After teasing fans towards the end of last week, Pokémon GO developer Niantic has finally lifted the lid on all the juicy details regarding the app's upcoming Trainer Battle system. The best news is that things are scheduled to kick off this month.
Trainer Battles will allow players to challenge their real-life friends to a battle at any time. You'll need to share a Battle Code between yourselves, assemble a team of three Pokémon, and then attempt to blast each other to smithereens on the battlefield. Both trainers, regardless of who wins and who loses, will receive rewards for their troubles, including a chance at rare evolution items (hopefully including the recently released Sinnoh Stone).
Battles appear to play out in a similar fashion to Gym and Raid battles, with players hammering their screens and choosing between Fast and Charged attack options. There's more to think about than usual, however, as you'll be able to use Stardust and Candy to unlock a bonus Charged Attack for your Pokémon and you can even deploy a Protect Shield to save your Pokémon from critical damage - Niantic hasn't revealed how this happens just yet, but it appears to be related to timing.
To help you stand a chance against your Level 40 know-it-alls, each Trainer must compete in the same Trainer Battle League, which determines the CP limit for all participating Pokémon. This way, battles are more down to your tactics rather than just who managed to snag the strongest Tyranitar.
An interesting thing to note is that Ultra Friends and Best Friends will be able to challenge each other from any distance; you'll need to be standing right next to anyone who hasn't yet reached those requirements with you. This is a pleasantly surprising addition, and theoretically means that you can arrange battles with your friends at any time. You can also earn rewards once per day in training sessions against your Team Leader (Spark, Candela, or Blanche).
Have you been waiting for PvP battles to arrive in Pokémon GO? Will you be challenging your nearest and dearest friends? Let us know in the comments below.