Pokémon Go's Kanto Throwback Challenge is a quest to celebrate the first generation of Pokémon.
As well we focusing on creatures which debuted in Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, it also features references to the eight Gym leaders you encounter throughout the adventure.
Unlike quests such as Mew and Celebi, Throwback Challenge 2020: Kanto doesn't result in an encounter with a new Pokémon, but instead something - which we won't spoil here - which makes completing it well worth your while.
On this page:
How 'Throwback Challenge 2020: Kanto' works in Pokémon Go
Kanto Throwback works the same as other Research quests which were first introduced in March 2018, where players complete objectives for special rewards.
This has you progress through eight steps, all themed around Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow's gym leaders and their Pokémon. For example, each step has you catch a Pokémon type related to the eight gyms in sequence, and each step's encounter reward is the strongest Pokémon in that gym leader's line-up. (Thanks to chaokila on reddit for noticing this!)
Unlike recent 2020's run of paid-for quests, this is free for all players. There is, however, a deadline of one week to access and complete the Kanto Throwback series of quests, so make sure you run every step before it finishes.
When is the 'Throwback Challenge 2020: Kanto' release date and time in Pokémon Go?
The Kanto Throwback Challenge is one of five Throwback Challenges releasing week-by-week from the start of May 2020.
This will go first, with the Kanto Throwback Challenge running between Friday, May 1st 2020 to Friday, May 8th 2020, starting and ending at a time of 1pm local time.
Completing this, and the other three Throwback Challenges, will unlock a special final 'Throwback Challenge Champion 2020' event from June 3rd.
If you've seen leaks of this quest, this is because in late April 2020 the questline was released by accident to a small number of players, which has since been acknowledged by Niantic:
Trainers, research was released to some Trainers ahead of schedule. The event details will be released in the near future, meanwhile Trainers who received this research can complete it now but won't receive it again. Sorry for the confusion!— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) April 27, 2020
Pokemon Go has a busy summer ahead! Start by completing the Skill Go Fest challenges and catching newly released Gen 5 Pokémon. For new starters, the Jump-start Research has returned, too. 2020 has seen several 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. Last year saw the release of 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: Kanto' quest steps in Pokémon Go explained
Here are all steps and confirmed rewards for the Kanto Throwback quest. Be wary of spoilers before continuing, if you are worried about learning what each objective entails before unlocking them.
Thanks to chaokila on reddit for confirming the following:
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 1 of 9
- Catch 3 Grass, Water or Fire-type Pokémon - x10 PokéBalls
- Take a Snapshot of a Bug-type Pokémon - x5 Pinap Berries
- Catch a Rock-type Pokémon - x500 Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 1: Onix encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Golden Razz Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 2 of 9
- Battle in a Raid - Clefairy encounter
- Transfer 3 Pokémon - x10 Super Potion
- Catch a Water-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 2: Starmie Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Silver Pinap Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 3 of 9
- Evolve 3 Pokémon - x10 Great Balls
- Hatch an Egg - Snorlax encounter
- Catch an Electric-type Pokémon - x500 Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 3: Raichu Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Golden Razz Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 4 of 9
- Give your Buddy a treat - Gastly encounter
- Send a Gift to a friend - Dratini encounter
- Catch a Grass-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 4: Tangela Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Silver Pinap Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 5 of 9
- Earn a Candy walking with a Buddy - 10x Ultra Balls
- Make 3 Great Throws - Chansey encounter
- Catch a Poison-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 5: Weezing Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Golden Razz Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 6 of 9
- Take a Snapshot of a Ghost-type Pokémon - Hitmonchan encounter
- Catch a Fighting-type Pokémon - Lapras encounter
- Catch a Psychic-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 6: Alakazam Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Silver Pinap Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 7 of 9
- Take a Snapshot of an Ice-type Pokémon - 10x Hyper Potion
- Evolve a Pokémon - Aerodactyl encounter
- Catch a Fire-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 7: Arcanine Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Golden Razz Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 8 of 9
- Power up a Pokémon 6 times - 1x Fast TM
- Battle another Trainer - 1x Star Piece
- Catch a Ground-type Pokémon - 500x Stardust
Rewards for completing Step 8: Nidoking Encounter, 1x Rare Candy, 2x Silver Pinap Berry
'Kanto Throwback Challenge' Step 9 of 9
- Claim reward - 3000 XP
- Claim reward - 3000 XP
- Claim reward - 3000 XP
Rewards for completing Step 9: Mewtwo with Psystrike encounter, 10x Rare Candy
Throwback Challenge 2020 research tasks in Pokémon Go explained
As well as the above quest, the Kanto Throwback Challenge has a week of Research Tasks to find from spinning PokeStops. These are:
- Battle another Trainer reward - Bulbasaur
- Catch 3 Poison Pokémon reward - Venobat
- Catch 7 Pokémon reward reward - Krabby
- Give your Buddy 3 Treats reward - Mankey
- Play with your Buddy reward - Muk
- Power up your Pokémon reward - Squritle
- Take a Snapshot of your Buddy reward - Pikachu
- Transfer 7 Pokémon reward - Butterfree
Thanks to SilphScience on reddit for confirming the above.
As always, these will only appear for the duration of the event, but if you pick one up, you can hold onto them and complete them once it concludes.