PvP came to Pokémon GO in 2018, a feature fans had been desperate for since it launched back in 2016. You're now able to challenge friends and strangers alike to see who has the most powerful Pokémon. Do so and you'll earn a bunch of new rewards and probably have a bunch of fun in the process.

In this guide, we're going to explain how PvP works in Pokémon GO and what you can get for doing it. We'll also provide a few tips and tricks here and there to help you have a much better time.

How to Challenge Someone to a PvP Battle in Pokémon GO

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It's actually surprisingly easy to initiate a battle against a nearby opponent. All you have to do is hit the button on the bottom right of your map screen (the one beneath the research tasks button) and choose the 'Battle' tab.

You'll then see the nearby players that you can battle. To initiate one, simply get your opponent to scan your QR code and you're good to go.

If you're either Ultra or Best Friends with your opponent, you don't even have to be near them. That's just one of the many perks of having friends, we guess!

Feeling shy? You can get some practice in against the leaders of Team Valor, Mystic, and Instinct instead. That way you can try out strategies before you test your skills against a real player.

How PvP battles work in Pokémon GO

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PvP battles are quite different from the gym and raid battles you've experienced so far in Pokémon GO. You pick three Pokémon, rather than the traditional six, and you can swap between them mid-battle at any point.

Battles remain rooted in real time though, which is good news, and you still hammer the screen to attack, unleashing your charge move when it's, erm, charged. Speaking of charge moves, you now have two of them, opening up a lot more options in attack.

You have to unlock this second charge move on a Pokémon, when it will be selected from the pool of available moves. It costs Candy to do so, but not a lot. This feature will eventually roll out to gym and raid battles, too.

However, the big new change is Protect Shields, which you can deploy at any moment to temporarily defend against the most powerful Pokémon or attacks. You only have a limited number of these though, so you can't just spam them and walk away with a victory.

PvP battles take place in a variety of different leagues too, including the Great, Ultra, and Master leagues. Aside from the Master, each league has a CP cap so you can't just use your most powerful Pokémon and wipe the floor with everyone. Instead, you have to be smart and pick a Pokémon that you think will dominate the league with that CP cap in mind.

Finally, battles are timed, with the winner being the trainer with the most Pokémon left at the beginning of the battle if neither loses all Pokémon during the battle. If the number is equal, the trainer with the most HP left will win the battle instead.

What Rewards do you get for Participating in PvP in Pokémon GO?

Whether you win or lose, participate in a PvP battle in Pokémon GO and you'll earn some Stardust and get a chance at an evolution item or Sinnoh Stone.

You can only get these rewards three times per day from PvP though, and only once if played against one of the AI team leaders. Of course, you'll also make progress in the Ace Trainer medal track.

Have you been enjoying PvP battles in Pokémon GO? What's your favourite feature? Do you have any requests for future features? Let us know in the comments section below.

This article is part of our Pokémon GO walkthrough and guide series. We have articles that take you through the basics, covering How To Catch Pokémon: Throwing Tips, Poké Balls, & Capture Rates, How To Redeem Pokémon GO Promo Codes, How To Check A Pokémon's IVs Using An IV Calculator, How Trading Works, How To Track Pokémon Using Maps And Trackers, What Star Pieces And Stardust Do And How To Get Them, How Player Vs. Player Trainer Battles Work, and How To Complete Field Research And Research Breakthroughs And All Rewards.

We cover regular weekly and monthly Pokémon GO events, such as Spotlight Hour Times And Bonus Hour Times, and Community Days. We also have charts, including a Type Chart With Effectiveness And Weakness For All Types, an Egg Chart Explaining 2km, 5km, 7km, & 10km Eggs, and a Buddy Chart Explaining How To Earn Candy.

Elsewhere we cover Friend Code And Sharing Them For Easy XP and Which Pokémon GO 'Auto Catch' Companion Device Is The Best, plus more advanced tactics and info such as All Fast Moves And Charge Moves, How To Get TMs, And How It All Works, Shiny Pokémon And How To Catch Them, Glacial Lures, Magnetic Lures, Mossy Lures in Pokémon GO (And Their Exclusive Evolutions), How To Get Lots Of Candy Fast, How Lucky Pokémon Work & How To Catch Them, How To Catch All 27 Regional Pokémon, the Best Attackers And Best Defenders, All Raid Bosses And Best Counters Listed By Tier, What EX Raids Are And How To Get EX Raid Passes, What A Super Incubators Does And How To Get One, and How Get Mega Energy.

Pocket Monster-wise, we have specific guides for How To Get Pangoro, Sylveon, Glaceon, Aromatisse, Slurpuff, Sirfetch’d, Galarian Cofagrigus And More, How To Get Sylveon, Leafeon, Glaceon, Umbreon, Espeon, Vaporeon, Jolteon And Flareon, How To Evolve Wurmple Into Silcoon Or Cascoon, How To Get Tyrogue, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan And Hitmontop, How To Use The Weather To Get Each Castform Form, How To Catch And Evolve Into Galarian Slowbro, How To Catch Smeargle, How To Find And Evolve Burmy, How To Catch Spinda, Where To Find Unown, How To Catch Ditto, and The Rarest Pokémon Including Wild, Shiny, Mythical And Regional Catches.

We also cover timed research and special events, including Mew's 'A Mythical Discovery', Jirachi's 'A Thousand-Year Slumber', Celebi's 'A Ripple In Time', and Regigigas' 'A Colossal Discovery'. Other (past) event guides include Twitch Codes List - Pokémon World Championship 2022, How To Battle A Challenger (World Championships 2022), How To Battle Fashion Challengers, 'A Spooky Message' Spiritomb Quest, Kanto Event FAQ, and the Summer Tour 2018 Chicago GO Fest And Dortmund And Yokosuka Safari Zones.

Finally, there's our WIP Pokémon GO Pokédex, which currently goes up to 400 Pokémon: #1-50 | #51-100 | #101-150 | #151-200 | #201-250 | #251-300 | #301-350 | #351-400.