means if you haven’t had your encounter with Hisuian Sneasel by the time you reach Rank 6 and then earn an encounter, you’ll have to face these Pokémon before Machoke.
Once you’ve caught Hisuian Sneasel, you’ll be able to catch Machoke during your next Pokémon encounter and this is the same all the guaranteed Pokémon encounters.
Other Pokémon Go Battle League rewards
The exclusive clothing for Season 17 takes inspiration from Ingo – the warden of the Pearl Clan from Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Though, if you’ve played either Pokémon Black, White, Black 2 or White 2 on Nintendo DS, you might also recognise him as a leader of the Battle Subway. Turns out he’s been experiencing some time travel issues…
This clothing set consists of six pieces, including a new pose, and you can earn each piece by reaching a specific Rank in the Go Battle League. The expection to this, however, is the Ingo-Style Hat which is earned via the timed research quest available during the Go Battle Week: Timeless Travels event.
Below you’ll find which pieces of the Ingo-themed clothing set are earned at each Rank:
- Ace Rank – Ingo-Style Gloves and Shoes
- Veteran Rank – Ingo-Style Pants
- Expert Rank – Ingo-Style Shirt
- Legend Rank – Ingo-Style Pose
Image credit: Niantic
Finally, by reaching Rank 19, you’ll earn an Elite Charged TM and, when Season 17 ends, you’ll also receive an Elite Fast TM.
Remember – your ranking will reset at the end of every season, so, if a certain reward has caught your eye, make sure you get it this season or else you risk missing it!