Pokémon GO: How to play GO Battle League preseason and earn rewards

How to join GO Battle League and start earning rewards.

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Image via Niantic

GO Battle League gives Pokémon GO players a way to see who’s the very best by letting them face off against other players in ranked matches. Aside from bragging rights, ranking up in the League will also grant players valuable rewards and exclusive prizes. Currently, in its preseason, GO Battle League is rolling out access to players over time. Here’s how to see if you’re eligible and get started climbing the ranks.

GO Battle League preseason eligibility

To maintain stability, access to GO Battle League is slowly rolling out to players across the preseason, which lasts into March. Players with high Trainer levels will be the first to get to compete in the League, so right now, the only way to improve your chances of being chosen is to increase your Trainer level by playing more Pokémon GO. Niantic will send out push notifications as GO Battle League is unlocked for more players, so make sure you have them turned on.

Playing GO Battle League matches

Once you’ve been chosen to enter the League, you’ll still have to do some work to join matches. To unlock Go Battle League matches, you’ll first need to log five kilometers of walking in Pokémon GO. After you’ve walked the required amount, you’ll be granted access to five matches against other League players. You can unlock new matches up to three times a day, so walking 15 kilometers will get you 15 player-vs-player matches. However, you’ll get your first set of five matches for free, so you won’t have to put in five kilometers for your first taste of GO Battle League.

If you can’t quite get enough steps in to unlock your matches, there is a shortcut to start playing sooner. As long as you’ve walked at least two kilometers toward your five-kilometer goal, you can trade PokéCoins to make up the balance. The closer you are to five kilometers, the fewer PokéCoins you’ll have to spend to start battling, so it’s best to walk as much as you can before using Battle Now to keep the cost low.

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Earning rewards in GO Battle League

Playing GO Battle League will get you access to several different rewards, such as TMs and Stardust, plus some you can’t get anywhere else, including exclusive Pokémon encounters. The rewards you receive from the League are based on how many matches you win and how high your rank is. That means that the easiest way to maximize your rewards is, naturally, by playing and winning the most matches you can. Once you achieve a rank in GO Battle League, you can never drop below that rank, so it makes sense to play as many matches as possible since losing a battle won’t hurt you in the long run.

If you want to boost the rewards you get, even more, you can do so by spending a Premium Battle Pass. The Premium Battle Pass is taking the place of the Premium Raid Pass, but don’t worry if you’re more interested in Raids than GO Battle League; the Premium Battle Pass can be used in both modes. Utilizing a Premium Battle Pass in GO Battle League gets you better rewards and reduces the number of wins you need to unlock exclusive Pokémon encounters, but it won’t increase the rate you rank up.

The specifics of how GO Battle League works are subject to change throughout the preseason and into the launch of Season 1, but any rewards you earn are yours to keep.