Field Update

PvP has Landed In Pokemon GO: What it Means [Initial Report]

Player vs. Player battles have finally come to Pokemon GO!

Along with the new features come a slew of changes to the combat mechanics and multipliers we’re used to which will have a deep impact on combat strategy in PvP. This report will not be an explanation of all new features, but will instead attempt to summarize important tactical information to know, along with cataloging the latest understanding we have of combat mechanics in PvP!

Second Charge Moves Are Here!

In one of the greatest additions to Pokemon GO since launch, a second Charge Move can now be unlocked for nearly* all Pokemon! These cost Stardust and Candy to unlock and can be used both in PvP and in Raid battles. We have compiled a new resource page to chart all Stardust and candy costs here:

Here are a few important facts learned so far about 2nd charge moves:

  1. Unlocked moves do remain with a Pokemon when evolved
  2. Unlocked move do remain with a Pokemon when traded (and do not cost extra Stardust to be traded)
  3. Evolving re-rolls all moves
  4. Charge TMs let you select which move to re-roll
  5. Stardust costs are grouped in 4 costs: 10,000 / 50,000 / 75,000 / 100,000
  6. Candy costs are grouped similarly, and correlate with Stardust costs: 25 / 50 / 75 / 100
  7. Families appear to all cost the same stardust to unlock. Except…
  8. Baby Pokemon only cost 10,000 Stardust to unlock
  9. It appears all ‘starter Pokemon‘ (and curiously Gliscor) join babies in a less costly tier than their peers according to Buddy Distance tiers
  10. Lucky Pokemon do not receive a Stardust discount for unlocking a 2nd charge move

*Notably, some species (e.g. Feebas, Magikarp, and others) do not have an option to unlock a 2nd charge move. To see these, select a Charge TM and scroll to the bottom of the Pokemon options to view the grayed-out species.

Type Effectiveness

Type effectiveness matters more than ever in PvP combat, as the impact of both Super Effective and Not Very Effective moves have been escalated in both directions.

  • Super effective moves’ damage multipler has increased from 1.4 to 1.6
  • Not very effective moves’ damage has been reduced from .714 to .625
  • And finally immunities’ damage has been reduced from .51 to .39

Move Damage Output Changes:

Along with type effectiveness’ buffs, new move stats specific to PvP have brought a whole new ranking to what moves are strongest. Traveler u/ClamusChowderus has extracted and summarized the GAME_MASTER file’s move stats into two spreadsheets for reference, and calculated the new Damage Per Turn and Energy Per Turn in a post here. (A “turn” lasts 0.5s)

At first glance, the impact of these moves leaves Legendaries and the Kanto starters with Community Day moves among the strong options in the Master and Ultra Leagues respectively. It also appears that Blissey’s moveset is particularly terrible, which will likely cause Blissey to become unexceptional in PvP combat. More analysis will likely follow in the thread over the next 24 hours!

Battle Rewards: Sinnoh Stones & More!

Both battles against real-life competitors and battles against the three team leader NPCs award rewards for both winning and losing. At present, only two types of rewards have been observed: Stardust and Sinnoh Stones. Here are a few takeaways worth noting:

  • Most of the time rewards are either Stardust or a Stone
  • Many have reported receiving more than one Sinnoh Stone from a single battle
  • The Stardust reward amount will vary, and no pattern has yet been detected to determine what is awarded
  • If your bag is full, you will not be able to receive an award at the end of a battle. There is no way to claim this after the fact, so free space in your bag before beginning!

Parting Words

Overall, PvP in Pokmeon GO has so far proven pretty fun! The mechanics do a reasonable job balancing the brief, tap-to-charge combat style of Pokemon GO with new mini-games (boosting your charge move), the new element of limited shields, and of course the much appreciated additional move options.

But one of the most fun parts about a change as large as this is the flurry of analysis and discovery that lies ahead while we work to understand the new combat mechanics and balance. Stay tuned for more from the Silph Research Group, who are working as we speak to better understand combat reward odds!