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 Looming in the Shadows, 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 next part of the story, Looming in the Shadows.
  2. Next, reach and complete the fourth step of Looming in the Shadows, 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.

While we don't know for sure yet, it appears that Giovanni's choice of legendary Shadow Pokémon will rotate. Meaning that every month you may find yourself fighting a different Pokémon.

Currently, Giovanni has Shadow Articuno 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 skewtr for the help with this information.

First PokémonSecond PokémonThird Pokémon
Persian Dugtrio Articuno

When it comes to countering Giovanni's Pokémon, you'll want to create a team containing a heavy hitting fighting or ground-type Pokémon and either a strong water or grass-type Pokémon.

Lucario, Machamp, Aggron and Tyranitar are all good choices for your Pokémon team. These Pokémon will easily allow you to knock out Persian and attack Giovanni's second choice of Pokémon.

Both Kyogre and Swampert would make good water-type choices, with Swampert having an advantage as its dual type nature, water and ground, would also make it effective against Persian.

You may want to include a fire-type, like Entei, for attacking Shadow Articuno, but it won't be as effective against any of Givoanni's second Pokémon. A strong psychic type, like Mewtwo, is also a good Pokémon to finish off your team.

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.

To our understanding, however, these Giovanni Special Research tasks can also stack.

If you were, for example, to complete the November Giovanni Special Research task in mid-December, then the December Giovanni Special Research would become available to you shortly afterwards, allowing you to battle him twice in one month.

November features a string of events, the first of which is Super effective week. 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, Niantic Wayfarer has been released worldwide.

Rewards for defeating Giovanni in Pokémon Go

Currently, we don't know what the exact rewards for defeating Giovanni are, but we do have some good ideas.

Official images released by Niantic hint that defeating Giovanni will give you the opportunity to capture the legendary Shadow Pokémon he has in his team.

Shadow Articuno is the first legendary Shadow Pokémon.

Chrlas, from Twitter, has also uncovered a new badge celebrating the number of time you've defeated Giovanni:

Along with a selection of Giovanni themed clothing for your avatar to wear:

Datamining reveals that the Giovanni themed clothing will be unlocked as you progress through the Giovanni badge.

Currently, it appears that the clothing items will unlock at the following stages:

  • 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)

Thank you to martycochrane for the help with this information.

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Lottie Lynn

Lottie Lynn

Guides Writer


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