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Pokémon Go EX Raids and how to get an EX Raid Pass explained

Everything you need to know about EX Raids in Pokémon Go, including how to receive an EX Raid Pass.

EX Raids are special, invite-only, raids that occur in Pokémon Go. To take part in an EX Raid, then you must have received an EX Raid Pass.

The Pokémon you fight during an EX Raid can be more powerful than Tier 5 raid Pokémon, requiring larger groups of trainers to defeat them. Not only does this make them a challenge for even the seasoned Pokémon Go players, but makes them a celebrated addition to the Pokédex.

In true Pokémon style, Mewtwo was the first Pokémon to available through an EX Raid, with other equally rare Pokémon joining the ranks over time.

Note: Due to COVID-19, from March 2020 Niantic has called off EX Raids for the foreseeable future. Until then, this page acts as a reference of how EX Raids work and offers details of previous EX Raid Pokémon.

On this page:

What are EX Raids in Pokémon Go and what can you currently catch?

EX Raids are invite-only raids that occur at a specific gym at a specific date and time.

Taking part in an EX Raid will allow you to battle a Pokémon that is either only available through this special event, or has a powerful and exclusive move. However, these Pokémon will eventually be rotated into Legendary Pokémon Raid rotation after around a year of EX exclusivity.

The current EX Raid Pokémon is Regigigas - though it'll eventually be replaced with Genesect at an unspecified time.

Previous EX Raid Pokemon include:

  • Mewtwo (debut, late 2017 to late 2018)
  • Deoxys (all four formes, late 2018 to late 2019)
  • Mewtwo (returns with Shadow Ball, late 2019)
  • Regigigas (late 2019 to present)
Both Mewtwo and Deoxys have appeared in EX Raids.

Which gyms are eligible for EX Raids in Pokémon Go?

Not every gym in Pokémon Go is eligible for EX Raids.

The gyms that are eligible for EX Raids are either in parks or are sponsored Gyms.

To find out whether your local gym can host an EX Raid, look in the upper right-hand corner of your phone screen. If there are the words 'EX Raid Gym' highlighted in blue there, then this gym can hold an EX Raid.

How to get an EX Raid Pass in Pokémon Go

Note: Due to COVID-19, from March 2020 Niantic has called off EX Raids for the foreseeable future.

Receiving an EX Raid Pass is all dependant on how often you take part in raids.

The more you raid, the more likely you are to receive an EX Raid Pass.

You can increase your chances of receiving an EX Raid pass by:

  • Have a Gold Gym Badge at an EX Raid eligible gym
  • Have completed a 'larger number' of raid battles
  • Have raided at an EX Raid eligible gym with 20 or more players in the last week

Levelling up your Gym Badge for an EX Raid gym is the easiest way to increase your chances of receiving an EX Raid pass.

You can do this by Pokémon at the gym, putting a Pokémon into the gym when your team is holding it, competing in raids at the gym and giving berries to the Pokémon in the gym when your team is holding it.

Level up your Gym Badges to increase your chances of receiving an EX Raid pass.

Once you've levelled the Gym Badge up to Gold, start taking part in as many high-level raids at that location as possible to further increase your chances of receiving the pass.

You want to be as active at this gym as physically possible to increase the odds of receiving a pass.

When do receive an EX Raid Pass, it should be between a few days to a week in advance and at a time that takes into account when the gym is most used.

This, in theory, should give you and your fellow Pokémon Go players enough time to find the Raid location and co-ordinate about when to complete the EX Raid. This is useful, because, so far, all the EX Raid Pokémon have been very strong and require a large number of players to take them down.

How to invite a friend to an EX Raid in Pokémon Go

Select 'Invite' to invite a friend to an EX Raid.

You can now also invite, or be invited, to an EX Raid by one of your Pokémon Go friends.

You'll be given the option to invite a friend to an EX Raid when you first receive the invite.

Select the option 'Invite' from the menu to open up your Friend's List.

From there you can pick which friend you wish to invite to the EX Raid. Keep in mind, however, you can only invite Ultra and Best level friends.

Once you've sent out your invitation, it will appear in your friend's bag, allowing both of you to attend the EX Raid.

Remember - you can only hold one gifted EX Raid invite at a time. The only way to receive another one is to decline your current invite or wait till the timer runs out.

What happens if an EX Raid is cancelled in Pokémon Go?

There is always a chance that your EX Raid might be cancelled. If it is, you'll be compensated with 5 Raid Passes and 50,000 Stardust.

These gifts almost make you wish all the EX Raids were cancelled.

The Season of Mythical Wishes has seen Kecleon finally being released in Pokémon Go! The Crackling Voltage event is currently running and it has brought as a new Team Go Rocket quest - Shadowy Skirmishes! The team lineups for Giovanni and the Team Go Rocket Leaders has also changed. Don't forget to partake in the new Go Battle League season. Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres. This incense may also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.

What Pokémon have appeared in EX Raids in Pokémon Go?

Pokémon that have previously appeared in EX Raids, include:

  • Mewtwo - September 2017 to September 2018
  • Deoxys Normal Forme - September 2018 to September 2019
  • Deoxys Attack Forme - December 2018 to September 2019
  • Deoxys Defence Forme - March 2018 to September 2019
  • Deoxys Speed Forme - June 2018 to September 2019

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Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.

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