Fresh off a rocky launch, there’s still no denying that the base gameplay of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is just as fun as it always was. With an expanded story mode and improved online systems, newcomers and long-time fans are already eagerly crafting their teams in an attempt to be the very best.
Of course, to be the best, you need to prove it. This is where Ranked Battles come in, as a way to directly compete with others for special rewards and bragging rights. Ranked Battles can be a little confusing, however, so we thought we’d help out with everything you need to know.
What are Ranked Battles?
Ranked battles are a type of seasonal competition which operate in much the way you see in an FPS online competitive system. In each season, players compete to rise in the ranks, climbing tiers and trying to place as high as they can.
At the beginning of each new season, players can try again to reach new heights with new ideas and teams. The first Ranked Battle Series runs from December 2, 2022, to January 31st, 2023, with additional season predicted to continue until at least the launch of a new mainline Pokémon title.
The Rules of Ranked Battles
To keep everything fair and fun, the rules of Ranked Battles are standardized. These include the following:
- A total match time of 20 minutes
- A personal play time of 10 minutes
- 90 seconds in team preview
- Up to 60 seconds per move
- Singles have a team of 3-6 Pokémon compete where the Pokémon level is standardized to 50
- Doubles have a team of 4-6 Pokémon compete with Pokémon levels standardized to 50
Each win will provide players with League Points. The more League Points you have at the end of the game, the higher your rank will be, and the more prizes you’ll be awarded.
Seasons can also have certain Pokémon banned, which is common but not always the case in competitive Pokémon thanks to glitches or overpowered natures. Don’t expect to enter with a full team of legendaries, basically.
How Should You Build Your Team?
This is the ultimate question that every Pokémon trainer must ask, and it’s really a matter of how you intend to play. If you’re looking for casual fun while not taking it seriously, you can feel free to enter whichever Pokémon you want. Don’t be surprised if you hit a wall quickly, however, since a lot of the players out there are sharks.
If you want to know how to build a team for Ranked Battles seriously, you will need to be more familiar with the metagame and special rules. You can only take three of your six Pokémon in battle after seeing your opponent’s full team, so you should cover as many bases as possible. Your Pokémon can also hold items, so be sure to come with HP or status restores as you think you might need.
If you’re only used to playing with friends, the first few Ranked Battles are going to be an eye-opener. With that in mind, watching what works for your opponents can at least indicate where to start. Remember, it took Ash years to win first place in a League, and it’s more about the journey than the destination.