The Rite of the Island Challenge is a sort of three step Gym Battle that takes place in Alola. Like Gym battles, the player character must finish one to go to the next one.
To complete the island challenge, the player character must overcome the trials in store on each of the four islands. Then they will battle a Totem Pokémon and finally overcome the Kahuna. The player character will not be able to accomplish them with ordinary methods.
There are three levels to the Challenge.
- Trial: These are different small trials which the player character must overcome. A Trial Captain will give this task.
- Trial 2: A Totem Pokémon will challenge the player character. Unlike normal ones of this species, it is bigger, surrounded by Aura and can call upon other Pokémon.
- Trial 3: The last challenge is an actual Pokémon battle against a Kahuna, who acts like a Gym Leader. They must be defeated to proceed to the next island.
- There are four Kahunas for each island. Hala is the Kahuna of Melemele Island who specializes in Fighting types. Olivia is the Kahuna of Akala Island who specializes in Rock types. Nanu is the Kahuna of Ula'ula Island who specializes in Dark types. Hapu is the Kahuna of Poni Island who specializes in Ground types.
- In the Sun and Moon demo, there is no Kahuna.
- This is similar to Poni Island: the Kahuna, who was Hapu's grandfather, died and left the island without a Kahuna. Later, when the player and Lillie visit the Ruins of Hope, Hapu is appointed Kahuna of Poni Island by Tapu Fini.