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Pokemon GO Battle League Tips: How to Win Matches

Pokemon GO Battle League Tips: How to Win Matches

GO Battle League is the PvP mode of Pokemon GO where you fight a 3v3 battle.

It has three main leagues, and each league has a different meta, meaning not all of the Pokemon in one league are meta in the other.

In addition to knowing the best Pokemon to select and each Pokemon’s resistances and weaknesses, there are plenty of other facets to learn about Pokemon GO’s PvP mode.

So here are our best tips on how to win in GO Battle League.

1. Build a Balanced Team

Balanced Team GO Battle League Giratina Swampert Metagross
Giratina (Altered Forme), Swampert and Metagross is a balanced GO Battle League team

Before participating in GO Battle League, you must have a rounded team so that you’re not vulnerable to a particular type of move.

For example, Giratina is a staple in the Ultra League.

So, if you want to build your team around it, it would be wise to bring a Steel Pokemon (like Registeel or Cobalion) to combat the Fairy types Giratina is weak to.

Then to cover your Steel typing, a Pokemon like Swampert would cover two of Steel’s weaknesses (Fire and Ground).

You won’t always get the upper hand with type effectiveness but you can certainly increase your chances of doing so.

2. Having a Role for Each Pokemon

In GO Battle League, you should have roles for each of your Pokemon.

The first is the Lead Pokemon, and these are the ones that set the tempo of the battle.

They can either make your opponent force switch or make them use one of their shields.

A good Lead Pokemon is bulky with Charged Moves that can be generated quickly to pressure your enemy.

The second is the Safe Switch Pokemon; these are, as the name implies, Pokemon that you should switch to when your Lead is in a disadvantageous position.

Otherwise, it will be defeated quickly or you’ll have to use your Protect Shields early.

Safe Switch mons should have numerous resistances as they will be locked for one minute when you swap to them.

Good examples of Pokemon with lots of resistances are Galarian Stunfisk, Skarmory, or even the aforementioned Swampert (only one weakness).

And lastly, the Closer Pokemon are the ones that are best used when you have no more Protect Shields.

Closer Pokemon must be bulky enough to survive super-effective Charged Moves and hit like a truck simultaneously.

One of the best Closer Pokemon in the GO Battle League is Registeel.

3. Use Your Elite TMs

If you know how to build your team and which Pokemon to bring, you must invest your resources to strengthen them.

The biggest impact on your Pokemon is the use of Elite TMs.

Some Pokemon have a great moveset but they are locked as legacy moves which you can only get in an event.

But with Elite TMs, you can let your Pokemon learn them.

For example, you can use an Elite Charged Move to let Swampert learn Hydro Cannon. This is undoubtedly one of the best Pokemon to use an Elite Charged TM on.

Use them sparingly because they are rare but there are ways to get Elite TMs without paying for them.

4. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Second Charged Move

Pokemon GO Second Charged Move Giratina Swampert Charizard
A second Charged Move is a must when you climb the ranks in GO Battle League

In Pokemon GO, you can let your Pokemon learn a second Charged Move.

In GO Battle League, this can be the deciding factor of a match. For instance, Giratina (Altered Forme) is mostly countered with Articuno or Togekiss.

Both are Flying types, meaning you can unlock the Second Charged Move of Giratina and choose Ancient Power to take care of them.

In the case of Ancient Power, it often catches opponents by surprise as less experienced trainers expect Dragon Claw to be spammed.

Moreover, a second move can also be used to bait shields which we will explain further below.

5. Know When to Switch Your Pokemon

As discussed above, you should generally switch your Pokemon when it’s up against a weakness of it.

There are other reasons to switch too, though.

More advanced trainers will know not only when an opponent is going to use a Charged Move but what it is likely to be.

You can use this information to your advantage by switching Pokemon just before they use it.

For example, you could be using Venusaur against Altaria.

Most of the time Altaria will use Sky Attack which is super effective against Venusaur.

So just before that move if you switch to Registeel it will have minimal effect and essentially waste a Charged Move of your opponent.

On the other hand, switching a Pokemon at the wrong time can lose you the battle.

If you’re not at a disadvantage, it’s often worth sticking. This is because you risk your opponent immediately switching to a Pokemon with a type advantage.

Essentially, you should only switch when you’re at a severe disadvantage or know you can get a Charged Move before them.

Remember there is a one-minute cooldown, so you cannot switch your Pokemon repeatedly.

6. Switch Out Before Fainting

It doesn’t take much to work out that you want to take as few Charged Moves as possible in GO Battle League.

If you deal more damage than your opponent, you will win the battle.

It’s a popular strategy to switch out your first Pokemon just before they faint, or when they won’t be able to generate another Charged Move.

This way you can use them later in the battle as a sacrifice for one of your opponent’s Charged Moves.

You won’t be able to switch back to it due to the switch cooldown but when your second Pokemon faints the switch will available again.

If you can time when your enemy will use a Charged Move – which we discuss below – then you can quickly to switch back to your first Pokemon to take that damage.

At the highest level of GO Battle League, whether you can pull this maneuver off successfully often determines the winner.

7. Save Your Protect Shields

Pokemon GO Protect Shields
Use your Protect Shields wisely

Optimal use of Protect Shields will often be the difference between winning and losing.

Protect Shields will protect your Pokemon against a Charged Move, and you have two of them per battle.

You must save these shields and not use them whenever your opponent uses a Charged Move.

For instance, it is not worth using a Protect Shield when your Pokemon has a low HP and a few fast attacks will make it faint anyway.

Also, you might come up against Charged Moves, even if they’re super effective, which you know your Pokemon can withstand.

This is where foresight is an integral skill.

If your opponent has revealed their lineup and you know a particular move is coming, potentially against a Pokemon it is super effective against, saving at least one will define the match.

8. Know Your Battle Matchups

Knowing how your Pokemon will fair against another particular Pokemon is vital knowledge.

For example, if you know your Pidgeot will beat Swampert in Ultra League then the onus is on your opponent to make the switch or accept the loss.

Conversely, Cresselia loses to Jellicent. Knowing that allows you to make a more informed, quicker decision.

This is also where it becomes important to have a Safe Switch Pokemon.

9. Know What Moves Your Opponent Is Using

If you know what a Pokemon’s Fast Move is, you will know how fast they will charge up the Charged Move of that Pokemon.

However, this is quite an advanced technique as you must learn all the meta Pokemon’s movesets.

On top of that, you must learn how much energy per turn (EPT) the Fast Move can generate (how many taps a Charged Move takes to charge).

If you can master this, winning in GO Battle League matches will become an inevitability.

10. Use Your Charged Moves at the Opportune Time

When you start gaining energy for your Charged Move, you don’t have to use it immediately.

Your Fast Move might be causing plenty of damage, therefore allowing you to build up multiple Charged Moves.

Furthermore, not using them straight away makes what move you’re going to use, and how much energy you have generated, hard to predict.

Not only will you catch your opponent off-guard you might also make them use an ill-advised Protect Shield.

Galarian Stunfisk, for example, can learn Earthquake and Rock Slide.

This Pokemon is excellent against Steel types, which means you can bait the Protect Shield of your enemy who has a Pokemon like Registeel by using Rock Slide.


That is all for our tips on how to win more often in GO Battle League.

Follow these pointers and it will help you get more wins, making you reach a higher rank faster.

If you still need more help with GO Battle League, we have a list of the Best Pokemon to use in the Great League and Ultra League League.