The town is in the Humboldt valley between the Shoshone Range to the southeast, the Battle Mountains to the southwest and the Sheep Creek Range across the Humboldt to the north.
The 2008 Wells, Nevada earthquake of 6.3 magnitude that affected the northeastern part of the state severely damaged one of the city's oldest historical buildings, the Lemaire Building, which was condemned.
Copper mining started in 1866 and the Copper Canyon Mine operated from 1917 until 1955. Mining switched from the copper-gold-silver ores to gold-silver ores in 1979.
Battle Mountain’s climate is cool semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk), receiving just enough precipitation to avoid arid classification.
Due to aridity and high elevation, the area commonly experiences large diurnal temperature variation, particularly in summer, where it averages almost 45 °F or 25 °C.
The Battle Mountain area was home to the Northern Paiute and Shoshone peoples.