Pokemon Go Battle League lets you fight trainers from around the world - here's how it works

Pokémon GO is soon to receive a new feature fans have been asking for almost since the game's launch four years ago.

The Pokémon GO Battle League will finally allow players to fight other Pokémon trainers worldwide.

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But what exactly is the Pokémon GO Battle League? How does it work? And will you need to pay to play it?

Here's everything you need to know:

What is the Battle League?

Put simply, Pokémon GO's Battle League is a semi-regular tournament with in-game rankings and rewards.

As part of the Battle League, you'll compete against other Pokémon trainers from around the world, and earning wins will help level up your rank, earning you Stardust, items and Pokémon encounters.

The higher your rank, the better your rewards will be, and one of the first confirmed prizes is Pikachu Libre, a wrestling-themed Pikachu seen in other games.

Will it be free?

(Image: Niantic)

Unfortunately, the Battle League won't be entirely free, and you will need to pay some real-world money to enjoy the feature to its fullest.

It will start out free, with players gifted five matches for no cost, but after that you'll have to earn further battles.

You'll be able to do that by walking 5km to earn five more matches, and you'll be able to do that up to three times a day.

But if walking 15km to play some more Pokémon GO doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you'll also be able to pay via PokéCoins to top up your 5km of walking.

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You will only be able to do this if you've already walked at least 2km, so you won't be able to avoid exercise entirely.

It's not been confirmed how many PokéCoins it will cost to top up your walking, but the amount will decrease as you get closer to your next 5km total.

There will also be a Premium reward track accessible by purchasing a Premium Raid Pass, which is now known as a Premium Battle Pass.

The Battle Pass will offer more in-game items, and lower the number of wins you need to attain before you encounter certain Pokémon.

When can I play it?

(Image: Niantic)

The roll out of the new feature has begun, but hasn't been going entirely smoothly, so it might be a little while until you're able to partake in the Battle League.

According to developers Niantic, the rollout has been "paused" to "ensure a smooth feature launch and prevent server issues."

Once the feature does come to your phone, it likely won't be the final version of the League, and Niantic are debuting a "preseason" period to "optimise and balance the GO Battle League feature".

"We will also be taking this time to learn about how the GO Battle League is being used," they said, "in order to determine things like ideal length of seasons, rating thresholds for ranks, and more observe how people are playing and make adjustments for the first season of competitive play."

How does preseason work?

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For the preseason, the Battle League will begin with the Great League, then move on to the Ultra League and the Master League.

Leagues will rotate every two weeks. You can still rank during preseason, but your rank will be partially reset at the beginning of Season 1.

Ahead of the roll out's pause, Niantic shared some planned dates for the League's preseason schedule.

"Battle League’s preseason kicks off now with the Great League," they said, announcing that the plan was to "rotate formats to the Ultra League on Monday 10 February at 9pm GMT."

"The Master League will follow on Monday 24 February 24 at 9pm GMT, with the Great League returning once again on Monday 9 March at 9pm GMT."

Of course, with the roll out now being delayed, that could have a knock on effect on the above dates, so Niantic recommend follow their social channels after the feature rolls out to stay updated as the preseason progresses.