Pokémon Go could finally get player battles this year

You will finally get the chance to battle against other trainers in Pokémon Go, developer Niantic has confirmed.

The feature could be added into the game before the end of 2018. It will follow the introduction of friends lists, trading, and gifting — and should give players a big reason to keep playing.

Battling has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of Pokémon games since the originals made their debut on Game Boy. Sure, filling your Pokédex is the main aim, but using the creatures you’ve caught and trained to defeat other trainers offered the most fun.

Pokémon Go has always been lacking this mechanic, but as Niantic works to make the game more sociable and hold onto players, that’s going to change.

Pokémon Go will get player battles

Player versus player battles are coming soon to Pokémon Go, confirmed Anne Beuttenmüller, head of product marketing for Niantic, during an interview with Polish magazine Gram.

Niantic hopes to make the feature available before the end of 2018, more than a year after it originally promised PVP battles, but it hasn’t confirmed a release date or any additional details yet. Improved social features are also in the pipeline for an upcoming release.

Pokémon Go, once one of the biggest games on mobile, has been losing its appeal in recent years. Fans are growing bored of hunting creatures in the wild. Niantic will be hoping that PVP battles, alongside the recently-introduced social features, will encourage long-time fans to keep playing and attract new ones.

Pokémon Go inspires upcoming Switch games

The release of Pokémon Let’s Go for the Nintendo Switch this November should also help bring new players to the franchise. The games are heavily influenced by Pokémon Go, and players will have the ability to transfer Pokémon they’ve caught on mobile to the Switch.

It’s certainly great to see that Niantic isn’t giving up on the game as it loses players in larger numbers.