GO Battle League Reward Encounter Mechanics

The newly-introduced GO Battle League builds on existing PvP mechanics and challenges travelers to bring their best teams forward against other travelers. Winning battles has the possibility of rewarding a Pokémon encounter, adding to the ever-growing list of Pokémon GO encounter types. Our intrepid Silph Road researchers have been in the arena investigating the behavior of these reward encounters. We’ve discovered that, once again, this new encounter type has different dodging and attacking frequencies than any encounter type introduced before it. Let’s dive in!


The same basic principles, described comprehensively in our previous article on the topic, apply to all Pokémon encounters. There are specific, predictable moments during an encounter in which a Pokémon can take action. We call these moments DECISION POINTS. At every DECISION POINT, a Pokémon will randomly select one of three options: ATTACKDODGE, or IDLE.

The time between two successive DECISION POINTS can be described by the formula

Animation Delay + N * Recurring Delay where N=1,2,3,...

The Animation Delay depends on whether the Pokémon is executing an ATTACK or DODGE, and which species it is.

Animation Type Animation Delay
Attack 2 sec
Dodge Species-dependent

In contrast, the Recurring Delay depends only on the type of encounter. Previous research has established the following Recurring Delays for common encounter types:

Encounter Type Recurring Delay
Normal 1.6 sec
Raid 0.6 sec
Quest 0.77 sec
Shadow ~1.0 – 1.6 sec

Our article discussing variability in the recurring delay for shadow encounters can be found here.


Our analysis of encounter footage found no changes to the usual Animation Delay, and also no randomness in the Recurring Delay for GO Battle League encounters. This places them in the same group as wild, raid, and quest encounters (and distinct from lure, incense, and shadow encounters). We find the recurring delay to be roughly 0.634 seconds.

The brief duration of this delay means that Go Battle League encounters are among the most hyperactive encounters, just slightly less so than Raid encounters.

The Recurring Delay was determined by recording GO Battle League encounters for several minutes. In reviewing the footage, Decision Points could be identified by the start of an attack or dodge animation. The Recurring Delay is then deduced by the least common denominator of the times between decision points (after subtracting the known Animation Delay). Here are the encounters that were analyzed:

# Species
Recurring Delay
1 Snorlax 0.6334±0.0007 sec
2 Oshawott 0.6390±0.0016 sec
3 Snivy 0.6352±0.0002 sec
4 Tepig 0.6320±0.003 sec
5 Snorlax 0.6333±0.0013 sec

The low variance of these measurements leave little doubt that the Recurring Delay for GO Battle League encounters is a constant. The fact that the uncertainties do not overlap may be because of underestimated errors in our time measurements.

Travel safe.
– Scientist PiFlavour

P.S. Thank you to everyone who provided footage of their encounters; we received many more submissions than we actually required.