Currently, there is no system within Pokémon GO that allows players to connect and battle each other in a way similar to the multiplayer battles of the main series Pokémon games. The only times that a player can fight another player’s Pokémon is while taking over a gym, and those battles are usually automated, so even then players aren’t actually fighting directly. Fans of Pokémon GO have been asking the game’s creators to implement multiplayer battles ever since the game first launched, but even now, two months after the original release, they still haven’t been included.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the CEO of The Pokémon Company, acknowledged the importance of the feature, and explained why it hasn’t been added to the game. According to Ishihara, the main reason that multiplayer battles haven’t been implemented is that the developers are taking their time to properly balance the feature, so that it doesn’t have a massive impact on the difficulty of the game and the challenge it poses for new players.
“Battling is a category that we do best at Pokémon, after all. It’s important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users.” — Tsukenazu Ishihara
Niantic and The Pokémon Company have been looking for ways to implement this feature for several months. Back in July, Archit Bhargava, a developer from Niantic, told Game Spot that he and his team were still trying to figure out the best way to add multiplayer battles to Pokémon GO.
“The multiplayer aspect is still something we’re exploring we’re still trying to figure out what’s the best way to do that. So far we’ve learned that multiplayer battles are a lot of fun. When two people from different teams show up at a rival gym, if they collaborate and both have their Pokémon deployed to battle at the same time, they can take down a stronger gym faster.
“But we’re trying our best to rethink what the experience should be; what that real-world Pokémon experience should be like. Obviously we’re learning from Ingress [Niantic’s last major release], but it’s going to be a pretty different game. We have a vision for Pokémon, we’re gonna execute on it, but we’re going to learn based on what the community reaction is.” — Archit Bhargava
Hopefully, Pokémon GO’s developers will add multiplayer battles to the game sometime soon. The absence of these battles is often seen as one of Pokémon GO’s greatest flaws, since they were such an important part of the original Pokémon games and would give players a much greater incentive to interact with each other and build a powerful Pokémon team.
What do you guys think? Would you like to see multiplayer battles in Pokémon GO? When do you think the feature will come to the game? Let us know in the comments below!