3 Ways to Improve Combat in Pokemon GO

Horror Game SOMA Coming to Xbox One with 'Safe Mode' Pokemon GO: 3 Ways to Improve Combat - Gyarados and Snorlax battle

Pokemon GO remains one of the most popular mobile games on the market, but few would argue that it's a perfect experience. On the contrary, there are still many ways Niantic could improve Pokemon GO, and we think one area that needs to be addressed is the game's lackluster combat system.

For those that haven't played Pokemon GO, the combat boils down to wildly tapping on enemy Pokemon while occasionally swiping to the left and right to avoid attacks. It's dull and requires absolutely no skill on the part of the player, so it would be nice to see Niantic revamp Pokemon GO's combat system to be more engaging. With that in mind, we've come up with three possible ways Pokemon GO's combat could be improved in future updates.

3 Turn-Based

Pokemon GO: 3 Ways to Improve Combat - Pokemon battle pidgey and charmander

Prior to the game's launch, it's safe to say that many Pokemon fans expected Pokemon GO to be like an augmented reality version of Game Freak's RPGs. Of course, we now know that's not the case, and there's actually very little Pokemon GO has in common with the mainline Pokemon games when it comes to gameplay features and mechanics. However, Pokemon GO could benefit from borrowing the turn-based combat system seen in the Pokemon RPGs.

Turn-based combat has been synonymous with Pokemon since its inception, and it could serve as a nostalgic throwback to the franchise's roots. Of course, adding turn-based combat to Pokemon GO would likely require a complete overhaul of the game's balance, the moves Pokemon have, and other factors, so if Niantic did do this, it would be quite the undertaking.

2 Trading Card Game Rules

Pokemon GO: 3 Ways to Improve Combat - Pokemon Trading Cards

Another way Niantic could improve the combat in Pokemon GO is by taking inspiration from other areas of the Pokemon franchise. For example, the Pokemon Trading Card Game remains immensely popular, and Niantic could mimic its rules and combat system in Pokemon GO. Like turn-based combat, adding the Trading Card Game rules to Pokemon GO would likely require a major overhaul on Niantic's part, as it would also need to add new items and energy cards to the game for it to work. But if it results in a more entertaining combat system, one that may even convince lapsed players to return to the game, then the effort may be worth it.

1 Mimic Mobile Fighting Games

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Perhaps a more realistic approach to improving Pokemon GO's combat is by the game mimicking popular mobile fighting games. Many mobile fighting games feature screen mashing gameplay similar to Pokemon GO, but also utilize other mechanics to make the combat more strategic. If Pokemon GO could make its current combat system more involving than just tapping wildly on the screen, then maybe Niantic could still make improvements without starting from scratch.


Beyond changing how combat functions, many fans would like to see Pokemon GO add more ways to battle. PvP battles have been a long-requested feature, and has been teased for the game since its announcement trailer released two years ago. Others may be interested in random battles against wild Pokemon, which would go a long way in making Pokemon GO feel more in line with Game Freak's Pokemon RPGs.

While Niantic may just stick with its current combat system, fans can expect tweaks to be made to it here and there. How Pokemon GO's combat will change in the future remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see what changes are made to the persistently popular game in the years to come.

Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.

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