Pokémon Go's PvP feature is finally live, and even though the fights aren't as in-depth as the throwdowns between players in the mainline series, it's still quite fun.
Given Pokémon Go's scaled-down nature next to said mainline games, the three-on-three PvP battles are well-suited for its mobile format. The app lets you challenge your Best Friends and your Ultra Friends in addition to Pokémon Go's team leaders: Spark (Team Instinct—boo), Blanche (Team Mystic—booo) and Candela (Team Valor—yaaay).
There's just one major problem with Pokémon Go's PvP, and it's something Niantic should address as soon as possible: You can only challenge your friends when they're online, and there's no way to tell when a pal is online.
"So with the new pvp battles (which I love, thanks Niantic, good work!). It would be very convenient to see who of my friends are online, maybe with a simple green or red button next to the player avatar," redditor "KoningKoen" writes on the Pokémon Go subreddit. "Little update, but really changes the challenge a friend experience."
An online status system like the popular gaming social network Discord is a vital addition to Pokémon Go now that PvP is up and running. A green button might be regarded as an invitation to fight. A red button is a clear "Please don't bother me, or I'll send an Ekans to swim up your pipes and wait for you next time you try to use the toilet." Of course, an "Invisible" status is an important option because some people never finished kindergarten and can't comprehend the signal behind a big red circle.
Pokémon Go would also benefit from the option to challenge willing strangers to PvP without the hassle of meeting on Discord and scanning each others' QR codes over a webcam. One thing at a time, though.