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Pokémon Go Hoenn Throwback Challenge 2020 steps and research tasks explained

How to complete the Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald inspired challenge.

The Hoenn Throwback Challenge in Pokémon Go is a Special Research quest designed to celebrate the third generation of Pokémon and the games released along them.

Throughout this challenge, you'll be able to catch Pokémon that reference the Gym Leaders that appeared in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.

Like the previous Throwback Challenges for Kanto and Johto, the Hoenn Throwback Challenge doesn't end in an encounter with a brand new Pokémon, but it dies contain a number of Pokémon that might be missing from your Pokédex.

On this page:

How 'Throwback Challenge 2020 Hoenn' works in Pokémon Go

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

The Hoenn Throwback Challenge consists of eight quest steps, which reference the Gym Leaders in Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. For completing the first set of challenges, for example, you'll be rewarded with a Nosepass encounter, because Nosepass was the strongest in Roxanne's team, who is the first Gym Leader in all three games.

Unlike the recent paid-for quest in Pokémon Go, this event is free for all players. The catch, however, is that you only have a week to access and complete every challenge in the event.

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

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

'Throwback Challenge 2020: Hoenn' is running between Friday, May 15th to Friday, May 22nd. It will start and end at 1pm your local time on these days.

If you've already completed both the Kanto and Johto Throwback Challenge from the previous weekend, then you should continue to complete this Throwback Challenge and the upcoming Sinnoh Throwback Challenge.

Completing all four Throwback Challenges will unlock a special 'Throwback Challenge Champion 2020' event from June 3rd to June 8th.


New to the game is a long overdue Mega Evolution update, which has arrived alongside the A Mega Moment research. May 2022 in Pokémon Go includes the Water Festival, which celebrates the release of Dewpider and Araquanid. Tapu Fini has also been released alongside A Poni Adventure - the last Alola region-themed special research quest. Currently both the Ultra League and Element Cup are running in the Go Battle League. Elsewhere, we've recently seen the release of more Gen 7 Pokémon as part of the Season of Alola. The first details surrounding Go Fest 2022 have also been announced, including the event date.


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

Below you'll find all the steps and confirmed rewards for the Hoenn Throwback quest. Be wary though, this information does contain spoilers for the entire Special Research quest.

Thank you to SilphScience on reddit for the help with this information.

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 1 of 9

  • Catch a Rock-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Cath 3 Fire, Grass or Water-type Pokémon - 10x Poké Balls
  • Johto Throwback Challenge make-up reward - 5x Rare Candies

Rewards: 1x Pinap Berry, 2x Razz Berry and a Nosepass encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 2 of 9

  • Catch a Fighting-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Power up a Pokémon - 5x Pinap Berries
  • Make 3 Nice Throws - Lairon encounter

Rewards: 2x Pinap Berries, 1x Razz Berry and a Hariyama encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 3 of 9

  • Catch an Electric-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Send a Gift to a Friend - 1x Incense
  • Make 3 Curveball Throws - Wailmer encounter

Rewards: 1x Pinap Berry, 2x Razz Berries and a Manectric encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 4 of 9

  • Catch a Fire-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Earn a Candy walking with your Buddy - Trapinch encounter
  • Catch 3 weather boosted Pokémon - Bagon

Rewards: 2x Pinap Berries, 1x Razz Berry and a Camerupt encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 5 of 9

  • Catch a Normal-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Make 3 Great Throws - Shedinja encounter
  • Power up a Pokémon 3 times - 10x Great Balls

Rewards: 1x Pinap Berry, 2x Razz Berries and a Slakoth encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 6 of 9

  • Catch a Flying-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Catch a Water, Bug or Electric-type Pokémon - 10x Ultra Balls
  • Battle another trainer - Absol encounter

Rewards: 2x Pinap Berries, 1x Razz Berry and a Swellow encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 7 of 9

  • Catch a Psychic-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Catch a Ghost-type Pokémon - 5x Revives
  • Give your buddy 3 treats - 1x Charge TM

Rewards: 1x Pinap Berry, 2x Razz Berries and a Claydol encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 8 of 9

  • Catch a Water-type Pokémon - 500 Stardust
  • Take a snapshot of a Water-type Pokémon - Clamperl encounter
  • Evolve a Pokémon - 1x Star Piece

Rewards: 2x Pinap Berries, 1 Razz Berry and a Sealeo encounter

'Hoenn Throwback Challenge' Step 9 of 9

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

Rewards: 10 Rare Candies and a Groudon encounter, which knows Fire Punch

You never know you might be able to catch a shiny Groudon!

Hoenn Throwback Challenge 2020 research tasks in Pokémon Go explained

Like the previous Throwback Challenges, the Hoenn Throwback Challenge also has a collection of themed Research Tasks that you can gain from spinning PokéStops.

These tasks are:

  • Catch an Electric-type Pokémon reward - Swellow
  • Catch 3 Normal-type Pokémon reward - Skitty
  • Evolve a Pokémon reward - Snorunt
  • Play with your buddy reward - Lotad
  • Give your buddy a treat reward - Corphish
  • Earn a heart with your buddy reward - Marshtomp
  • Send 2 Gifts to friends reward - Treecko
  • Trade a Pokémon reward - Ralts
  • Battle another trainer reward - Combusken

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 the task once the event has ended.

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About the Author

Lottie Lynn avatar

Lottie Lynn

Senior Guides Writer

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

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