There are several issues that plague the Pokémon Go Battle League, which is set to launch its first official season on March 13. One of the biggest problems is something called “rank tanking.”
Since there are 10 ranks in the Battle League, players are meant to continue climbing until they reach Rank 10 and are battling with the best-of-the-best. But that isn’t always what ends up happening.
When a player “rank tanks,” it essentially means that they purposefully drop down from a higher rank into a lower one because battling against lower-ranking trainers is typically much easier for the more experienced players. They do this to optimize their chances of getting some of the rewards, such as encountering Pokémon or receiving special gifts.
As an example, players who can at least make it to Rank 4 will have a chance at capturing a random Pokémon. For a limited time during Battle League Season One, those encounters can include Mythical and Legendary Pokémon, like Darkrai and Giratina (Altered Forme).
And because those valuable rewards are locked behind players winning a specified number of matches in their rank, specifically in lower ones, it’s no surprise that some players have found a way to game the system.
Niantic has been hit or miss in the past about quickly finding solutions for exploits in Go, such as game-breaking lag that causes some players to lose matches purely because of a poor connection. But the devs will likely try to find a fix for this exploit so newer players trying to rise in the ranks and get their rewards don’t get robbed of the opportunity by more experienced players who are wrongly ranked.
The Pokémon Go Battle League Season One begins on March 13 at 3pm CT.