The Pokémon Go battle league consists of three divisions: The Great League, the Ultra League, and the Master League. Each of them works the same way where you choose from three different Pokémon to battle against an opponent. However, each of the leagues has various restrictions, but the Master League allows trainers to bring in their best Pokémon with no limits.
How to battle in the Master League
To battle, you need to gain access to the battle league. Every player receives the first five battles for free, and you freely fight against other trainers in Pokémon Go. After those first five battles, every player needs to go about unlocking access to their next series of fights. To do this, you can choose to go with the basic option of the premium one. The basic one means you need to walk five-kilometers before you can enter again. The premium a premium raid pass, and for you to walk two kilometers. You only have access to three different series of battles per day, consisting of five battles each. This equals out to 15 total battles per day.
The Great League has a max CP of 1,500, and the Ultra League has a max CP of 2,500. The Master League has no restriction, and you can use any Pokémon in your collection. You want to think about your choices wisely, figuring out what combination works best for you to cover any of your Pokémon’s weaknesses, optimizing any counters that could potentially dominate your team. There’s plenty of trial and error, but right now is the pre-season. Niantic has plans to adjust the gameplay after this for the Pokémon Go‘s first season of the battle league.
How to rank up in the battle league
There are 10 different ranks in every Pokémon Go league. You can advance the first five ranks purely by playing through the battle league, and you rank up regardless if you win or lose. When you reach rank five, you can only increase your ranking if you win battles. However, if you lose, you do not go down in ranking. Once you reach rank eight and onward, you not only need to win battles to advance, but losing battles can cause you to go down in the overall ranking.
- Everyone starts at Rank 1
- Rank 2: Complete five matches
- Rank 3: Complete 10 matches
- Rank 4: Complete 15 matches
- Rank 5: Win five matches
- Rank 6: Win 10 matches
- Rank 7: Win 15 matches
- Rank 8: Have a battle rating of 2,500 or higher
- Rank 9: Have a battle rating of 3,000 or higher
- Rank 10: Have a battle rating of 3,500 or higher
You receive rewards at different ranks in the battle league, depending on how many wins you achieve for the battles. The rewards are broken up into a set, and the big rewards are random Pokémon encounters. There’s a pool of potential Pokémon you can encounter, randomly, based on what ranking you are. For example, when you reach rank four, you have a guaranteed chance to encounter a Scraggy, and then after that, it enters the random pool Pokémon you can encounter if you win four battles in a row.
- Ranks one to three: Machop, Oshawatt, Snivy, Snorlax, Tepig
- Ranks four to six: Machop, Meditite, Oshawatt, Scraggy, Skamory, Snivy, Snorlax, Tepig
- Ranks seven to 10: Deino, Lapras, Larvitar, Litwick, Machop, Meditite, Oshawatt, Scraggy, Shieldon, Skamory, Snivy, Snorlax, Tepig
At the start of the Master League, you have two weeks to work your way through the ranks going through as many battles as you’re allowed for the day facing fearsome opponents. You want to use the best teams you can to beat other players. Right now is the pre-season. The first season of Pokémon Go‘s battle league is set to begin sometime in March, but for now, you have until Feb. 24 to Mar. 9 to compete in the Master League. When the first season does launch, you have a chance to encounter a rare Libre Pikachu to add to your collection.