Pokémon Go Research quests are a major addition for the game in 2018, introducing new activities for players to accomplish.
Multiple challenges can be completed per day as part of undergoing Field Research quests, providing unique rewards as part of Research Breakthroughs, while Special Research quests chance to uncover never before seen Pokémon, including the elusive Mythical Pokémon Mew.
What are Pokémon Go Field Research quests and Research Breakthroughs?
Field research are daily missions collected one at a time by spinning a PokéStop, and will involve finding certain creatures, engaging in battles and more.
The quest you'll collect from a PokeStop is random, and each type of quest can have one of many different rewards, from previously Raid-exclusive consumables such as TMs and Rare Candy and common items such as Poké Balls.
Quest types include:
- Catch one or two specific Pokemon (such as 3x Pidgey or Murkrow)
- Catch specific Types (such as catch 10x Normal Type Pokemon)
- Catch Weather-boosted Types
- Hatch a certain number of Eggs
- Battle in a Gym a certain number of times
- Battle in a Raid a certain number of times
- Evolve a certain number of Pokemon
- Make a certain number of specific throws (such as Nice, Great or Excellent)
- Spin a certain number of PokeStops
Field Research quests rewards explained
Some of these quest rewards even give you the chance to catch a mystery Pokémon, which so far appear to be uncommon creatures, such as Houndours, Exeggcutes and even some evolved types. There's nothing exclusive here, but there are one or two rare Pokémon, such as Tangela, that can be found.
See the image for a handy graphic detailing the rewards, with credit to The Silph Road's GezimS. Note these rewards change month-to-month, and the following is for June.
A key thing to know about rewards, however, is that they're not always the same a given quest, because most quests have multiple possible rewards as opposed to just one. "Make 5 Nice Throws," for example, could give you a reward of either 5 Pokéballs, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, 200 Stardust, or a mystery Pokémon encounter (which in this case would be with a Voltorb).
So if you're after a Voltorb in particular, keep an eye out for "Make 5 Nice Throws" challenges, but also keep an eye out on what the reward is. It's indicated to the right on the Field Research page - a mystery Pokémon encounter is shown by some grass with a question mark on it, whilst the others show the exact reward amounts - so you always know in advance what kind of reward it'll be, at least.
It's also worth knowing that if you pick up a quest, you are free to delete it and catch another by spinning another Pokéstop. You can also complete as many as you like in a day - so when you have space in your inventory, return to a PokéStop to start quest. Spin the same Pokéstop and you'll just get the same quest again though - Pokéstops give out set rewards, that are generally tailored to their location, which refresh every day at midnight. So if you want a new quest you'll need to spin another stop.
Completing one Field Research quest per day will give you a stamp. Get seven stamps - which will take seven days - completes something known as a Research Breakthrough.
These have even greater rewards - including Stardust and Mystery Items - as well as a possible encounter with Legendary Pokémon.
Breakthrough rewards explained
Achieving a Research Breakthrough grants you some pretty great rewards.
For starters, you'll earn either 3 Rare Candy, 20 Pokéballs, 5 Ultraballs, or 5 Pinap Berries, along with a guaranteed 2,000 Stardust and 3,000 XP.
Alongside that, you'll unlock an encounter with a Legendary Pokémon, which for the month of April is Moltres. In May, this will change to Zapdos.
As well as a change in Legendary creature, Field Research tasks and rewards will be changed to Flying and Electric to match. Here's what we've had so far:
Research Breakthrough changes in 2018:
- April: Moltres reward and Fire-themed Field Research
- May: Zapdos reward and Electric-themed Field Research
When you do finally receive your Research Breakthrough reward, you'll be faced with a Legendary Pokémon.
The best news is they cannot run away - it has a flee chance of 0 per cent - so the pressure is off. However it has the same catch rate as normal, so be prepared for it to break out of your balls.
This means you can use Pinap Berries, or even use it as a chance to rack up some of the harder throwing-based Special Research streaks, without any risk of it running away.
It also comes with strong IVs, too, as if the Pokémon was appearing in a Raid encounter or Egg. It always appears at level 15, which is the same for all mystery Pokémon caught from Field Research rewards.
Finally, the question is - when do Legendary Pokémon change in your Research Breakthrough progress? It's when you complete your final Field Research task. So if you hand in the seventh before 1pm PST / 9pm UK time of the first of the month, it'll be the month before (so in April, this would be Moltres). Wait until after, it'll be the next month's (so in May, this is Zapdos).
To clarify further, this is when you complete the task, not open it. Even if you then open it after the change, it'll be the prior month's Pokémon. To be safe, wait until it's the new month if you want to get the latest creature.
Coming soon are three major new features to Pokémon Go - Friends and Friendship Levels, Gifts and Trading. In the meantime, there's the Water Festival event, ushering in new Legendary Pokémon Kyogre and Shiny encounters. Elsewhere, we have Alolan Pokémon Forms, 2km, 5km, 7km 10km Egg charts, regional exclusives and Buddy distances pages to help you complete your Gen 3 Pokémon collection. You can also read up on the upcoming Pokémon Go Fest and Safari Zone dates, as well as the next Community Day and when it's happening. Want to look even further into the future? Our Pokémon Go Gen 4 Pokémon list tells us which creatures are coming to the game one day.
What are Special Research quests?
Special Research quests, meanwhile, are story-based questlines with unique rewards.
Unlike Field Research quests, these are fixed objectives that every player will face.
Our A Mythical Discovery explains the eight steps required to unlock Mew, which includes finding specific Pokémon, participating in Raid and Gym battles, and reaching a certain Trainer level.
With many more Mythical Pokémon in the game - such as Gen 2's Celebi and Gen 3's Jirachi and Deoxys - it's assumed these creatures will be added to the game as part of their own Special Research quests in the future.
When that will be, of course, is unknown.
Everything else you need to know about Research quests in Pokémon Go
Though the quest features are well explained in the game, there's some nuance that will help you get the most out of each objective you undertake.
- Completing one of the Special Research objectives will not add a daily stamp to your Research Breakthrough progress - it must be from a Field Research quest instead.
- You can cancel and complete as many Field Research quests as you want per day.
- It's possible to have multiple of the same Field Quest at once, and complete them all at the same time.
- Pokémon encounters from Research quests always feature Level 15 Pokémon, with the 66 per cent to 100 per cent IV spreads you also find in Raid or Egg encounters, and are unaffected by the weather.
- Certain Special Research quests (also known as Mew steps) will be automatically completed if you complete their requirements since they are impossible to 'repeat', such as reaching a certain Trainer or medal level.
- You can spin the same PokéStop for Stop-spinning quests, and there is no difference between Gym Discs and PokéStop Discs when completing spin quests - though Gym Discs don't count towards "new Pokéstop" quests.
- You don't have to 'view' a quest in the quest screen to complete it, so if you don't have time to check what it is (if you're on a bus and there are PokéStops and Pokémon to catch quickly, for example) then it can wait - and if it's the right type of quest, you might have started work on it by the time you check it.
- Pokémon Go Plus can be used to collect quests from PokéStops and complete objectives.
- The mystery Pokémon you can catch after completing certain Field Research quests have the same high-end IV range as Egg and Gym Pokémon.
- You have to catch the mystery Pokémon in order to clear the research from your quest log - you can run away and come back, but you need to catch it to clear the quest, even if it's a rubbish Pokémon. Fleeing and trying again won't reset the Pokémon's stats, either - once it spawns, they're fixed.
- You can "cheese" the "Battle in X number of Raids" quests, by deliberately dodging your way through them until the timer runs out and retrying repeatedly. This is a great way to save on Raid Passes and complete the quest quickly, if you don't mind killing some time. Note that EX Raids do also count towards Raid quests, too.
- Catching evolved forms of Pokémon does count towards "Catch X number of Y Pokémon" quests. So I could catch a Gloom for a "Catch 2 Oddish" quest and it would count.
- Similarly, throwing better-tierd throws than required in ball-throwing quests counts too. So throwing a Great or Excellent Throw will count towards "Make 5 Nice Throws".
- You can miss days and not lose your streak of Stamps - it's just a cap of one Stamp that can be earned per day, not a "streak" that can be lost by missing a day, like the ones for spinning a Pokéstop or catching a Pokémon every day.
- Dittos count towards the types they're disguised as too - so a Ditto disguised as a Pidge will count towards "Catch 3 Pidgey" quests.
- Hatching and evolving Pokémon doesn't count towards catching tasks, you have to physically catch them in the wild or from Raid or mystery Pokémon encounters.
- You can indeed work towards two quests at once - so landing a Great Throw on a Pidgey will both count towards "Catch 3 Pidgey" and "Make 3 Great Throws" quests.
- You can delay claiming rewards for both Field and Special Research, although they'll beed to be cleared before you get new ones. Delaying the rewards for you Special Research in particular is a good idea, as some of the later requests reward thousands of XP - it might be worth popping a Lucky Egg before claiming them all togetehr.
Thanks to the Silph Road subreddit for filling in the gaps on some of the above.
Additional writing by Chris Tapsell.