PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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There's no actual difference, only in an unrated random battle you don't get elo.

What is elo you ask? Elo is the points you need to accumulate in order to advnance up the Showdown ladder.

Rated random battles can only be initiated by clicking the image button, while unrated battles are initated when you challenge a specific user (to prevent elo farming)

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I did not understand about elo.
Basically when you win a rated battle you get elo points which the more of those you have the higher your score is on the ladder, click the "Showdown ladder" link to see what it looks like.