Pokémon Go Johto Throwback Challenge 2020 steps and research tasks explained

How to complete the Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal-inspired challenge.

The Johto Throwback Challenge in Pokémon Go is a special quest desired to celebrate both the second generation of Pokémon and the games that accompanied it.

Throughout this challenge you'll be able to catch Pokémon that reference both the Gym Leaders and storyline of Pokémon Gold and Silver.

Unlike the research quests for Mew and Celebi, Throwback Challenge 2020: Johto doesn't end in an encounter with a new Pokémon. Still, the end reward is definitely worth all of your hard work.

On this page:

How 'Throwback Challenge 2020: Johto' works in Pokémon Go

The Johto Throwback Challenge works like the other Research quests that were introduced in March 2018, where players complete various tasks for special rewards.

Pokemon_Go_Throwback_Johto

You'll progress through eight quest steps in Johto Throwback Challenge, which reference both the storyline and Gym leaders from Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal. During the fourth quest steps, for example, you'll earn an encounter with a Sudowoodo, which you had to battle before reaching the fourth gym.

Unlike the recent paid-for quests in Pokémon Go, this event is free for all players. The catch, however, is that you only have a week to access and complete the entirety of Johto Throwback Challenge, so make sure you don't fall behind.

'Throwback Challenge 2020: Johto' dates and times in Pokémon Go explained

The Johto Throwback Challenge is the second of five special Throwback Challenges running week-by-week from the beginning of May 2020.

'Throwback Challenge 2020: Johto' is running between Friday, May 8th 2020 till Friday, May 15th 2020. It both starts and ends at 1pm local time.

If you've already completed the Kanto Throwback Challenge from last week, ensure you also complete both this week's Throwback Challenge and the upcoming two in the following weeks. Doing so will unlock a special 'Throwback Challenge Champion 2020' event from June 3rd to June 8th.


Pokémon Go in 2020 continues to add new features, such the arrival of the Go Battle League, Remote Raids and the trade evolution feature. There are also planned changes to PokéCoins on the way. Meanwhile, coming soon is the Sinnoh Throwback quest. Last year saw the release of the first Gen 5 Pokémon, and with it new regional exclusive Pokémon and the introduction of the Unova Stone. Pokemon Go also sees regular events - including weekly Spotlight Hour, monthly Field Research rewards and Pokémon Go Community Day.


'Throwback Challenge 2020: Johto' quest steps in Pokémon Go explained

Below you'll find all the steps and confirmed rewards for the Johto Throwback quests. Be warned - this section does contain spoilers for the entire quest, so, if you don't want to know, then it's best to skip ahead.

Thank you to ProShashank from reddit for the help with that information.

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 1 of 9

  • Catch 3 Fire, Grass or Water-type Pokémon - 10 Poké Balls
  • Send a Gift to a friend - Dunsparce encounter
  • Catch a Flying-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 1x Silver Pinap berry, 2x Golden Razz berries and a Xatu encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 2 of 9

  • Play with your buddy - Spinarak encounter
  • Give your buddy 3 treats - 5x Razz berries
  • Catch a Bug-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 2x Silver Pinap berries, 1x Golden Razz berry and a Pineco encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 3 of 9

  • Make 3 Great Throws - 1x Charge TM
  • Hatch an Egg - Snubbull encounter
  • Catch a Normal-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 1x Silver Pinap berry, 2x Golden Razz berries and a Miltank encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 4 of 9

  • Evolve a Pokémon - Sudowoodo encounter
  • Catch 5 different species of Pokémon - 10x Great Balls
  • Catch a Ghost-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 2x Silver Pinap berries, 1x Golden Razz berry and a Misdreavus encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 5 of 9

  • Take a snapshot of your buddy - Shuckle encounter
  • Make 4 Curveball Throws - Mantine encounter
  • Catch a Fighting-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 1x Silver Pinap berry, 2x Golden Razz berries and a Hitmontop encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 6 of 9

  • Catch an Electric-type Pokémon - 1x Incense
  • Power up a Pokémon 3 times - Mareep encounter
  • Catch a Steel-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 2x Silver Pinap berries, 1x Golden Razz berry and a Skarmory encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 7 of 9

  • Evolve a Pokémon - King's Rock
  • Catch a Water-type Pokémon - Gligar encounter
  • Catch an Ice-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 1x Silver Pinap berry, 2x Golden Razz berries and a Piloswine encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 8 of 9

  • Take a Snapshot of an Ice-type Pokémon - Dragon Scale
  • Battle another trainer - 10x Ultra Balls
  • Power up a Pokémon 6 times - 500 Stardust

Rewards: 2x Silver Pinap berries, 1 Golden Razz berry and a Donphan encounter

'Johto Throwback Challenge' Step 9 of 9

  • Claim reward - 3000 XP
  • Claim reward - 3000 XP
  • Claim reward - 3000 XP

Rewards: 5 Rare Candy and an encounter with a Ho-Oh that knows that move Earthquake

If you're very lucky, then you might even get the chance to catch a shiny Ho-Oh!

Johto Throwback Challenge 2020 research tasks in Pokémon Go explained

Alongside the quest found above, there are a variety of special Johto Throwback Challenge themed Research Tasks available from spinning PokéStops.

These tasks are:

  • Catch 3 Normal-type Pokémon reward - Dunsparce
  • Catch 3 Fire-type Pokémon reward - Quilava
  • Use 5 berries to help catch Pokémon reward - Pineco
  • Make 3 Curveball Throws reward - Noctowl
  • Hatch an Egg reward - Phanpy
  • Earn a heart with your buddy reward - Bayleef
  • Play with your buddy reward - Totodile
  • Trade a Pokémon reward - Aipom

Thank you to SilphScience on reddit for confirming these tasks.

As per usual, these Research Tasks will only appear for the duration of this event, but, if you do collect one, then you can hold onto it and complete it once the event has ended.

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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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