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How to battle in Pokemon Go

Battling in Pokemon Go is one of the most common activities that you can do. Check out our guide and learn how to battle in Pokemon Go!

Published onOctober 9, 2016

Pokemon Go how to battle
Battling in Pokemon Go is something you’ll do fairly frequently. Taking down Gyms and leveling them up is extremely time consuming, but still an integral part of the game. That means you’ll need to battle fairly frequently. Here’s a short primer on how to battle in Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go Gym

Initiating a battle in Pokemon Go

First, let’s quickly go over how to get into combat in Pokemon Go. For right now, there is only one way and that is through Gyms. Niantic has said that battling other trainers is possibly coming in another update later on, but for now it’s not possible. Here are the steps:

  1. Find a Gym. Unless you live in a rural area, there should be one relatively close by.
  2. Go to the Gym and click on it. This will open up the Gym and show you which Pokemon are on it, their power levels, what level the Gym is, and how much prestige it has.
  3. On the bottom right corner, there is a button that will start the fight. Make sure you pick out your best Pokemon so that you might actually win!
  4. Click here to check out our tutorial on all of the benefits of battling Gyms!

From here, you’ll enter the battle with the Gym.

How to battle in Pokemon Go

Now you’re in a battle. You’ll see your Pokemon in the foreground and the enemy Pokemon in front of you. From here you’ll have three commands:

  1. You can tap the screen to attack with your Pokemon. It’s common practice to just continuously tap the screen so that you can attack as often as possible.
  2. Once the blue bar underneath of your Pokemon’s health bar fills up (it’ll have anywhere from one large blue bar to four or more smaller blue bars), you can long press the screen to use your Pokemon’s special attack. These usually take a moment to perform but can do a bunch of extra damage.
  3. Finally, you can swipe to the left or right to dodge attacks. This is very tricky, but it can be the difference between victory of defeat once you get used to it.
  4. It’s important to note the CP level of your Pokemon. You’ll want to try to have a higher CP Pokemon than your opponent to make winning easier.
  5. Typing also matters in battling. Lightning is super effective versus water, for instance. This isn’t nearly as important as CP (and which Pokemon you choose to use), but it can help in close battles.

That’s about it, really. The battles in Pokemon Go are super easy to do and it only takes a little while to get used to the patterns and structure of the mechanics.

Pokemon Go how to battle
Imgur The “flash” you’re looking for that marks when it’s time to dodge.

How to dodge attacks

Dodging attacks is a serious pain in the neck when you’re first starting out. However, with a little practice and luck, you an get good enough at it to at least dodge the big attacks. Here are some tips on how to dodge attacks more effectively:

  1. When enemy Pokemon attack, there is often a bright flash right before the attack initializes. The key to dodging is to swipe just after that flash.
  2. You’ll want to make sure to do a well-defined swipe on your device. If you don’t, it may register as an attack and you’ll take the attack straight to the face.
  3. Dodging regular attacks is extremely difficult to do consistently. Especially if it’s a quick attack like Snorlax’s Lick or Vaporeon’s Water Gun. It’s best to wait for the big attacks which are generally slower which gives you more time to react.
  4. When you’re attacking, your Pokemon is virtually immobile. You won’t be able to dodge any attacks while you’re performing your attacks. Thus, you’ll want to try to plan your special attacks until just after you dodge the opponent’s. That way they take tons of damage and you don’t. This will take a little longer and a bit of finesse, but it can win you matches you probably shouldn’t have won.

Dodging attacks is a highly underrated mechanic in Pokemon battles. You can avoid taking some pretty serious damage and give your Pokemon a much better chance at victory even if you’re only mediocre at dodging.

Why battling Pokemon is important in the game

Battling Pokemon is a fairly big part of the game and you’ll likely do it frequently. There are a variety of perks that you can get from battling Gyms and they include:

  1. It’s one of only two ways to get free Pokecoins without cheating the game and the only in-game method of doing so.
  2. It’s a pretty decent way to gain XP to level up your character. Check out this tutorial on more ways to gain massive amounts of XP!
  3. When an opposing team controls a Gym, your victories will result in that Gym losing prestige. When your team controls the Gym, your victories will result int hat Gym gaining prestige.
  4. A battle against an enemy Gym will allow you to take six Pokemon with you and you’ll cycle through them as each one gets beaten. A friendly Gym will only allow you to go into battle with one Pokemon. This will change in an upcoming update and soon you’ll be able to take six no matter what!
  5. You’ll need tons of Potions and Revives. Stock up!

And that’s really it when it comes to battling. It’s one of those “simple to learn, but difficult to master” styles of play so you’ll no doubt get acquainted quickly. Then you’ll spend plenty of time honing your skills. Battling is also a lot more fun if you have friends or fellow teammates on board because the Gyms will go down faster and get leveled up faster as well. If you’re excited to see what’s coming up next in the world of Pokemon Go, check out the latest news here!

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