How To Battle In "Pokemon Go"

So you’ve gotten your starter Pokemon, visited some Pokestops, collected a bunch of Pokemon, and started gathering eggs. You are now ready for the next stage in your epic “Pokemon Go” journey: It’s time to fight for glory. Here’s how to battle in “Pokemon Go.” Follow a few simple steps, hone your skills, and you’ll be a “Pokemon Go” warrior in no time.

First things first.

To be able to battle, you have to be Level 5 or higher. The main way to do this is by catching Pokemon in the wild; visiting Pokestops can also help you level up.

Once you’ve reached Level 5, you’re ready to hit the gym. You can find nearby gyms on your map — they are the big white stadiums. When you pick a nearby gym, you’ll be asked to join a team: Team Valor (Red), Team Mystic (Blue), or Team Instinct (Spark). Whichever one you pick, you’ll be fighting your future battles to help your team take control of gyms and maintain control over the ones it already has.

Finding your battleground.

When you look around at your nearby gyms, you’ll see that they include either gray, blue, yellow, or red. Gray means that a gym is unclaimed, and you can simply walk over to it and claim it. By now, however, most gyms have been claimed, and those will be marked with the color of the team that has claimed them (so a red gym is controlled by Team Valor, a blue one is controlled by Team Mystic, and so on). You can see one in the distance here, controlled by the Red Team:

At these gyms, you have two options: First, if the gym is controlled by your team, you can practice battling there. Battling at a “friendly” gym will give you a chance to figure out how to battle, and you can earn XP in the process (and that XP will help you to level up and catch higher level Pokemon). Battling at your team’s gym will also help your gym level up, and better defend itself from attacks from other teams.

Once you’ve gotten the basics of battling, you can head to gyms owned by other teams and compete for control. When you find a gym where you’d like to battle, take a minute to look at the info about that gym. First, you’ll see a “Level” number. That number corresponds with the number of Pokemon you’ll have to beat to take control; a higher level means that you’ll have to fight more Pokemon. Second, check out the CP for the rival gym’s Pokemon. The higher a Pokemon’s CP, the harder it will be to defeat. If your Pokemon have a low CP in comparison to those at the gym, you’re going to have a very hard time winning any battles there.

How to start a battle.

When you’ve found a rival gym where you want to fight, begin the battle by tapping the button on the lower-right corner (showing two Pokeballs colliding). The game will automatically select a group of six Pokemon from your roster to fight, though you can select other fighters if you want to. Hit “Go,” and start fighting!


The actual fighting in Pokemon battles is fairly simple. You have three moves: Tap, dodge, and press. To attack your opponent quickly, tap-tap-tap on the rival Pokemon. To dodge away from incoming attacks, swipe right or left. To launch a more powerful attack, wait until the special attack meter is filled, then tap once and hold until the big KABOOM. (Or whatever your Pokemon’s special attack might be).

Eventually one of the battling Pokemon will faint, and whoever is left standing is the winner!

If you win, the rival gym’s prestige points will take a hit. If those points go down to zero, you can claim the gym for your team. Victory!

Images: Pokemon Go (2); Giphy