Pokémon Go Is Getting Online Multiplayer Battles Next Year

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The world of Pokémon Go is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Addressing fans of the mobile game in a blog post yesterday, developer Niantic confirmed a brand new feature in the form of Battle League. Built with the intended purpose of expanding upon Pokémon Go‘s existing Trainer Battles, next year’s update plans to expand into unexplored territory with a much-requested key feature: online play. That’s right. Finally, following three years of incredibly patient waiting, Trainers will have the opportunity to engage in Pokémon battles with others regardless of their real-world proximity.

What with the title’s long-standing focus on promoting outdoors exploration and social interaction, however, the studio has had to come up with a novel means of incorporating online play into its current framework. Niantic has yet to spill the beans on all of the specifics, but you can continue reading past the break below to get up to speed on everything confirmed so far.

In order to gain entry into the Battle League, players will first need to secure themselves a comfy pair of walking shoes. Whether a specific minimum distance will need to be covered before being invited into the tournament remains to be seen, though walking will be the primary means of getting through the front door, so to speak. Once participation is confirmed, players will be able to “battle opponents from around the globe through an online matching system,” and, if successful, will rise through a new league ranking system.

Again, the announcement doesn’t dive any further into potential rewards for those Trainers that rise to the top, but fans can expect to learn more via a new ‘Dev Insights’ video coming soon. We’ll be on the lookout for that over the coming days but in the meantime, let us know your early impressions of Pokémon Go‘s next big update via the comments below!

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