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Pokemon Go will let you battle other players online in 2020

Gotta fight 'em all!

pokemongo-niantic

Lugia, Zapdos, Moltres and Articuno will battle across globe in 2020.

Niantic

Pokemon Go was a global smash upon its 2016 release, and it has remained one of the top grossing games on iOS and Android ever since. The game's longevity is made more impressive when you consider that there's no online battle mode, since online battle modes are usually how companies keep players coming back to their games. But Pokemon Go developer Niantic is changing that, announcing Monday that the Go Battle League will launch in 2020.

Until now, players have only been able to duke it out with their Pokemon locally unless you've hit Ultra or Best friend ranking with another player. That means you can currently either fight another player who's physically nearby or someone you've sent a bunch of in-game gifts to. I know. Interacting with another person. It sounds horrible. 

"We're excited to announce the development of a feature that will build upon Trainer Battles," Niantic said in its Monday blog post. "This feature will be called GO Battle League."

It appears you'll have to do some walking to earn credits with which to enter the league, as Niantic adds: "Go Battle League will encourage players to get out and explore the world with Pokemon. Trainers will be able to walk in order to earn entry into the Go Battle League, then battle opponents from around the globe through an online matching system and rise in the ranks of the league."

The League will come to Pokemon Go apps in "early 2020," the developer said.

It's an exciting time to be a Pokemon trainer, as not only will you be able to take the fight online in Go in a big way early next year, Nov. 15 will see the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Switch. 

CNET's Sean Keane contributed to this report.

First published Oct. 21 at 4:27 p.m. PT.
Updated Oct. 22 at 4:50 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

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