The Pokémon GO player vs. player update is apparently coming soon, driving up hype for Pokémon trainers who have been waiting for a while to test their mettle against friends.
A Pokémon GO PVP mode has been one of the most requested features for the popular mobile game, in addition to Pokémon trading. The latter was added to the game in June, leaving players wondering when player vs. player battles will arrive to Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO PVP Mode Coming Soon
Pokémon GO, launched in July 2016, is still missing player vs. player battles, which is one of the defining features of the Pokémon games. The game's developer, Niantic Labs, hinted at the addition of Pokémon GO PVP battles by September 2016. However, the development of the feature was delayed due to the necessity to focus on fixing Pokémon GO server issues, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke said in February 2017.
An interview with Polish publication Gram, however, has shed new light on when the Pokémon GO PVP mode will be released. According to Niantic Labs' head of marketing for the EMEA region, Anne Beuttenmüller, the plan is to roll out the player vs. player feature near the end of 2018.
"We are constantly improving the elements that we have available in the game and the next thing that we want to add at the end of this year is the PvP mode," Beuttenmüller said, through a Google translation. No specific date was mentioned for the new Pokémon GO feature, but with less than five months left in the year, players may expect to be engaging in player vs. player battles sooner rather than later.
Beuttenmüller added that Niantic Labs is looking to make adjustments to the in-game friendship and Pokémon trading features that were released in June. The developer is planning to allow players to segregate their friends and add notes for each of them, but Beuttenmüller did not reveal what kind of improvements will be coming to Pokémon trading.
What Will 'Pokémon GO' PVP Battles Be Like?
The pending arrival of player vs player battles to Pokémon GO raises questions on how they will be like in the mobile game.
PVP mode will likely require players to be near each other, but the actual gameplay is still up in the air. Players are wondering whether Pokémon GO PVP matches will devolve into who will be able to tap their screens the fastest, or if Niantic Labs will create an entirely new battle system for the highly anticipated feature.