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Where to start with competitive battling?

Queen Cynthia

Dignified Queen of Sinnoh

I used to be an active member of the competitive battling community 10 years ago and I'd like to start again now that Gen 9 is out.
As you can easily imagine, I'm not familiar anymore with the latest metagame and rules. So, here are my questions:
- Where should I start reading to get started with competitve battling?
- What is the best community for that at the moment?
- What is the most popular battle simulator at the moment?


Divine Retribution

¡Zapatistas se levantar!
Unfortunately, the competitive section here at Serebii is pretty much dead outside of the POTW articles. Those are usually worth a read, but that aside Smogon is still the best single resource for competitive singles (and VGC to a lesser extent). I'll also shout out Blunder, Emvee, and Joey/PokeaimMD who make a lot of competitive Pokemon content on Youtube that can be very valuable to newcomers to the competitive scene. Sometimes watching experienced players play and listening to them explain their thought process is the best way to learn.

The most popular simulator, and really the only one that's still active, is Showdown. I think Pokemon Online still technically exists to some extent but I know of no one who still uses it, and Shoddy went down a long time ago.

Queen Cynthia

Dignified Queen of Sinnoh
Thank you very much!
Smogon was big already when I first started with competitive battling, so it doesn't come as a surprise to me they're still the most active community out there.
Now that you've mentioned Shoody Battl....Man, I remember that simulator so well. How time flies! I'm feeling a bit old now :p