Ever since Pokémon GO launched back in July 2016, one of the most heavily requested features from fans has been player vs player battles. Considering battling has always been one of the most important features in the series, this makes an awful lot of sense, but the mobile phenomenon's developer Niantic hasn't exactly been forthcoming about when it might appear in the game. Until now, that is.
In an interview with Polish publication Gram, Niantic's head of product marketing Anne Beuttenmüller was asked about any features which might be currently being planned for the game. Her response will no doubt please Pokémon GO players all around the world:
"Now we are working on the PvP mode, which will soon appear. In addition, we’re still working on improving the feature that has just made its debut – it’s all about friends, such as the ability to exchange Pokemon in the game...
We are constantly improving the elements that we have available in the game and the next thing that we want to add at the end of this year is the PvP mode."
On top of this, Beuttenmüller revealed that Niantic is currently working on improvements for the recently added Friend and Trading features (as you can see above), and also mentioned that more new Pokémon will eventually come to the game. This last confirmation is hardly surprising, given that Niantic seems to be slowly working its way through each generation, but it's nice to have it officially confirmed nonetheless.
Of course, the addition of player vs player battles will raise as many questions as answers, mostly relating to how the feature will work. Will the battles act in a similar way to Raid Battles, with players simply throwing in a strong Pokémon and mostly bashing their screens, or will a more traditional approach to move selection be implemented, acting more in line with the mainline series? With Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! also launching near the end of the year, will players be able to battle each other across both games?
It's all still a mystery for now, but we're sure we'll hear lots more about this as the months go by. In the meantime, why not let us know if you'd like to jump into some battles against your friends with a comment below.