Pokémon Go Jessie and James: How to find and counter Jessie and James explained

Make it double!

Jessie and James, the in-famous Team Rocket duo from the long running Pokémon anime, have been spotted in Pokémon Go.

Debuting alongside the Battle Go Fest Challenge in July 2020, Meowth shaped hot air balloon has joined the other Team Go Rocket Balloons that can be found floating across the Pokémon Go map.

Tapping it will reveal an encounter with both Jessie and James - and some very familiar Pokémon.

On this page:

How to find Jessie and James in Pokémon Go

If you want to battle either Jessie or James, then you need to keep your eyes on the sky for that floating Meowth.

Finding Jessie and James in Pokémon Go works exactly like finding the Team Rocket Balloons, which means that you have the chance to encounter their balloon at least four times a day - depending on how lucky you are, of course.

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If you want to find them, then we recommend looking at the Pokémon Go map on maximum zoom. This will not only give you the best view of the sky, but will allow you to spot the shadow of their balloon moving across the map more easily.

If you see that shadow, look above you in-game, because there's a chance that's the Meowth balloon you're looking for.

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Each Meowth balloon contains encounters with both Jessie and James, so you get two Team Rocket encounters for the price of one. If you quit out of the second encounter, just tap the Meowth balloon again to resume.

This break allows you to heal up, or progress your Battle Go Fest Challenge if you need to progress to the next 'defeat a Rocket grunt' step.

Jessie and James counters and differences in Pokémon Go

Jessie and James are similar to the Go Rocket Team Leaders in that they have unique character models and certain fixed Pokémon.

When facing Jessie in Pokémon Go, you'll start the battle facing Shadow Ekans every time, whereas James will feature a Shadow Koffin in their line-up.

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Beyond that, you'll then face either Scyther, Sneasel, Bagon or Beldum, regardless of who you face, according to Teban54 on reddit.

As for counters, Jessie and James are closer to a standard Rocket Grunt in difficulty than a Team Leader - so for counter recommendations, you can get away with just throwing your most powerful creatures at them regardless of type.

That said, since their leads Ekans and Koffin are poison-type, having a psychic-type is recommended as the lead.

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The reward for each is the chance to catch Shadow Ekans and Shadow Koffin respectively - both of which have the chance to be shiny.


It's Day Two of Pokémon Go Fest! Play the Rocket Straight to Victory quest, where you'll face Arlo, Cliff and Sierra, as well as Giovanni. You can also face Palkia and Dialga in raids, and get your hands on Rotom and Unown if you're a ticket holder. 2020 has otherwise seen several new features - such the arrival of Rocket Balloons, the Go Battle League, Remote Raids and the trade evolution feature. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day. You can currently compete in the Season 3 Great League and complete the Dragon Week Timed Research.


Jessie and James dates and times in Pokémon Go

Jessie and James debuted on Friday, 10th July 2020, the same date as the Battle Go Fest Challenge.

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They have since continued to appear in the game, replacing the appearance of a Team Go Rocket Balloon as a rare encounter. Keep on the look out and they should appear!

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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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