Beyond lag/connectivity issues, what ways could gbl/pvp be improve?

Currently I enjoy pvp, but feel like Niantic is not tapping into the full potensial pvp. It could be so much more than what it is. With a few improve at I could see Pokémon go becoming a large competitive esports game.

  1. Not sure how it could be done and implemented, but make the battles less dependent on lead and switch advantage.

  2. Access to advance stats such as being able to see what my win percentage is in game with specific teams and individual success of pokemon.

  3. Add status effects and abilities.

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I completely agree with making the battles less dependent on lead. Nothing worse than losing lead hard and getting locked into another bad secondary matchup.

I also think a more diverse move pool for all Pokémon would be huge! Think of the main games and how many moves each Pokémon can learn. Imagine the possibilities. I love Pokémon that you have no idea what they are going to throw at you (Hypno, Hitmonchan, Jellicent etc) I want more creativity not the usual ohh its a Stunfisk i know they have earthquake and rock slide.

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I agree, it’s time for Niantic to give Pokémon a greater access to their move pool. It’s not much of a big deal when the game was limited to just raids, but with gbl being more prominent a larger move pool seems like a no brainer.

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Status effects, abilities, heal/drain moves, and even held items could go a long way in making battles significantly more dynamic and interesting. I’m definitely all in favor of those!

I’d also like to see more dynamic move changes across the board. We recently saw a buff to Dragon Tail and quite a few needed changes for Poison-type moves. So we’re moving in the right direction, but there’s still more improvements that could be made. There’s still a good number of fast/charged moves that effectively see zero play and hamstring the Mons stuck with them due to how bad their stats are. For instance, Normal-type fast moves are in abundance, but they’re all mostly garbage with the exception of Lock-on and Quick Attack (kinda). I’d love to see more viable options across the board by buffing up some of the moves that are currently crappy/mediocre.


Nerf Hydro Cannon (!!!), Frenzy Plant (!!), and Blast Burn (!) for PVP.

On a more serious note, I’d kinda like each League to have its own ranking, but doing that would require some major changes to matchmaking, ranking (e.g. number of wins), and how Niantic currently runs each season (e.g. the different leagues are not available all at the same time).


I hear the usual suggestions like more moves, the show 6 use 3 format and others, but never anything about changing the ranking and season formats. I totally agree with you, but I don’t know why anybody ever mentions this.

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Honestly, the entire PvP system would need an overhaul to do much of what players are asking for. Status effects like Paralyzed, Confused, or Sleep would be far too overpowered. Your opponent would get a massive energy farm.

Abilities could work, but largely depends on the ability itself. Truant is easy enough - “The Pokémon can’t use a move if it had used a move on the previous turn” - Your first Charge move costs its normal energy but the next Charge move costs twice as much. Anticipation not so much - The Pokémon can sense an opposing Pokémon’s dangerous moves" - Would the game tell you if the opponent has a move that is super effective against your Pokemon? Can you spell overpowered?

Held items are easy enough to add. Heal/drain moves will require a very close eye on balance. This isn’t a reason not to add it, but I fully expect it to be overpowered on release to the point where the Pokemon get banned until Niantic can balance it.


Stats in general should be added more. I’d like to see more statistics about my mons and teams. More interaction with the matchup would be interesting (rematch or similar). Shorter seasons, other rewards, not five sets of five, but a more continuous playing; ranking also dependent on your pokemon inventory or similar, more special cups, etc. In-game a bit more variety cannot hurt, but the slow adding of moves and nerfs and buffs has also advantages.
Losing bad leads means only you don’t play well enough ;) (there are teams which are made for a lead loss, e.g. some ABBs…)


I’ll bite - For someone like me who’s not serious about competing the seasons are just too long. The system only allows players in the ranking system, so the more we play the harder it gets(obviously). If you want to be a casual player and don’t care about getting to veteran what this means is that it just becomes less enjoyable as the season drags on. A lot of games allow folks to chose if they want to play in the Elo system, or just play to play, I wish Niantic would give us that option.

The other thing that needs to change is the god awful matching system. I’ve heard conspiracies that it’s rigged which doesn’t seem plausible to me. I’ve also heard people express that it’s completely random, and that Niantic flubs on so many things there’s no way they could get an algorithm to work. I think that’s naïve too. The whole concept of the game is based on how the different types counter each other, the easy part would be to create a system to match based on this. The hard part I think would be making it competitive and gradually increasing in difficulty as someone progresses through the rankings. Right now it’s like a blunt forced object. There is no nuance or subtly to it at all. If you’ve played long enough you can almost predict when the pattern is going to shift and you’re going to start a set where you will be hard countered no matter what you do.

I don’t mind being hard countered sometimes, or losing close match ups whether I made a mistake or not. I also know I benefit from being given super easy leads and winning close match ups as well. What drives me nuts is the emotional roller coaster. I’ll be competitive for a few sets and feel good that I’m at least hanging in there only to hit a wall and lose no matter what I do. However they’ve programmed it, it’s just too feast or famine right now. I’m sure there’s logic behind it, I’m also certain it’s hard to find truly competitive match ups every time. The shifts in matching are just so abrupt I started to get anxiety about when the next wall was coming. I’ve stopped playing PVP for now because I just get too frustrated lol.

Niantic is the gamers version of Phillip Morris. One of the few companies who’s customers universally hate it, but they can’t stop consuming it’s product lol.

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Hydro Cannon has already been nerfed, absolutely doesn’t need another nerf. Frenzy Plant yes, so does Leaf Blade (Weather Ball’s stats are appropriate). Blast Burn is okay as is. Counter and Shadow Claw really need to be nerfed.

Well, they match based on ELO (although I don’t know why from which level on), so that’s quite fair. What they could do is making things a bit more transparent, but that again goes against the game’s/niantics logic…

Not sure about this, I don’t PVP at the moment… there are two reasons to play a (section) of a game given the limited time a person can spend playing with a mobile phone each day

  1. You enjoy it
  2. You get good rewards

For the first one my problem with PVP is I enjoy more going off for a walk, doing a raid with some friends and catching some pokemon than sitting in the sofa playing repetitive battles in what is a very simple setting. When I sit in the sofa I prefer so play chess or even candy crush…

For rewards I do not think they are really worth it either, if I spend the time it takes to complete 25 battles daily into walking and raiding I would get more stardust, XP and way better pokemon.

Going out -> pokemon go
Staying home -> Better games


Better pokemon? But only if you buy raid passes and have enough people to catch, or? Because legendaries i mainly get through pvp.

The other things are funny, when walking around i enjoy way more to see the surroundings not viewing a screen, when at home, pvp is a perfect mix between chess and candy crush ;)

If i hit a charge move the same time as my opponent but they go first i should be able to choose if I actually perform the move or not instead of being stuck doing it when I may not want to anymore


You are correct. But would an overhaul of the PVP system or even the thought of it be the worst thing right now?

I agree with your post. Like I mentioned in my other comment about nobody discussing changing ranking and season formats, nobody mentions GBL not being that enjoyable or worth it in their opinion. GBL can update more moves and make some improvements. Unfortunately I feel that GBL won’t ever be that popular with most Pogo players until they address some issues like the reward structure, ranking and battle system as a whole.


Unfortunately I feel that GBL won’t ever be that popular with most Pogo players

I don’t know if it’s this site giving some bias but my raid groups seem similar, I’d say GBL is the most popular, or most played, aspect of the game. It’s certainly no less popular.

until they address some issues like the reward structure

I wouldn’t confuse enjoyment with rewards, the rewards might increase engagement but not overall enjoyment- I’m playing GBL this season because it’s no longer a marathon slog to get the ETM, but make no mistake, I still find it a seriously boring chore and as soon as I hit R19 I’m done.

ranking and battle system as a whole.

The system is what has to change, but whether it’s feasible to make a simple mobile phone game more like a console game (which might make me more interested) or whether you can just improve it a bit to increase QOL, as people have suggested, remains to be seen.

On that note, I’m ok with PokemonGO being different from the MSG. I don’t think there should be the same turn-based elements and strategy that the MSG has. If you wanted that, you’d just play the main titles. :man_shrugging: I like that its a lot quicker and more dynamic with a limited number of actions to take. Having more debuffing moves would be cool and health-draining/restoring moves (esp. in PvE) which are probably on the horizon anyway.

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““The other thing that needs to change is the god awful matching system.””

I agree with you that the pathetic matching system is neither conspiratorial nor entirely random. Proof of the latter is that often I have faced 3-4 battles in a row with the exact same lead (either completely favorable or completely devastating). The odds of this being random is nearly impossible. For example, last season I kept facing a Serperior lead (which was probably my worst matchup) over and over again. Now unless 30-40% of the community was indeed leading with Serperior (??? why ???) this was not random but a case of the AI repeatedly selecting my worst matchup.

The biggest drawback for me has always been related to the execution of Charged moves. Often after farming down an opponent who has finally fainted or switched out, he is somehow able to select a new Pokemon, enter the battle and lands his charge move before I am able to fire off a charge move even though I am sitting with my finger on a fully (or even double) charged move. This is ridiculous and apparently due to the rule that the opponent with the higher attack factor goes first! They should have a rule that a newly enterred pokemon cannot fire a charge (or any) move for a second or two. That would make more sense. Or at worst allow both charges to register.

You say it’s no conspiracy, but then you come up with a unfounded conspiracy theory :D