Pokémon Go Shadow Pokémon list and what we know about Purifying Pokémon

What we know about Shadow and Purified Pokémon in Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Shadow Pokémon are coming to the game soon, introducing a feature seen in several spin-off games.

Assuming it'll work the same, Shadow Pokémon are special forms that have to be 'rescued' from enemies by learning how to Purify Pokémon.

Between this and datamined information (via Kelven91 on reddit), we have some ideas of how the feature will work.

On this page:

Update (July 16th): A new wave of Shadow Pokémon have been added to the game files, increasing the list to a variety of creatures across the first four generations. We now know what they look like in-game too - and surely suggests a release is very soon!

How will Pokémon Go Shadow Pokémon work and what do we know about Shadow and Purified Pokémon?

As part of an update alongside Invasions and a Team Rocket quest, select Pokémon will have a new status - the ability to become Shadow Pokémon.

Shadow Pokémon have mostly appeared in a couple of spin-off games - Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness - and it essentially means their essence has been captured by evil forces. Your job is to rescue these creatures and Purify them - and once you have, they'll enter a Purified status.

pokemon_go_shadow_pokemon_2
Image credit: MarsNeedsFreedomToo on reddit

In Pokémon Go, it appears that Shadow Pokémon will be collected by fighting Team Rocket Grunts in Invasions - a new type of encounter that occurs at PokéStops. From there, the next step is to Purify them.

pokemon_go_shadow_pokemon
Shadow Lugia (Image credit: Imgur)

Most Shadow Pokémon will look the same as their regular versions, but with a couple of key differences - such as red eyes and a veil of darkness around them (the above image is via MarsNeedsFreedomToo on reddit).

In the games, however, some can also take on a darker form, such as Dark Lugia (image credit Imgur.

They also behave differently, too. Three additional Moves revealed as part of the datamine - Frustration, Return and Synchronise. Since Shadow Pokémon have their own specific Candy and Stardust requirements, it's likely Pokémon will have some of these unique moves as part of their status.

Purifying a Pokémon will significantly raise its CP, lower the amount of Stardust it requires to power up and teach it the exclusive charged attack - Return.

How do you catch Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

According to information discovered through datamining, thank you to martycochrane from reddit, Team Go Rocket Invasions appear to work in a similar fashion to Raids.

A Team Go Rocket Grunt will invade a PokéStop and you can battle them to win back the PokéStop. You'll be able to fight Team Go Rocket Grunts as either a solo player or as part of a team. If you defeat the Grunt, then you'll be given the chance to catch their abandoned Shadow Pokémon.

Catching Shadow Pokémon appears to work in a similar fashion to catching defeated Raid Bosses. You'll be given a base number of PokéBalls and bonus PokéBalls will be rewarded depending on your performance against the Team Rocket Grunt. If you run out of balls, then you'll have to defeat the Grunt again for another chance at catching the Shadow Pokémon.

It looks like each Grunt will be assigned a specific Pokémon type. Whether or not you can see what Pokémon type a Grunt has before battling them is still unknown.

How do you Purify Pokémon in Pokémon Go?

We don't know for sure how to Purify Pokémon will work in Pokémon Go, but looking at the spin-offs (thanks Heycanwenot on reddit for delving into this) there's a few methods which each lower a 'Heart Gauge' to reduce their Shadow status:

  • Walking with them
  • Using them in battle
  • There are also some game-specific mechanics that likely won't appear in Pokémon Go, including Day Care, items such as Scents and a Time Flute, plus something known as a Purify Chamber

It's also possible you'll need to spend a certain amount of Candy and Stardust to Purify a Pokémon as part of the process, too.

What we do know, thanks to Chrales on Twitter, is that Purified Pokémon will gain a significant amount of CP, cost less Stardust to power up and will learn Return - an exclusive charged attack.

It's unclear whether the CP gain will give Purified Pokémon a higher CP than normally caught Pokémon or whether it means that Shadow Pokémon will have a lower CP compared to other Pokémon.

Pokémon Go Shadow Pokémon list

There are a fair few Pokémon that can have a Shadow version, though aside a handful, are exclusively from the first generation.

It's unknown whether all of the following will be available in the game when the Purification mechanic releases, but at the very least, the following are in the game files and should appear at some point (thanks to martycochrane on reddit for helping with the following):

  • Bulbasaur (Gen 1)
  • Ivysaur (Gen 1)
  • Venusaur (Gen 1)
  • Charmander (Gen 1)
  • Charmeleon (Gen 1)
  • Charizard (Gen 1)
  • Squirtle (Gen 1)
  • Wartortle (Gen 1)
  • Blastoise (Gen 1)
  • Weedle (Gen 1)
  • Kakuna (Gen 1)
  • Beedrill (Gen 1)
  • Ratatta (Gen 1)
  • Raticate (Gen 1)
  • Ekans (Gen 1)
  • Arbok (Gen 1)
  • Sandshrew (Gen 1)
  • Sandslash (Gen 1)
  • Nidoran Female (Gen 1)
  • Nidorina (Gen 1)
  • Nidoqueen (Gen 1)
  • Nidoran Male (Gen 1)
  • Nidorino (Gen 1)
  • Nidoking (Gen 1)
  • Vulpix (Gen 1)
  • Ninetales (Gen 1)
  • Zubat (Gen 1)
  • Golbat (Gen 1)
  • Oddish (Gen 1)
  • Gloom (Gen 1)
  • Vileplume (Gen 1)
  • Venonat (Gen 1)
  • Venomoth (Gen 1)
  • Meowth (Gen 1)
  • Persian (Gen 1)
  • Psyduck (Gen 1)
  • Golduck (Gen 1)
  • Growlithe (Gen 1)
  • Arcanine (Gen 1)
  • Poliwag (Gen 1)
  • Poliwhirl (Gen 1)
  • Poliwrath (Gen 1)
  • Abra (Gen 1)
  • Kadabra (Gen 1)
  • Alakazam (Gen 1)
  • Machop (Gen 1)
  • Machoke (Gen 1)
  • Machamp (Gen 1)
  • Bellsprout (Gen 1)
  • Weepinbell (Gen 1)
  • Victreebell (Gen 1)
  • Magnemite (Gen 1)
  • Magneton (Gen 1)
  • Grimer (Gen 1)
  • Muk (Gen 1)
  • Drowzee (Gen 1)
  • Hypno (Gen 1)
  • Exeggcute (Gen 1)
  • Exeggutor (Gen 1)
  • Cubone (Gen 1)
  • Marowak (Gen 1)
  • Hitmonlee (Gen 1)
  • Hitmonchan (Gen 1)
  • Koffing (Gen 1)
  • Weezing (Gen 1)
  • Scyther (Gen 1)
  • Electabuzz (Gen 1)
  • Magmar (Gen 1)
  • Magikarp (Gen 1)
  • Gyarados (Gen 1)
  • Lapras (Gen 1)
  • Porygon (Gen 1)
  • Omanyte (Gen 1)
  • Omastar (Gen 1)
  • Snorlax (Gen 1)
  • Articuno (Gen 1)
  • Zapdos (Gen 1)
  • Moltres (Gen 1)
  • Dratini (Gen 1)
  • Dragonair (Gen 1)
  • Dragonite (Gen 1)
  • Crobat (Gen 2)
  • Mareep (Gen 2)
  • Flaffy (Gen 2)
  • Ampharos (Gen 2)
  • Bellossom (Gen 2)
  • Politoed (Gen 2)
  • Misdreavus (Gen 2)
  • Wobbuffet (Gen 2)
  • Gligar (Gen 2)
  • Scizor (Gen 2)
  • Shuckle (Gen 2)
  • Sneasel (Gen 2)
  • Houndour (Gen 2)
  • Houndoom (Gen 2)
  • Porygon2 (Gen 2)
  • Larvitar (Gen 2)
  • Pupitar (Gen 2)
  • Tyranitar (Gen 2)
  • Mudkip (Gen 3)
  • Marshtomp (Gen 3)
  • Swampert (Gen 3)
  • Seedot (Gen 3)
  • Nuzleaf (Gen 3)
  • Shiftry (Gen 3)
  • Ralts (Gen 3)
  • Kirlia (Gen 3)
  • Gardevoir (Gen 3)
  • Mawile (Gen 3)
  • Carvanha (Gen 3)
  • Sharpedo (Gen 3)
  • Trapinch (Gen 3)
  • Vibrava (Gen 3)
  • Flygon (Gen 3)
  • Cacnea (Gen 3)
  • Cacturne (Gen 3)
  • Absol (Gen 3)
  • Bagon (Gen 3)
  • Shelgon (Gen 3)
  • Salamence (Gen 3)
  • Beldum (Gen 3)
  • Metang (Gen 3)
  • Metagross (Gen 3)
  • Turtwig (Gen 4)
  • Grotle (Gen 4)
  • Torterra (Gen 4)
  • Chimchar (Gen 4)
  • Monferno (Gen 4)
  • Infernape (Gen 4)
  • Mismagnius (Gen 4)
  • Stunky (Gen 4)
  • Skunktank (Gen 4)
  • Weavile (Gen 4)
  • Magnezone (Gen 4)
  • Electivire (Gen 4)
  • Magmortar (Gen 4)
  • Gliscor (Gen 4)
  • Porygon-Z (Gen 4)
  • Gallade (Gen 4)
pokemon_go_shadow_pokemon_1
Shadow Mewtwo

In the spin-offs, there are far more Shadow Pokémon that what's listed here - well over a hundred - which also include the Legendary Birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, as well as Lugia.

Pokkén Tournament also introduced Shadow Mewtwo - and it'll be interesting to see whether the list of Pokémon Go Shadow creatures will be expanded over time.

Elsewhere, it was also technically possible to get Shiny Shadow Pokémon - though it was mostly through a glitch that was later corrected with Pokémon XD.

Chances are Pokémon Go's Shadow Pokemon won't be shiny as a result, but here's a look at someone going through the process in Pokémon Coliseum if you're interested:


A few new exciting additions are coming to the game - Armored Mewtwo, an on-going series of Pokémon Go Global Challenges, the tease of Shadow Pokémon and the Invasion of Team Go Rocket. In the meantime, we have a new Go Fest Global research task rewards and the Jump-Start Research quest and Field Research, which can help with some of the harder-to-find Gen 4 Pokémon. Elsewhere, you can read up on the latest the currently available Legendary Pokémon.


When will Shadow Pokémon release in Pokémon Go?

There has been no official word from developer Niantic this is in the game - although they did tease Team Rocket during the Dortmund Go Fest - let alone a Shadow Pokémon release date.

One theory within the community is, with Mudkip featured as one of the Shadow Pokémon, the upcoming July Community Day could see be the perfect time for it to make a surprise debut - in the same way Meltan did in 2018.

Either way, with the data starting to be introduced in the game files, we have to assume both this and the Invasions and Team Rocket quest will be all available within a matter of weeks - hopefully by the end of July.

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About the author

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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