Pokémon Go Giovanni battling, rewards and legendary Shadow Pokémon explained

Giovanni, the leader of Team Go Rocket has arrived in Pokémon Go.

Giovanni, the boss of Team Go Rocket, can now be found in Pokémon Go.

If you're powerful enough to defeat him, you'll receive some great rewards, including the opportunity to capture a legendary Shadow Pokémon, like Shadow Articuno.

With the release of the Team Go Rocket Leaders and the Special Research story-line A Troubling Situation, it was only a matter of time till Giovanni revealed himself.

On this page:

How to find Giovanni in Pokémon Go


If you want to battle Giovanni in Pokémon Go, then you need to complete the following pages:

  1. First, you must complete the Special Research story-line, A Troubling Situation to unlock the latest Giovanni Special Research quest. A Challenging Development, for example, was the Giovanni Special Research quest for December 2019.
  2. Next, reach and complete the fourth step of your current Giovanni Special Research task, which will ask you to defeat each Team Go Rocket Leaders - Arlo, Cliff and Sierra - once.
  3. Completing the fourth step of Looming in the Shadows will reward you with the Super Rocket Radar.

Now that you have the Super Rocket Radar, you can use it to hunt down the leader of Team Go Rocket himself - Giovanni.


The Super Rocket Radar works in a very similar fashion to the Rocket Radars you create by collecting Mysterious Components.

Access your Bag via the main menu and then scroll down till you find the Super Rocket Radar in your inventory. Here you can equip and unequip the Super Rocket Radar whenever you like.

The Super Rocket Radar, however, doesn't just display the location of Giovanni's hideout. A number of Grunts disguised as Giovanni will also appear on the radar, all hoping to prevent you from finding their boss.

You'll have to work your way through these disguised Grunts, until you find the actual PokéStop Giovanni is hiding out in.

Battling Giovanni and lineup explained in Pokémon Go

Once you find Giovanni, prepare yourself for a fight. His Pokémon are a lot stronger than the previous Team Go Rocket Leaders you've fought, so make sure your team is just as powerful.

Giovanni's choice of legendary Shadow Pokémon and second party member rotate every month, meaning you will often find yourself battling different Pokémon.

Currently, Giovanni has Shadow Moltres in his team.

Below you'll find the current possible lineup for Giovanni's Pokémon team, along with some ideas about which Pokémon you should take into battle.

Thank you to fabianfl111 for the help with this information.

First PokémonSecond PokémonThird Pokémon
Persian Cloyster Moltres

When it comes to countering Giovanni's January 2020 Pokémon, you'll want to create a team that focuses around dragon, ground and fighting-type Pokémon. Ice and psychic-type Pokémon, like Lugia and Articuno, are also useful, but will only have an advantage over one member of Giovanni's team.

Instead, it's better to focus on a lineup like Machamp, Dragonite and Tyranitar. Machamp has an advantage over Persian and Cloyster if Giovanni has it in his team.

Meanwhile, Dragonite has an advantage over both Kangaskhan and Garchomp. You can also put it up against Cloyster if Machamp faints. Tyranitar, however, can be used solely on Shadow Moltres. Ryhperior is a good substitute for Tyranitar, as it's strong against both Moltres and Persian.

When it comes to building a team to fight Giovanni try to use a Pokémon that will have an advantage over two Pokémon in his team. This will allow you to the use the same Pokémon twice, keeping your choice for the Legendary Shadow Pokémon safe from harm until it's needed.

It's also important to remember that, like the previous Team Go Rocket Leaders, Giovanni has to Protect Shields at his disposal.

Ideally, you'll want him to use them to protect his Persian, allowing you to easily attack his second choice of Pokémon. To achieve this, start with a Pokémon that has a Charged move that can be quickly charged.

Be prepared for his powerful Pokémon.

How often can you fight Giovanni in Pokémon Go?


Every calendar month, you'll receive a new Giovanni Special Research task, which will become available at midnight on the first day of every month.

This means that you have the ability to battle Giovanni once a month, with the possibility of being able to catch a different legendary Shadow Pokémon.

This means that if you've completed Looming in the Shadows in November 2019, you could start A Challenging Development straight away at the beginning of December 2019.

If you finished Looming in the Shadows, however, in a month other than November 2019, then you will automatically skip to that month's Giovanni Special Research quest, unable to complete any of the other quests that came in-between.

Pokémon Go in 2020 begins with the new Buddy Adventure feature, which introduces a variety of perks - including finding Souvenirs - as well as a new trade evolution feature. 2019 saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, along with new regional exclusive Pokémon, Egg charts, and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Last year also introduced the Adventure Sync rewards, a Jirachi quest, Team Rocket Invasions and freeing Shadow Pokémon, as well as monthly Field Research rewards. Complete The Take-Over Continues 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.

Rewards for defeating Giovanni in Pokémon Go

You will receive a variety of rewards for defeating Giovanni. This includes 5000 Stardust and a variety of healing items, such as Max Potions and Max Revives. There's also a chance that you'll receive a Unova Stone.

Best of all, however, you'll be given the opportunity to catch a Legendary Shadow Pokémon.

Every month brings a new Shadow Legendary Pokémon. This means that, if there's a particular Shadow Legendary Pokémon you want to add to your collection, then you must complete the Team Go Rocket Special Research quest for that month.

Completing The Take-Over Continues in January 2020, for example, would reward you with Shadow Moltres, but, if you completed the same story-line in another month, you'll find yourself facing a different Shadow Legendary Pokémon.

Here are the Shadow Legendary Pokémon Giovanni has had in his team:

Giovanni Shadow Legendary Pokémon:

  • Shadow Articuno - November 2019
  • Shadow Zapdos - December 2019
  • Shadow Moltres- January 2020

Defeating Giovanni will also help you level up the Ultra Hero medal, which records how many times you've defeated the boss of Team Go Rocket.

Thanks to Chrales from Twitter, we know what this clothing looks like:

As you level up the Ultra Hero medal, you'll unlock a variety of Giovanni themed clothing for your avatar to wear.

Here are the clothing items and medal ranks each piece unlocks at:

  • Shoes - Silver Badge Level (Defeat Giovanni 5 times)
  • Pants - Silver Badge Level (Defeat Giovanni 5 times)
  • Shirt - Gold Badge Level (Defeat Giovanni 20 times)
  • Gloves - Gold Badge Level (Defeat Giovanni 20 times)

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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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