The Pokemon Go mobile game has added a lot of new features since its release in 2016, including some different options for battling. Many of these different battle options will pit you against other players, but there is one option where you can battle the Pokemon Go team leaders, which are controlled by the game.
While you can take your Great, Ultra, Master, or Premier team and play against other trainers, you also have the ability to battle against the different team leaders. Blanche is the team leader for Mystic (blue), Candela is the team leader for Valor (red), and Spark is the team leader for Instinct (yellow.)
You may have received tasks where you need to battle against Team Rocket, or against the Team Rocket leaders, but there are other tasks where you need to battle a team leader instead.
Team leader battles are found at the bottom of the Battle menu. Our guide below will show you how to find and start a team leader battle.
- The Pokémon GO Plus is a small device that lets you enjoy Pokémon GO while you’re on the move and not looking at your smartphone
- The device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy and notifies you about events in the game, such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby using an LED and vibration
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How to Battle a Team Leader in Pokemon Go
- Open Pokemon Go.
- Tap the Pokeball.
- Choose Battle.
- Scroll down and select a leader.
- Tap Train.
- Choose a league.
- Select your team.
- Tap Use This Party.
Our article continues below with additional information on battling a team leader in Pokemon Go, including pictures of these steps.
How to Start a Team Leader Battle in Pokemon Go (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this guide were performed on an iPhone 11 in iOS 13.5.1. I am using the most current version of the Pokemon Go app that was available when this article was written.
Step 1: Open Pokemon Go.
Step 2: Touch the Pokeball button at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Choose the Battle option.
Step 4: Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap on one of the team leaders, then tap the Train button.
Note that the battling option at the top of this screen is for the Go Battle League, which lets you battle against other Pokemon Go players. This can be a little tougher, but many players enjoy it immensely.
Step 5: Select the type of battle you wish to perform.
Note the listed CP maximums for each of the leagues. The Great League max CP is 1500, the Ulta League max CP is 2500, and the Master League has no max CP. Each team leader will have different Pokemon at each level, and these Pokemon do change periodically.
Step 6: Tap on one of the Pokemon icons to select your team.
Step 7: Choose the Pokemon to use in the battle, then tap Done.
Step 8: Tap the Use This Party button.
The Pokemon that each team leader uses will remain the same each time you battle them. Periodically Niantic will update these teams, but they typically remain the same for at least a few weeks or months.
More Information on the Pokemon Go : Battle Team Leader Feature
You will receive rewards for the first battle that you do against a team leader each day. The type of reward that you receive will vary, and there are reward differences based on which league you select. For example, you can receive more stardust if you battle in Master League.
While the rewards may be better if you do a Master League battle, those battles typically take more time and are more difficult. I recommend trying out different trainer and league combinations so that you can experience all of the different options.
Performing these team leader battles is a great way to familiarize yourself with how the battling system works, as well as the strengths of each of your Pokemon. Certain Pokemon are better against other types of Pokemon. For example, your three highest CP Pokemon may not be the best choices depending on the typing of the Pokemon that they team leaders have.
Earning hearts with your buddy can provide a lot of utility in the game, such as catch assist, and even a level boost when they become best buddies. One of the ways to earn hearts is to use your buddy in a battle. You can earn these hearts in the team leader battles, just be sure that you have fed them berries first so that they join you on your adventure. Otherwise the battles won’t earn you hearts.
If you are planning to use the Pokemon Go team leader battles to earn buddy hearts, then you should look for the fastest ways to complete these battles. I typically use a Pokemon in the first position that can beat their whole team, then I put my buddy in the second or third position. For example, right now I am working on an ultra league buddy, and I have found that a Rampardos with close to 2500 CP and the moves of Smack Down and Rock Slide is an efficient way to beat Candela’s team.
While the Pokemon that the team leaders use in each league won’t change, the moves that those Pokemon use can change. This means that they might use their charge moves more quickly sometimes, and some of the fast moves they use might be more effective on different Pokemon.
Find out how to turn off AR in Pokemon Go if it isn’t working correctly and you would like to be able to catch Pokemon without using the Ar feature.
Difference Between Trainer Battles and Team Leader Battles
If you don’t have a lot of experience with the traditional Pokemon games on the various Nintendo game consoles then much of this part of the game is going to be a little confusing.
The team leader battles are a good way to acclimate yourself to the way that battling works in Pokemon Go, and you can see how some types of moves are not effective or super effective against various Pokemon. You can also learn how shields and charge moves work. But the team leader battles are very predictable and, after a few rounds, it’s likely that you will be able to win them fairly easily.
Many people have been playing Pokemon for years, even decades, and there is a very dedicated part of that fanbase that knows a lot of about battling. So when you start taking part in the trainer battle feature part of the game, it’s possible that you will encounter someone with strong Pokemon that is familiar with all of the typing matchups and the possible movesets of the Pokemon that you are using.
This can be intimidating, but it’s a good opportunity to learn more about how the battling system works in Pokemon Go. There are many resources online that can teach you about Pokemon type matchups, and there are resources specific to Pokemon Go, such as PVPoke that will show you what the best Pokemon are for each league, as well as a bunch of other information.
Hopefully this article has helped to explain how the Pokemon Go team leader battles work. The battling feature in this game is a lot of fun, and surprisingly in depth. This becomes even more apparent with trainer battles, as many of the opponents that you will encounter there can be quite skilled. But not everyone will enjoy this type of feature, so experimenting with the “Pokemon Go – battle team leader” feature is a good way to see if it’s something you might like.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.