Team Go Rocket appear in Pokémon Go as part of Invasions, bringing the addition of Shadow Pokémon with them.
The arrival of Team Go Rocket was first teased after Pokémon Go Fest at Chicago in 2019, with Grunts started appearing in the photos festival goers had taken with Pokémon Go's AR photo mode.
Then, at Pokémon Go Fest in Dortmund later that year, not only did the photobombing Grunts return, but a Team Go Rocket hot air balloon floated through the sky.
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How to find Team Rocket in Pokémon Go
First of all, you need to be Trainer Level 8 and above for Team Rocket to appear in your game.
Team Rocket appear at PokéStops that have been Invaded. These PokéStops appear different to regular ones - with a slight darker appearance that twitches erratically.
Can't see any Team Rocket PokéStops? They are rare, at least on the feature's debut, but do spawn worldwide.
Early reports suggest they only appear for 30 minutes at a time without warning (thanks meier-andersen on reddit for confirming).
As such, it's worth regularly keeping an eye on your map view for any suspicious looking PokéStops.
When you get close enough, the Team Rocket logo will appear above the PokéStops, as well as a Team Rocket Grunt that's housed there.
How Team Go Rocket Invasions work in Pokémon Go
Interacting with Team Rocket PokéStops works as follows:
- Team Go Rocket will invade a PokéStop for 30 minutes at a time.
- Approach the PokéStop, and you'll be able to battle the Grunt by tapping them in a Trainer Battle.
- If you defeat the Team Rocket Grunt's team of Shadow Pokémon, the Grunt will abandon one of them.
- You'll have the opportunity to catch this Shadow Pokémon.
- If caught, you get to keep the Shadow Pokémon, and can then Purify them.
Battling Team Go Rocket is similar to Trainer Battles, while catching Shadow Pokémon works in a similar way to Raids, with a limited number of Premier Balls at your disposal for you to use.
Pokémon Go Team Go Rocket rewards
With the battle over, you'll be given several rewards, including Stardust and XP, as well as the opportunity to catch the Shadow Pokémon.
To do this, you'll receive a base number of Premier Balls and then bonus PokéBalls will be rewarded on a number of factors:
- How many of your Pokémon survive the Trainer Battle
- Your Purify Pokémon medal rank
- your Defeat Team Rocket medal rank
If you run out of balls, then you'll have to defeat the Grunt again for another chance at catching the Shadow Pokémon.
Each Team Go Rocket Grunt will be assigned a Pokémon type. Whether you'll be able to see what Pokémon type a Grunt has been assigned to is currently unknown, but it would certainly make tracking down specific Shadow Pokémon a lot easier.
Once you have the Pokémon, it'll be added to your collection, and has a number of different stat and move differences. Our Shadow Pokémon and how to Purify Shadow Pokémon them page explains everything you need to know about this process.
Prepared for trouble ? pic.twitter.com/Ze13ct9OZT— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) July 22, 2019
Team Rocket Invasions and Shadow Pokémon are here! There have also been several other new exciting additions in the game, including Armored Mewtwo and an on-going series of Pokémon Go Global Challenges. In the meantime, we have Jump-Start Research quest and Field Research, which can help with some of the harder-to-find Gen 4 Pokémon. The release of Gen 5 Pokémon has also been hinted at! Elsewhere, you can read up on the latest the currently available Legendary Pokémon.
What else you need to know about Team Go Rocket and Invasions in Pokémon Go
Above are the essentials of how Invasions and Team Rocket work in the game, but there are lots of other smaller details to note:
- Two new medals are available as part of the Team Go Rocket update, which track the following stats. The higher their tiers, the more Premier Balls you'll then receive during the Shadow Pokémon catching phase:
- Purifier: Purify [X amount of] Shadow Pokémon.
- Hero: Defeat [X amount of] Team Go Rocket Grunts.
- Dataminers (such as Kelven91 on reddit) have uncovered two quests - which will be released alongside the Team Go Rocket Invasion update at some point, joining Jump-Start Research and the other Special Research Tasks. These will be named:
- Battle Team Rocket
- Purify Pokémon
- Finally, the datamines also revealed something named the Route Marker. The name of this item suggests it'll mark a route on the in-game map, and could be used in conjunction with the introduction of Team Go Rocket PokeStops. Beyond that, that's all we know!