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.

What's on this page:

With Raid Battles now live for almost everyone, and new raid boss rotations now underway too, we understand plenty about 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:

At the start of the Gym update the restriction was level 35, so the requirement has dropped significantly since their launch.

What are Raid Battles, EX 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 as regular creatures, requiring a group to stand a chance of winning.

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Raid Bosses can have over 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 takes you up against a Legendary. Plus, there are invite-only Raids...

EX Raid Battles

There are also EX Raid Battles, which was originally how you were able to capture one of the game's most powerful creatures - Gen 1's MewTwo, and now how you'll be able to capture Gen 3's equivalent - more on these in our dedicated guide to EX Raid battles and how to catch Deoxys.

Whichever Raid you finish, there will be unique rewards as well as a chance to catch the creature is up for grabs. Here is a recap of the process:

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 (this has now returned to the game after a period away during the initial wave of Legendaries).

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.

New 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. Each specific creature is only available for a short amount of time, as listed in our Legendary Pokémon page.

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, and again in December 2017).

Also noted are the Max Catch CP - this tells you whether the creature you are catching has maximum IVs. Note the figures below are without weather boosts.

TierRaid BossBattle CPMax Catch CPBest counters
1 Magikarp 1165 125 Anything!
1 Metapod 1534 239 Anything!
1 Ivysaur 5238 886 Fire, Ice Pokémon like Entei, Articuno, Moltres, Arcanine
1 Charmeleon 5085 847 Water, Ground Pokémon like Suicune, Vaporeon, Rhydon, Golem
1 Wartortle 4503 756 Electric, Grass Pokémon like Zapdos, Raikou, Exeggutor
1 Wailmer 3369 815 Grass and Electric
2 Exeggutor TBC 1666 Bug-types like Pinsir, as well as Fire, Flying, and Dark.
2 Slowbro TBC 1418 Electric, Grass, Bug and Dark work best.
2 Sableye 8266 745 Fairy Pokémon and moves, any non-Fighting, -Ghost, -Normal, -Poison moves from a strong Pokémon
2 Magneton 14172 1278 Ground, Fighting Pokémon like Rhydon, Golem, Machamp
2 Marowak 9891 996 Grass, Water Pokémon like Exeggutor, Suicune, Vaporeon
2 Cloyster 15678 1414 Electric, Fighting Pokémon like Raikou, Machamp, Zapdos
2 Tentacruel 12190 1356 Electric Pokémon like Raikou, Zapdos, Jolteon
2 Mawile 9403 848 Ho-Oh, Entei, Charizard
2 Sandslash 12312 1330 Grass, Water Pokémon like Exeggutor, Suicune, Vaporeon
3 Starmie TBC 1316 The same as Slowbro - Electric, Grass, Bug and Dark-types.
3 Claydol TBC 1018 Water, Grass, Dark, Bug, and Ice all work well.
3 Aerodactyl TBC 1490 Water and Electric-types are your best bet.
3 Porygon 11419 895 Fighting or glass cannon Pokémon like Machamp, Alakazam, Heracross
3 Machamp 18144 1650 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
3 Gengar 19768 1496 Gengar, Alakazam, Espeon
3 Ninetails 14914 1233 Rock, Ground, Water Pokémon like Golem, Rhydon, Suicune
3 Scyther 17358 1408 Rock, Fire Pokémon like Golem, Moltres, Entei
3 Omastar 18915 1534 Grass Pokémon like Exeggutor, Venusaur, Victreebel
3 Alakazam 22646 1649 Gengar, Houndoom, Tyranitar
4 Lapras 21768 1487 Machamp, Heracross, Exeggutor
4 Snorlax 25419 1917 Machamp, Heracross, Alakazam
4 Poliwrath 24247 1395 Electric, Grass, Psychic Pokémon like Raikou, Zapdos, Exeggutor, Alakazam
4 Victreebel 23780 1296 Fire, Ice Pokémon like Entei, Articuno, Moltres, Arcanine
4 Golem 30572 1666 Grass, Water Pokémon like Exeggutor, Suicune, Vaporeon
4 Tyranitar 34707 2097 Machamp, Heracross, Primeape
4 Nidoking 24873 1363 Psychic, Ground, Water, Ice Pokémon like Alakazam, Rhydon, etc.
4 Nidoqueen 23216 1363 Psychic, Ground, Water, Ice Pokémon like Alakazam, Rhydon, etc.
4 Absol 26262 1303 Machamp, Heracross, Breloom
4 Aggron 33485 1709 Machamp, Groudon, Rhydon, Golem
5 Articuno 37603 1676 Omastar, Golem, Arcanine
5 Moltres 41953 1870 Omastar, Golem, Tyranitar
5 Zapdos 42691 1902 Golem, Piloswine, Tyranitar
5 Lugia 42753 2056 Articuno, Magneton, Jolteon
5 Mewtwo 49430 2720 Tyranitar, Mewtwo, Lugia, Gengar
5 Raikou 42932 1913 Ground, Grass creatures, such as Rhydon, Golem, Dophan.
5 Entei 38628 1930 Ground, Rock, Water creatures, such as Golem, Vaporeon, Omastar.
5 Suicune 34471 1613 Electric, Grass creatures, such as Zapdos, Venusaur, Jolteon.
5 Groudon 51968 2328 Ice, Grass creatures such as Gyarados, Dragonite, Venusaur.
5 Kyogre 51968 2328 (2910 boosted) Electric, Grass such as Jolteon, Venusaur, Exeggutor.
5 Rayquaza 45468 2083 (2604 boosted) Ice and Dragon, such as Dragonite, Articuno, Piloswine, Jynx.

Thanks to The Silph Road Reddit for help with some of the Legendary Beast counters.

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.

There are also EX Raid Passes, which are rewarded to players who complete a standard Raid at the same gym an EX Raid will appear at soon after. These allow access to an EX Raid, whichhave even more elusive creatures to face off against, such as Mewtwo and Gen 3's Deoxys.

These 'Legendary Raids' 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 20,000 XP for Legendary Raids; Stardust whether you win or lose, plus 1000 Gym Badge XP, a chance at some standard Revives (which can still come in handy!) and Potions.

Best of all is 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.

Looking for more Pokémon go tips and tricks? The latest events are Legendary Week and the return of Party Hat Pikachu for Pokémon Day, with the next Community Day to come in March. There are also even more Raid bosses out in circulation now, and these follow the final wave of Gen 3 Pokémon arriving in February, which introduced Castform and Swablu, as well as changes to 2km, 5km and 10km Egg charts, region exclusives, Buddy distances and Shinies. Ever-expanding Pokédex completionists, meanwhile, might want to read about the various Special Items available as well as the various methods for determining Eevee evolutions, too.

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, you 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 is more than enough to take on most creatures, though you'll need half or close to the maximum to beat Legendaries, depending on who is in your group..
  • 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.
  • Though at launch you couldn't see who else was waiting to enter a Raid until you used a pass, a late August update now shows how many are ready to go before you enter. You can see how it looks at the end of this video by FuNKyShO on YouTube:
  • 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. This also means any new Raids being introduced to the game will happen one day later in the UK than the US due to timezone differences, so bear that in mind with any announcements.
  • 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.
  • Lucky Eggs 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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Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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