From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Battle tents are red-and-white tents situated in Slateport City, Verdanturf Town, and Fallarbor Town, replacing the Contest Halls in each from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The Battle Tents offer a look at most of the battles to be experienced in the Battle Frontier, and are a way to practice for the Frontier. Players get a reward for beating three battles at a time, which varies depending on the Tent. They are only found in Emerald.
Battles conducted here do not award experience or money.
Slateport Battle Tent: Battle Factory
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The first Battle Tent is located in Slateport City. The Battle Tent is themed in the manner of the Battle Factory in Battle Frontier. Entrants pick out three Pokémon from a list of six random rentals, all at level 30. Then, three trainers are battled, with the player having a chance after each battle to possibly trade a Pokémon for one from the person that was just defeated. Entrants are not allowed to look at any information about the Pokémon that is being traded for, having to deduce the moves the Pokémon know from battling against them.
Verdanturf Battle Tent: Battle Palace
In this Tent, players use a team of Pokémon to fight three trainers, whose Pokémon will be adjusted to the levels of the player's team, although they will not go below level 30. Unlike the other Tent battles, the player does not directly control their Pokémon. Rather, the Pokémon will use moves they know that are most suited to their Nature (e.g., Hardy, Quiet, Modest). Depending on their Nature, some Pokémon will not attack, preferring to use stat uppers or defensive moves. The Pokémon in the battle may change fighting styles when low on HP.
Fallarbor Battle Tent: Battle Arena
In this Tent, players use a team of three of their own Pokémon against three Trainers, whose Pokémon's levels have been adjusted to the level of their team, although the opponent's Pokémon will never be below level 30.
Each separate Pokémon face-off is timed for three turns. If in three turns, neither Pokémon has been KOed, then the judge makes a decision depending on three factors: Mind (amount of offensive moves), Skill (accuracy of moves), and Body (remaining HP).
Possible scores for each category are Circle (win - 2 points), Triangle (tie - 1 point), and X (lose - 0 points). The Pokémon with the most points will win.
The Skill category is not affected if a move misses as a result of a damage blocking attack such as Detect and Protect.