Pokemon GO: How to Battle Train

Quick Links

  • What to Know About Training
  • Challenging the Team Leaders

Pokmeon GO‘s gameplay isn’t modeled after the typical RPG-style of most Pokemon games. Each Pokemon has two types of moves: Fast and Charged. However, depending on the type of battle, a Pokemon’s moves will function a bit differently. Player’s can either battle other Pokemon at the gym/raids, or they can battle another trainer one-on-one. For casual players, there’s the Train option to help newcomers with the different battle system.


The leaders of Team Valor/Mystic/Instinct aren’t just there to give Appraisals or advice when playing through Pokemon GO. They can also be challenged to a one-on-one battle. Players who find themselves struggling against Team GO Rocket Grunts or other players in PVP can brush up on their skills by Training. Like anything else, by understanding how battling works in Pokemon GO, the easier it’ll be to win.

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What to Know About Training

Although the gameplay is modeled after one another, there are some key differences between Train and (PVP/Rocket) Battle in Pokemon GO. The biggest difference is that players won’t earn more than one reward a day for defeating any of the Team Leaders. Thus, players hoping to farm Stardust through Training will want to look elsewhere. The other thing to note is that players can challenge any Leader despite their Team. For example, a Team Mystic player can battle Candela (Valor) or Spark (Instinct).

Training Battles can be accessed by tapping the Poke Ball icon at the bottom of the overworld screen. Then, select Battle. Scroll down to where it says Training. Select any one of the Team Leaders to challenge, and choose a League. There, players will choose a team of three Pokemon – just like a regular PVP or Team GO Rocket battle.

Here are some other factors in Battle Training that players will want to keep in mind:

  1. In PVP, players can swap out Pokemon if their lead Pokemon is getting low on HP. Candela, Blanche, and Spark will not swap Pokemon unless players are batting them in the Master League.
  2. The lineup for the Team Leaders’ Pokemon is always the same for the Great, Ultra, and Master League. They will not swap out a Pokemon for a new one in between training sessions. The only time this might change is if GO receives an update.
  3. Each Pokemon used by the Team Leader will have max IVs and CP, the latter of which is calculated by the League’s CP-Limit.
  4. Defeating a Team Leader will level up the Ace Trainer Medal, but players will not receive anything else for winning.
  5. The HP of the player’s Pokemon will not change after a Trainer Battle. So, if a Pokemon is KO’d during training, it won’t be KO’d once the mock battle is over.

A Train Battle may seem like a waste of time, but it’s the only way to unlock the Ace Trainer Gear in the Style Shop. Training a total of 10 times will earn players the Ace Trainer Medal. As one of the easiest medals in-game to get, it’s not a bad idea to take some time in between catching Pokemon to Train.

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Challenging the Team Leaders

There will be two Pokemon Leagues available for players: Great League and Ultra League. These both have a limit of 1500 and 2500 CP per Pokemon for Great and Ultra League respectively. As mentioned before, Candela/Blanche/Spark’s Pokemon will have their Pokemon to its max CP depending on the League.

The Master League can be unlocked once players have three Pokemon with 2500+ CP. Unlike the Great and Ultra Leagues, the Master League doesn’t have a CP-limit. This means any opposing Pokemon could have well-over 4000 CP per Pokemon. Fortunately, a Team Leader’s Pokemon will never be stronger than a 5-star Raid Pokemon. This means it’s entirely possible to take them on and win despite the potential difficulty.

Judging by the Team Leaders’ mascot Pokemon, it may be easy for players to figure out what Pokemon they’re going to use. Candela has Fire-type, Blanche has Ice/Water-type, and Spark has Electric-type. However, the Leaders have one or two Pokemon that “go against” their preferred typing. This is especially prominent in the Master League.

As of September 2022, here are the Pokemon used by the Team Leaders:

Team Leader League Pokemon Max CP per Pokemon Best Type Counters
Candela (Team Valor) Great Combusken (Fire/Fighting) 1487 Ground, Water, Flying, Psychic
Magcargo (Fire/Rock) 1483 Water*, Rock, Ground Fighting
Sunny Form Castform (Fire) 1492 Water, Ground
Ultra Flareon (Fire) 2423 Water, Ground
Typhlosion (Fire) 2476 Water, Ground
Magmortar (Fire) 2416 Water, Ground
Master Entei (Fire) 4163 Water, Ground
Salamence (Dragon/Flying) 4495 Ice*, Dragon, Fairy, Rock
Moltres (Fire/Flying) 4154 Rock, Electric, Water
Blanche (Team Mystic) Great Sneasel (Dark/Ice) 1465 Fighting, Fairy, Fire, Steel, Bug, Rock
Sealeo (Ice/Water) 1494 Electric, Fighting, Rock, Grass
Snowy Form Castform (Ice) 1492 Steel, Fighting, Fire, Rock
Ultra Glaceon (Ice) 2412 Steel, Fighting, Fire
Empoleon (Water/Steel) 2486 Fighting, Ground, Electric
Mamoswine (Ice/Ground) 2472 Water, Fighting, Fire, Steel, Grass
Master Suicune (Water) 3575 Grass, Electric
Metagross (Steel/Psychic) 4545 Ground, Ghost, Fire, Dark
Articuno (Ice/Flying) 3658 Rock*, Fire, Electric, Steel
Spark (Team Instinct) Great Plusle (Electric) 1473 Ground
Electrode (Electric) 1499 Ground
Rain Form Castform (Water) 1492 Electric, Grass
Ultra Jolteon (Electric) 2476 Ground
Luxray (Electric) 2475 Ground
Magnezone (Electric/Steel) 2472 Ground*, Fighting, Fire
Master Raikou (Electric) 4138 Ground
Tyranitar (Rock/Dark) 4597 Fighting*, Ground, Bug, Grass, Water, Steel, Fairy*
Zapdos (Electric/Flying) 4228 Ice, Rock

An (*) indicates a Pokemon Type/Move that will deal 4x damage to one of Candela, Blanche, or Spark’s Pokemon. Also, keep in mind that just because a Pokemon has a Type Weakness, doesn’t mean they may not have moves to counter the player’s Pokemon. For example, Sealeo (Blanche) is an Ice/Water-type, making it weak to Grass-type Pokemon. However, as a dual Ice-type Pokemon, it will have either a Fast Move or a Charge Move that will be super effective against Grass-type Pokemon.

Battles against the Team Leaders function the exact same as PVP battles. Keep tapping the screen to use a Pokemon’s Fast Move. Each time a Pokemon uses a Fast Move, their Charge Move gauge fills up. Some Pokemon have slower Fast Moves than others, so keep this in mind. Once a Pokemon can use their Charge Move, tap the icon at the bottom of the screen. Candela, Blanche, and Spark will not use their Protect Shields (which guards against a Charged Attack) in the Great and Ultra League. However, they will use them in the Master League against the player’s first two Charged Moves.

Pokemon GO is available for mobile devices.

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