The Go Tour Challengers in Pokémon Go are adversaries introduced exclusively for the Kanto Tour event in February 2021.
These are required to progress through the Defeat All Challengers research, which is a questline available for both free and paid event participants.
Whether it's simply battling or defeating them as part of those steps, either way you need to know how to find them - as well as learn Go Tour Challenger counters to defeat them.
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Go Tour Challengers in Pokémon Go explained: What are Go Tour Challengers in Pokémon Go?
Go Tour Challengers are trainers you can battle for the duration of the Kanto Tour event. These are real-world trainers which have been handpicked by Niantic as part of a competition, with eight in total to discover.
Similar to Go Team Rocket, these appear at certain PokéStops. These PokéStops appear different to regular ones, with the cube at the top twitching erratically.
Unlike Go Rocket PokéStops, these don't have a darker appearance, making them a little harder to spot from a distance - so be sure to look out for the telltale twitch.
Thankfully - in our experience at least - these encounters are fairly common, so provided you have a several PokéStops around you, at least one Go Tour Challenger should be among them.
And, as with Go Team Rocket, they will come and go on a regular basis - so if you only have a few PokéStops in close proximity, checking throughout the day will give you the encounters you need to complete various challenges.
If Go Tour Challengers aren't appearing in your game, then see if you have the Rocket Radar equipped. This is designed to summon a Rocket Leader for PokéStop battles. If you do, you can remove it by going into your inventory and selecting the Radar. If that still doesn't work, some reports from reddit suggest defeating the Rocket Leader to try and 'clear' it from your game, hopefully seeing Go Tour Challengers then appear.
Once you have spotted one of these PokéStops, then spin the stop, and you'll be prompted to begin the encounter.
From there, the battle will work in a similar fashion to most Trainer battles. Two important things to note are, like Grunts, they will not use shields to defend from attacks, and you will not receive an encounter reward at the end. After all, you're not 'rescuing' Pokémon as you were against Team Rocket.
The Season of Mischief is here! Current events include the Season 9 of Go Battle League, the addition of Raid Achievements, the Misunderstood Mischief research quest and the new Finding Your Voice Meloetta research. Shiny Ditto can also now be found in the wild and this tricky Pokémon is now appearing as new creatures! The Halloween event is now live! You can complete the What Lies Behind the Mask research, evolve Galarian Slowking and compete in the Halloween Cup! Meanwhile, the last major update saw a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals. Inkay and Malamar are now in Pokémon Go!
How to defeat Go Tour Challengers in Pokémon Go
There are eight unique Go Tour Challengers you can encounter in the Kanto Tour event. Who you face doesn't matter for the challenges themselves, so if you encounter the same one throughout the day, it will still count towards you goals.
As mentioned above, these Trainers won't use shields, making them much easier to defeat than most Trainer battles. That said, you might want to come prepared with a counter or two to make sure you have the upper hand.
Remember that Trainer battles like these can be replayed. Go into the battle and see how your preferred 'brute force' line up fares against them. (We recommend a variety of your best Legendaries, including a Mewtwo if you have one, which you can catch in Raids during the Kanto event). Then, if you lose, switch your line up to minimise your weaknesses and try again.
Part of the fun of Go Tour Challengers is there are some unique themed line-ups to uncover. For example, Telli9 will come at you with all three Kanto Eevee evolutions, so having an Electric, Water and Fire counter - or at least something resistant to most of these - will be handy. Meanwhile, DieCurryWurst with Charmander and its two evolutions is a doddle with a Water or Rock type.
Remember, if you struggle against one particular encounter and need to progress through the Defeat All Challengers steps, then Go Tour Challengers refresh frequently - so feel free to come back later to see if an easier challenger becomes available at that PokéStop.