Feb 21, 2017

How to play Pokemon Go. Success in battles

Pokemon Go tutorial about battles in Gyms
At the start, it might seem like the Pokemon Go game is all about collecting virtual creatures into our Pokedex. But in fact, this is not so – this is really just a start of adventures! While our game characters gain experience points, the game opens new possibilities. One of the most interesting changes happens at the level 5, when we can join one of three global teams and then participate in Gym battles.


We’ve written about the choice between Teams Mystic, Valor, and Instinct in this Pokemon Go tutorial.

Now it is time to talk about battles – what they are and how to succeed in them!


These objects on the virtual map are marked by special signs, which look like platforms or arenas for Pokemon battles. Gyms in Pokemon Go are significant objects, and teams of players compete with each other for taking over their control as many Gyms as possible. Signs of Gyms have different colors, depending on which team controls them: blue for Mystic, red for Valor, and yellow for Instinct.

When a gamer comes close to a Gym, he or she can begin a battle against Pokemon-defenders. It can be training or a real battle.

Gyms in the Pokemon Go game

To train! To battle!!

The difference between two types of battles is very simple. If a Gym belongs to your team, battles inside of it become training. If a Gym belongs to a competitor team, it will be real battles.

Why do we train in Pokemon Go? Every Gym has a prestige level. The higher it is, the harder take this object from a team. Training increases the prestige level of a Gym.

Why do we battle in Pokemon Go? Besides of the main reason, which is to have fun in the game, battles in Gyms are part of the global competition between the teams. By decreasing a Gym’s prestige to zero, we can take it for our team.

How to defend Gyms? If we have taken a new Gym, powerful Pokemon should be left there for protection. If we meet a Gym of our team, we can add Pokemon as a new guard. And of course, we can perform training. A lot of training to raise the prestige level as high as possible.

How to succeed in battles of Pokemon Go?

When we begin a battle in a Gym of another team, it would be nice to make a correct choice of Pokemon and to perform fast and accurate actions during the battle itself.

Pokemon Types - A correct choice of Pokemon for a battle it’s a significant moment and quite a difficult process. It may seem like taking Pokemon with highest CP will be totally enough. Although this really matters, we should not forget about Pokemon types! A type can be powerful against one and weak against another. Sometimes the choice is obvious – like taking Water Pokemon against Fire creatures. But often it is hard for the logic, so it will be better to know types’ abilities.

To do so, check our explanation in the article “The full table of Pokemon types”.

And this chart of Pokemon types gives a clear vision of all strengths and weaknesses.

"Super effective" here means 125% of basic power, and "not very effective" means 80% of it.

Chart of Pokemon types - their weaknesses and strengths in Pokemon Go

Pokemon Moves - Along with types of Pokemon, we can pay attention to their moves. Some of them are more powerful but slower. Some make not so much damage but are very fast. We can do nothing to change moves of a Pokemon. But we can look for creatures with better moves during our hunts, and wait for them after evolution or after hatching from eggs.

Understanding moves in Pokemon Go is like an advanced level for Pokemon trainers. And it asks for something that even can take a lot of fun from the game – many calculations, learning about available moves for different types and creatures, desperate tries to get a Pokemon with the best moves ever… Moreover, the Niantic Company already made changes in moves and their effectiveness – they can do it again, and all learnings should be begun again.

In fact, for most players will be enough to know that:

  • Moves are different and have the same types, as Pokemon themselves, so some are more powerful against some others; 
  • Every Pokemon has two available moves: a usual and a special one. They have been chosen randomly by the game program.

The best way to understand Pokemon moves in Pokemon Go is battling and training. See what your creatures can do, and discover all strengths and weaknesses of your Pokemon team on practice.

Pokemon Attacks and Dodges - There are two types of actions that available for us in Pokemon Go battles: attacks and dodges. To perform an attack we tap a screen. To perform a dodge we swipe to the right or left directions.

Pokemon can perform special powerful attacks – this asks for special energy and for special actions. While we activate a usual attack by simple tapping, a Pokemon gets more energy in the blue bar below the health bar. When it will be full, we can tap an opponent and hold for a while. Special attacks are more powerful than usual but they take more time, in which an opponent can easily cause damage.

How to battle in the Pokemon Go game

To dodge, we should perform the swipe at an appropriate moment – when yellow splash appears on the screen. It happens at different times for different Pokemon. So be attentive and fast! Learn how many attacks you can make between splashes of a particular opponent and don’t miss those moments.

How to dodge during battles in the Pokemon Go game

Dodges can’t protect from attacks totally. And sometimes they are just ineffective at all. But they help keep Health Points and stand in battles against even more powerful opponents.

After a battle…

It doesn’t matter if we won or lost a battle, our Pokemon need attention and care. The virtual creatures can’t recover their health without special items. Use Potions for those who still have health points left. And use Revive for those who have fainted.

A Pokemon Go tutorial about the game items - read it on the gaming blog Very Good Games


Read about these and other objects in the article “All the items in the Pokemon Go game”.


Raid Battles

Some Gyms have so powerful Pokémon-defenders, that it’s really hard for one trainer to defeat them. To do so, Raid Battles should be organized – few players can gather together and attack Gym Bosses.

A banner for the Pokemon Go tutorial about Raid Battles on the gaming blog Very Good Games

But how work Raid Battles in Pokémon Go?

  1. Get Raid Passes. These special items are needed for participating in a Raid Battle. Players can take only one Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym – spin stops there. Also, you can buy a Premium Raid Pass in the shop. It works for one Raid Battle too, but a number of purchases is not limited.
  2. Find a Gym with a huge egg on the top. Powerful Gym Bosses appear from such eggs – they are Pokémon with very high level. Eggs have timers on them. Tap the “Battle” button and join a group of up to 20 raiders. There are five levels of Raid Battles’ difficulties with different colors of eggs: the two easy levels with pink eggs, the two difficult levels with yellow eggs, and the hardest legendary level with purple eggs.
  3. Battle! The process in Raid Battles is almost identical to the usual Gym Battles – tap to attack and swipe to dodge. The only difference is absence of splashes before powerful charged attacks of a Gym Boss, so we will not know where to dodge.
  4. Get prizes! After winning a Raid Battle, trainers get nice game items: Technical Machines, Golden Razz Berries, Rare Candies, Revives. And they have a chance to catch a weaker version of the defeated Gym Boss. To catch him, players can use a special PokéBall, named Premier Ball.  Raid Battles give XP as well.

A chart of different levels of difficulties of Pokemon Go Raid Battles - with pictures of Gym Eggs for every level


We have written in more details about Pokémon Go Raid Battles and their special bonus items in the article “Huge update of Pokémon Go: Raid Battles and new items!”:


Have fun and enjoy the game – this is even cooler than success in battle!

Battles can make Pokemon Go game more interesting and fun. But they also can become a source of desperation and indignation. If you can’t lose with a calm heart and feel upset after non-successful battles, maybe you just don’t need to participate in them?  It worth to remember, that Pokemon Go is just a game, all Pokemon are non-real, and all battles are just entertainment! 

Success in battles will be almost impossible, if you don’t have nice Pokemon in your Pokedex. We explain how to catch them in the tutorial “How to play Pokemon Go. First steps”.

The logo of the Pokemon Go game - a link to the tutorial How to play Pokemon Go. First steps

All the available creatures are listed here: “Full Pokedex – the list of all the Pokemon in Pokemon Go”.

Pikachu Pokemon
All the Pokemon of Generation I in Pokemon Go
Togepi Pokemon
All the Pokemon of Generation II in Pokemon Go

A banner for the Pokemon Go section on the gaming blog Very Good Games