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Pokémon Go Raids - Level requirement, how Raid Battles, Raid Bosses, counters, Raid Rewards and Raid Passes work

Here's everything we know about the huge co-operative feature, available to a select few right now.

Pokémon Go Raid Battles are a new feature added to the game as part of a larger Gym Rework.

Available now for select players, Raids see players work together to take down powerful Pokémon named Raid Bosses - with exclusive rewards up for grabs - as well as the chance to finally catch those elusive Legendary Pokémon in the coming weeks.

Though Raid Battles aren't live for everyone just yet, we understand how they work and the best ways to tackle them.

What is the Raid level requirement in Pokémon Go?

Raid Battles are currently available in select Gyms for Trainers over level 5, with plans to expand the pool to more trainers in the coming days:

At the start of the Gym update the restriction was level 35, so the requirement has dropped significantly in the past week or so.

It also looks like there has been a wider roll out of the places you can Raid since the feature launched, too. Initially, it appeared to be mostly in the US, with those we've spotted reported on Reddit (here and here) taking place at sponsored Starbucks stops. However, it looks like both non-US and non-sponsored destinations are now included, so keep an eye out on them as you explore in the coming days!

As for the wider rollout below the level requirement, Niantic has vaguely said "in the weeks ahead" following the Gym Rework update, which is set to release in the second half of June. With that in mind, our best guess is sometime in the first half of July, which will be timed nicely for the game's first anniversary.

What are Raid Battles and Raid Bosses and how do they work?

Raids see trainers team up with other nearby players to take down "extremely powerful Pokémon" known as Raid Bosses under a time limit. These can have a massive amount of CP, up to 10 times as powerful, requiring a full group to stand a chance of winning.

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Raid Bosses appear to have 10 times the CP of regular high-level Pokémon.

Some Raid encounters will be easier than others. Each one is graded from one to five - one could be a Magikarp, four has you face off against many of the best Pokémon such as Tyranitar and Snorlax, and five suggested to be Legendary. We have more specifically on Raid boss tiers below.

Once you have completed a Raid, unique rewards as well as a chance to catch the creature is up for grabs, which we also explain in detail a little later.

Step-by-step breakdown of how Raid encounters work:

catch

1) When a Raid is about to happen, an Egg will appear at the Gym with a countdown.

2) After it hatches, the Gym will turn into a Raid, you will have one hour until the Boss disappears. Up to 20 players can form a group, though you can venture in with just a few of you if you like.

3) After spending a Raid Pass (see below) you will wait in a lobby, in which time you can change your team and other players can match make with you. You have to defeat the boss within five minutes. Like regular Gym fights, you can take six creatures in with you. If you aren't successful, you can retreat and use Potions and Revives on your team and try again as many times as you like until the hour is up without spending another pass.

4) If you are successful, you'll receive rewards and a chance to catch the creature.

5) When the hour is up, all creatures originally assigned will return and the Gym will resume it's prior state.

Raid Bosses and counters

Each Raid Boss fits into one of five tiers, one being the easiest and five the most challenging. These five can effectively be slotted into three groups, however, which was distinguished by egg colour.

  • Tier 1 or 2 - Pink Egg, can be soloed
  • Tier 3 of 4 - Yellow Egg, requires a group of at least 3-4 players, depending on level.
  • Tier 5 - Legendary, requires a large group of at least 10-12 players, depending on level.

The types of bosses you face will have a fixed CP per encounter. Below is the list of every one ordered by CP, though bear in mind some creatures will be tougher than others regardless of that number, as well as ideal counter Pokemon as recommended by The Silph Road sub-Reddit (and subsequently updated in the following week):

TierRaid BossCPBest counters
1 Magikarp 1165 Anything!
1 Bayleef 4375 Flareon, Charizard, Gengar
1 Quilava 5085 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
1 Croconaw 5207 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
2 Muk 12269 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
2 Electabuzz 12390 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon
2 Weezing 12318 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
2 Magmar 12718 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
2 Exeggutor 13839 Pinsir, Gengar, Heracross
3 Vaporeon 16696 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
3 Arcanine 17832 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
3 Machamp 18144 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
3 Gengar 19768 Gengar, Alakazam, Espeon
3 Jolteon 19883 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon
3 Flareon 21155 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
4 Lapras 21768 Machamp, Heracross, Exeggutor
3 Alakazam 22646 Gengar, Houndoom, Tyranitar
4 Blastoise 24162 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
4 Snorlax 25419 Machamp, Heracross, Alakazam
4 Venusaur 26921 Alakazam, Flareon, Espeon
4 Charizard 28485 Golem, Omastar, Sudowoodo
4 Rhydon 30512 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Victreebel
4 Tyranitar 34707 Machamp, Heracross, Primeape
5 Articuno 37603 Omastar, Golem, Arcanine
5 Lugia 42753 Articuno, Magneton, Jolteon

If you want beat the above, remember that:

  • Type effectiveness makes a huge difference, so aim to get good counters ready for tough battles. The above table has ideal counters you can use; Machamp, Golem and Gengar appear to be strong choices for a variety of battles. If you need these, then face against them in lower tiers and capture them for yourself!
  • Though you can solo early tiers, or complete the hardest (non-legendary) tiers with just three players if you're good enough, the more players you have working with you, the better. Don't be afraid to buddy up!
  • Be smart about whether you dodge or not, and know your own ability to do so, especially in tougher Raids - a great example for this is Golem against Articuno. Articuno does enough damage to normally one-shot a Golem with a Charge Attack, but Golems do some of the highest, if not the highest damage-per-second against them. So if you're capable of consistently predicting and dodging attacks, they're a great choice. But if you're anything less than perfect at it, you'll often be left further behind because of the time it takes to swap out defeated teams, and be left with a less-than-optimal selection to battle with, too.

How Raid Passes and Raid rewards work in Pokémon Go

Though Raids are a free update, participating will require a 'Raid Pass'.

Players can receive one per day from spinning the Gym's photo disc (assuming you are high enough level to participate) and you can only hold one at a time. Additional 'Premium Raid Passes' must be purchased from the in-game shop - for 100 PokeCoins each - and we can assume you can hold as many of these as you please.

Our E3 preview also revealed if you participate in enough Raids, you'll get access to a unique Raids via a Legendary Raid Pass.

These 'Legendary Raids' will work a little differently but will result in Legendary creatures, as discussed in our Legendary Pokémon battles page.

Raid Battle rewards

Meanwhile, completing the battle can reward players with exclusive new items. You can get any item regardless of difficulty tier, but the higher you go the more you'll receive:

reward
  • Rare Candies - when used on a Pokémon, will turn into that Pokémon's Candy. One Rare Candy will equal one Candy for that creature.
  • Golden Razz Berries - Greatly increase Pokémon capture rate in the wild, and can be used in Gyms to fully recover Motivation.
  • TMs - Available in Fast and Charged varieties, these Technical Machines will permanently teach a new Fast Attack or Charge Attack respectively. It's essentially move re-rolling, ideal for a high powered creature with weak Moves. This is the most uncommon reward of the set.

As well as the above, you'll receive 3000 Trainer XP for a standard Raid and a whopping 13,000 XP for Legendary Raids, plus 1000 Gym Badge XP, a chance at some standard Revives (which can still come in handy!) and and the chance to catch Pokémon featured as part of the battle - so if you've yet to bag a Tyranitar, Snorlax, or of course a Legendary of your own, now could be your chance.

How Premier Balls are calculated

During this capture phase, you'll be given a number of Premier Balls, which are the only means to catch the creature. The number of Premier Balls you receive depend on a number of factors, but expect between about five and a dozen to play with:

  • Defeating the boss (fixed at 5 balls)
  • Damage inflicted (variable, maximum is 3 balls)
  • Gym Control (variable, addition of 2 if controlled)
  • Contribution by Team (variable, if majority of your team add 3)

In short, having the Gym on your team and inflicting more damage will see you have a better chance. It's also worth remembering you can also use Berries during the encounter too, so stockpile those Golden Razz Berries - they may come in handy here for the tier 4 and 5 beasts.

If you run out of Premier Balls, the boss will flee.

Pokémon Go tips and tricks UPDATE: Huge Gym revamp and Raids explained, and how Legendaries will work. Pokémon Go tips and tricks

Want more help with Pokémon Go? As well as our Pokémon Go tips, tricks and guides page, you can look up the Gen 2 Pokédex on how to catch the most recent creatures, including those requiring Special Items such as the Dragon Scale. We also explain the recent Gym rework, how to get PokéCoins, Raids, Raid Battles, and Raid Bosses, and what we know about the addition of promo codes. Elsewhere, read about Eevee evolutions, Egg hatching distance charts, best Pokémon tier lists, best moves and movesets and the XP chart. Plus, sice their release you can read everything we know about how to catch Legendary Pokémon like Articuno and Lugia, and all the others that are expected to be on their way.

Everything else you need to know about Raid Battles

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Could the group code be a combination of Pokémon pictures, as seen in the upper right here?

  • While Gyms have you side with your chosen Team, Raid Battles are Team agnostic - meaning you'll be fighting with players from any side.
  • The same Gym mechanics for fighting, Moves and Type differences will be the same during a Raid encounter, so use those to practice up for Raids if you're already not familiar.
  • As well as an Egg appearing on the screen, can also see which Raids are happening close by with your 'Nearby' radar (the same as the one that's currently available from the map screen, but on a different tab) or will receive a notification when one is happening. They happen pretty frequently, so don't worry if you miss out.
  • Raid Battles debut a new social feature - Private Raid groups. These are described as a "customizable code system" that allow you to invite friends into a specific Raid group using a code composed of several symbols, rather than an alphanumeric password.
    Private Raid groups are designed for when there's vast amount of people at a Gym when a Raid is about to take place, you can privately create your own group, saving spaces for friends rather than having strangers come in. Details on how players will create their own group is unknown.
  • Up to 20 players can join an instanced lobby for a Raid - which hopefully is more than enough to take on a powerful 20,000CP+ creature.
  • If you look at the Raid Bosses at later tiers, the best counters are also other bosses you can face. As such, if you're struggling to beat the toughest creatures, fight their counters and capture them to help you out later.
  • Unless you communicate with those physically near you - there's no way to know there are other players about to matchmake into a Raid until you spend the pass and enter the lobby. As such, it's well worth seeing if there is anyone else playing before jumping in, or going along with a team prepared. Once you complete a Raid, there is no way to repeat it within that hour.
  • Though you can only receive one free Raid Pass per day, you can technically spend two, with one carrying over from a previous day.
  • Anecdotal evidence and our own experiences suggest the bosses you catch have a higher chance of strong IVs than those you catch normally, much like those you hatch from Eggs.
  • That said, the stats of the bosses you catch aren't the same for every player. Someone could catch a Wonder, but someone else could get something with lower IVs, for example.
  • Different raid bosses have different capture rates, according to The Silph Road Reddit, with Snorlax, Lapras and Rhydon at just 5%, and Legendaries at just 2%. Premier Balls, meanwhile, have the same low capture rate as regular PokéBalls. Good luck!
  • It's also apparently possible to catch a Shiny from a Raid Boss.
  • Raids appear to only take place during daylight hours local time, with the current times looking between 8am to 9pm.
  • Some players are recommending your restart the app before Raiding to help with lag issues, with claims it can make the difference between success and failure.
  • Though the game doesn't say as such, Lucky Eggs do increase the trainer XP rewards received from winning a Raid.
  • Following a mid-July update, you can now spin the Gym photo disc once a Raid has ended.

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