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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:

Jessie and James have arrived in Pokémon GO

Spawn rate for Jessie and James during the Secrets of the Jungle event in Pokémon Go

Despite being hard to find during the Secrets of the Jungle event, we can reassure you that Jessie and James are currently appearing in Pokémon Go.

It appears the evil duo have a low spawn rate for this event, which isn't affected by whether you have a Rocket Radar equipped or not. Personally, we've only encountered one Meowth balloon so far.

If you want to battle Jessie and James, we recommend checking Pokémon Go every time a new Rocket balloon is meant to spawn. This occurs every six hours, with a starting point of midnight, and make sure you wait a couple of minutes in case the balloon doesn't automatically appear.

It's important to note that this doesn't guarantee their appearance, because you may just see the regular Rocket Balloon instead.

Still, they are most definitely appearing in Pokémon till Friday, 15th October at 10am (local time), so you may still find them!

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.

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.

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 is the perfect time to heal up if needed!

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 Scyther every time, whereas James will feature a Shadow Pinsir in their line-up.

Once you've defeated Jessie's Shadow Scyther, you'll have to defeat Ekans and Stantler.

While Jessie has a mixture of Pokémon types, they are all weak to steel-type Pokémon, so grab your strongest steel-type Pokémon, such as a Metagross, Dialga or Excadrill, and start demolishing her team. If you don't have many steel-types, Jessie's team are also weak to rock, psychic and fire-types.

Aside from Shadow Pinsir, James' team also consists of Koffing and Grimer.

Since James' team literally consists of one bug-type and two poison-type Pokémon, it's very easy to plan out which Pokémon you should use against it.

Pinsir will be easily defeated by any strong fire-type Pokémon and, once it's taken care of, you'll have the choice of your psychic and ground-type Pokémon for Grimmer and Koffing.

Remember - 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.

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


Currently available is the Astral Eclipse event, which brings the A Cosmic Companion special research quest of the Season of Light to a close. You can also finally evolve Cosmoem into Solgaleo or Lunala! Elsewhere, be sure to use Daily Adventure Incense for the chance of encountering Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos and Galarian Moltres.


Jessie and James dates and times in Pokémon Go

Jessie and James have returned to Pokémon Go as part of the Secrets of the Jungle event, which means they will be floating about in the iconic Meowth balloon from Friday, 1st October to Sunday, 10th October, with the event ending at 8pm (local time).

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

They then made their first reappearance from Monday, 14th December 2021 to February 2021.

When Jessie and James are present in Pokémon Go, their Meowth balloon will appear instead of the typical Team Go Rocket Balloon as a rare encounter. The rate at which the Meowth Balloon may increase if a particular event is currently taking place in Pokémon Go.

About the Author
Lottie Lynn avatar

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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