Battles have been a mainstay of all Pokémon games since 1996 – and with Pokémon Sun and Moon that’s still very much the case.
However, Pokémon battles have evolved somewhat, offering many more options for players who have been with the series since the beginning. Battle Royal is the latest mode which attempts to flip the script and keep veterans on there toes.
Here we’ll help guide you through the new Battle Royal mode.
What is Battle Royal?
Battle Royal is a brand-new battle format, where four trainers battle against each other in a free-for-all manner.
You can target any of your three opponents, and as soon as one Trainer runs out of Pokémon, the battle will end.
With every turn you can choose an action: attack, defend or switch out your current Pokémon for another on your team. You take only three Pokémon in with you, and you’re forbidden from using any kind of healing item – a potion or a paralyse heal, for example.
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The strategies for this battle format are trickier, because keeping your Pokémon from fainting isn’t enough to guarantee victory in Battle Royal. You have to get knockouts and keep your Pokémon from being taken out too.
The ranking order to decide the winner is determined using the following factors:
– Having a combination of most Pokémon left on your team and the most opposing Pokémon defeated
– Defeating more Pokémon foes than someone else you’re tied with based on the above
– Having the greatest proportion of remaining HP to max HP
– Having the greatest total remaining HP
So, with that in mind, here are some tips and tricks to get your Battle Royal career started:
How to win in Battle Royal
1. Have a balanced team
This might be preaching to the converted, but in Battle Royal matches, having a balanced team is incredibly important. However, since you have only three Pokémon to play with, it’s even more crucial to create a balanced grouping – think of it like a Rock, Paper, Scissors-style relationship, with each Pokémon compensating for its allies’ weaknesses.
You should also think about using Pokémon with Dual Types, meaning your three Pokémon could be taking six Move Types in with them for maximum damage.
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Working all this out will take some time, so make sure to test out a few combos prior to battle.
2. Practice makes perfect
To get better at Battle Royal you need to practice, practice – and practice some more.
As you’ll know from the storyline, the Battle Royal Dome itself is on Akala Island. You can access Battle Royals from the Festival Plaza menu whenever you want, but to practice head to the Dome.
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It’s here that you can face off against AI trainers, which although not real opponents are still tough and boast fully trained teams.
Making your way through the ranks will ensure you’re ready to go up against real-life opponents.
3. Speed is key
In Battle Royal, the Speed stat continues to determine which Pokémon moves first, and high-priority moves such as Protect always take precedence.
Moving first is often crucial in Battle Royal because it’s only the Pokémon that causes an opposing Pokémon to faint that will be credited with a point. So it’s incredibly important to act quickly and be the first to land the finishing blow on an opponent.
4. Don’t waste moves
If you try to attack a Pokémon that’s fainted then your Pokémon’s move will fail, resulting in a wasted move. So think about your Pokémon’s speed, judge how your opponents will act, and make sure your attacks always land a strike.
5. The tide can turn incredibly quickly
If you’ve managed to get a few KOs under your belt and are feeling pretty confident, try not to take a backseat for the rest of the battle.
As we’ve outlined above, there are several aspects of your final score that count towards being made the winner and anything can happen in battle.
A confused Pokémon that attacks itself and then faints will result in a point to whichever trainer made it confused in the first place, for example. Or a last-minute multi-attack might take out a pair of Pokémon clinging on for first place.
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In Battle Royal it’s all to play for, so stay sharp.
6. Try not to switch out Pokémon
In other competitive Pokémon battles, switching out Pokémon is a major tactical move. But in Battle Royal it’ isn’t advised at all.
Remember that there will be three other Pokémon that could all potentially be targeting your critter. Unless they’re lightning-fast, they could be an easy target for all three attacks before you manage to switch them out.
Choose your opponent wisely and stick with your battle strategy instead of trying to switch out.
7. Moves that hurt multiple Pokémon aren’t as effective
You might be relying on moves such as Earthquake or Air Cutty that hit all of the opposing Pokémon at once for Battle Royal. But don’t be too heavily reliant on them.
Although they’ll still affect all the opposing Pokémon in the ring, in Battle Royal moves such as these have had their power halved, meaning they’re not quite as effective as they were before.
8. Some moves won’t work as expected
Since it’s every Pokémon for itself in Battle Royal, you’ll quickly discover that some moves work a little differently than they do in normal single- or double-battles.
For example, a move such as Helping Hand normally affects one ally, but in Battle Royal it can be used on any of the Pokémon currently in the ring. But then a move such as Blizzard, which is usually only for the opposing team, will affect all the Pokémon in opposition.
9. Signature Z-Moves are great for breaking defences
Moves such as Protect and Detect are really useful for Battle Royals, because they’re incredibly hard to bypass.
However, if your opponent keeps using them consider trying to use signature Z-Moves to break through them for a knockout. Signature Z-Moves are only available to specific species of Pokémon, such as Dedicueye’s Sinister Arrow Raid, Pikachu’s Gigavolt Havoc or Malicious Moonsault.