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Image courtesy of Gamerant.

The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For

If you’ve been dying to pit your lightning mouse against another kid’s fire lizard to see who is the last one standing, now you finally can. Sort of. Pokemon Go PvP, called Trainer Battles, is now live, but not without glitches.

How It Works

My Vaporeon battling Blanche’s Glalie. Screenshot of Pokemon Go.

In order to participate in Trainer Battles, you have to have a minimum level of 10. There are three leagues, as discussed on our previous article, with maximum CP caps for each one. Three pokemon can be on your trainer battle team at one time. During battle, you can throw up a limited amount of protective shields to nullify damage.

You can battle your Best or Ultra friends on your friend list.  However, to engage in a battle with a random trainer nearby, you have to engage in social interaction. On the battle tab (located on the same page as nearby pokemon) there will be a QR code that one of you has to scan in order to battle with one another.

In addition to battling real trainers, you can practice with the three guild leaders: Blanche of Mystic, Candela of Valor, and Spark of Instinct. You can battle each leader for rewards once a day.  You can also get rewarded for your first three player battles a day. PvP rewards include the much sought after Sinnoh Stone.

For a hefty price, you can give your pokemon a second charged attack to use in battles. For legendary pokemon that price can be as high as 100k stardust and 100 candy. Yikes. During a battle, you are offered the option to supercharge your charged move by tapping on the screen as fast as you can. This will increase the damage it deals.

Pick your pokemon, scan the QR code, and battle against another player. Image courtesy of The Verge.

PvP is Not Without Problems

Pokemon Go Trainer Battles have gone live, but it’s not without the game’s notorious glitches. As with the release of gyms, attacks can be delayed. Some players are reporting that their pokemon enter the battlefield already damaged. If you are experiencing these problems, according to Eurogamer, setting your phone’s clock to “automatic” can occasionally fix these issues.

It was previously reported by Niantic that whether you win or lose each player would receive the same rewards, but that does not appear to be the case. Whether they changed their mind or this is a glitch is unknown.  However, people are reporting their rewards differ from their opponents’.

Is This the Best Way?

I can’t help but recall all the foolish situations people have gotten themselves into when trying to catch pokemon in Pokemon Go. And this QR code aspect seems to be just another way to accidentally approach a dangerous situation.

It could just by my stranger danger paranoia, but I can see some people using Pokemon Go as a way to steal cellphones. Or even worse, getting close enough to someone to hurt them. How easy would it be for a stranger to snatch your unlocked phone out of your hand when you hold it out for them to scan the QR code? Or grab your wrist?

I caution all of you not to approach a trainer that looks or acts sketchy. Remember to stay aware of your surroundings and don’t put yourself in danger. Battle in safe, public places to minimize the chances of you getting hurt or thieved.

Image courtesy of The Pokemon Company/Niantic.

In less dangerous concerns, the QR code seems a little unfair for people who don’t have QR capability on their phone. I know my last phone didn’t have a gyro to use AR, nor the recognition needed to scan QR codes.

I do not have the know-how to offer a better suggestion, but it just seems that Pokemon Go PvP could be done a better way. Whether you have an out-of-date device or live in a rural area, I hope it would keep people safer and make battling more fair for everyone.