Pokémon Go Looming in the Shadows quest tasks and rewards explained

Our guide on the continued fight against Team Go Rocket.

Looming in the Shadows continues the story-line of the Team Go Rocket invasion in Pokémon Go that began in A Troubling Situation.

In this series of Special Research Tasks, you'll be helping Professor Willow investigate the reason why Team Go Rocket are invading the PokéStops. This will lead you to fighting the three Team Go Rocket Leaders - Cliff, Arlo and Sierra - and eventually, Giovanni himself.

Completing each step will also reward you with a collection of experience and items that will help continue your Pokémon Go journey.

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How 'Looming in the Shadows' work in Pokémon Go

Research Quests, which allows to complete challenges for rewards, were introduced into Pokémon Go in March 2018.

There are two types of Research Quests - Field Research and Special Research.

Whereas standard Field Research tasks offer players a range of challenges that can be completed whenever they like, Special Research tasks are the same for every player and have a set order.

Similar to the Special Research quest lines for Jump-Start Research and A Troubling Situation, Looming in the Shadows is a series of story-driven Special Research tasks.

Pokemon_Go_Looming_Shadows_3
Pokemon_Go_Looming_Shadows_4
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The three Go Rocket Leaders are Cliff, Arlo and Sierra.

Looming in the Shadows continues the story-line that started in A Troubling Situation.

Team Go Rocket and their horde of Shadow Pokémon are invading PokéStops around the world. Even though players have been fighting back against the criminal organisation, the Team Go Rocket Leaders has bigger plans in the works.

The quest consists of six steps, which each consist of three individual challenges. You'll be rewarded for every individual challenge and each overall step you complete. These rewards will include the chance to fight Giovanni and after that, catch a legendary Shadow Pokémon, such as Shadow Articuno.

To start Looming in the Shadows, you must have first completed A Troubling Situation, which acts as tutorial for the Team Go Rocket battles. Once you've completed A Troubling Situation, visit the Research Tasks tab to continue your fight against Team Go Rocket.

How to complete each of the 'Looming in the Shadows' quest steps

Here are the quest steps and rewards for Looming in the Shadows. Be warned - there are spoilers below if you don't want to learn both the challenges and rewards for each step of this quest.

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 1 of 6

Rewards: 500 Stardust, 10 Pokéballs, 10 Razz Berries

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 2 of 6

  • Spin a PokéStop 5 days in a row (750 XP)
  • Purify 15 Shadow Pokémon (750 XP)
  • Win 5 raids (750 XP)

Rewards: 1,000 Stardust, 3 Hyper Potions, 3 Revives

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 3 of 6

  • Use 6 super effective Charged Attacks in Gym battles (1000 XP)
  • Win 3 Great League Trainer Battles against another Trainer (1000 XP)
  • Defeat 6 Team Go Rocket Grunts (1000 XP)

Reward: 1,500 Stardust, 15 Great Balls, 5 Pinap Berries

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 4 of 6

  • Defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Arlo (1000 XP)
  • Defeat Team Go Rocket Leader Cliff (1000 XP)
  • Defeat Team Go rocket Leader Sierra (1000 XP)

Reward: 2,000 Stardust, Super Rocket Radar, 3 Golden Razz Berries

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 5 of 6

  • Find the Team Go Rocket Boss (2,500 Stardust)
  • Battle the Team Go Rocket Boss (1,500 XP)
  • Defeat the Team Go Rocket Boss (3 Silver Pinap Berries)

Reward: 3,000 Stardust, 1 Fast TM, 1 Charged TM

'Looming in the Shadows' Step 6 of 6

All three objectives will already be complete granting you 2,000 XP for each one.

Rewards: 3 Max Revive, 20 Ultra Balls, 3 Rare Candy

Thank you to colesyyy from reddit for the help with these objectives.


We've recently seen the first Gen 5 Pokémon arrive - these include new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Elsewhere this year we've also seen new Adventure Sync rewards, a Jirachi quest, Team Rocket Invasions and freeing Shadow Pokémon, as well as monthly Field Research rewards. Complete the Looming in the Shadows special research quest line to fight against the invading Team Go Rocket Leaders and Giovanni! Finally, we have details on the next Pokémon Go Community Day.


Other things to know about 'Looming in the Shadows' in Pokémon Go

Here are some tips to help you complete Looming in the Shadows:

  • Stock up on Potions and Revives before fighting a Team Go Rocket Grunt, because Shadow Pokémon are far stronger than regular Pokémon.
  • PokéStops that have been invaded by Team Go Rocket are discoloured and shake when you get close to them.
  • Using Razz and Nanab Berries will help you catch any Shadow Pokémon you encounter.
  • Once you've made a Rocket Radar you can't collect any more Mysterious Components until its used, so keep an eye on the contents of your bag.
  • Team Go Rocket Leaders are a lot stronger than any of the Grunts, so make sure your chosen Pokémon is good matchup for their Pokémon.

Good luck foiling Team Go Rocket's evil plans!

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About the author

Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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