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Pokémon Go Shadow Raids, including how Shadow Raids work, enraged Pokémon and Shadow Raid restrictions

Team Rocket have started invading Gyms!

Shadow Raids are the third type of raid to be introduced in Pokémon Go, alongside the traditional raid system and Mega Raids.

A Shadow Raid occurs when Team Go Rocket has invaded a Gym as part of their continued effort to take over the Pokémon Go world. You’ll face Shadow Pokémon during these raids and it will become an enraged Pokémon during said fight.

There are also a number of Shadow Raid restrictions you should be aware of before you plan on tackling one of these fights in Pokémon Go.

On this page:

Battling and catching the latest Ultra Beast, Guzzlord, in Pokémon Go.

What are Shadow Raids and how do Shadow Raids work in Pokémon Go?

Shadow Raids in Pokémon Go allow you to team up with other trainers to battle a Shadow Raid Boss, which is a Shadow Pokémon similar to the ones you traditionally catch by defeating members of Team Go Rocket.

Like traditional raids, Shadow Raids are divided into three strength categories - one-star, three-star and five-star - which helps determine how many trainers you need to defeat it. One being the weakest Raid Boss and five being the strongest.

You will also get the chance to catch the Shadow Pokémon if you defeat it and receive a number of Premier Balls to do.

To partake in a Shadow Raid, you must first find a Gym which has been invaded by Team Go Rocket. You can do this by checking your 'Nearby Raid' menu - any Shadow Raid Pokémon or Eggs will have a purple flame behind it - or finding any Gyms which are now coloured black and, if a Shadow Raid is active, have the Team Rocket 'R' floating above them.

You may find members of Team Go Rocket - from Grunts to Leaders and maybe even Giovanni himself - appearing as you draw closer to a Shadow Raid if you’re in range.

Once you’re at the Shadow Raid, join it like you would any other raid - keeping in mind that Shadow Raids do use Raid Passes.

You will then battle the Shadow Pokémon Raid Boss in exactly the same way as you would a normal Raid Boss. The only difference occurs when you’re battling either a three-star or five-star Shadow Raid Boss, because these Pokémon can become enraged. Read the section below if you’d like to learn more about enraged Pokémon.

If you successfully win the raid, you’ll earn a collection of rewards, including Shadow Shards, and get the chance to catch the Shadow Pokémon you were fighting. If you lose, however, you’ll have to put up with some Team Rocket gloating.

Enraged Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go explained

During three-star and five-star Shadow Raids in Pokémon Go, the Shadow Pokémon you’re fighting will gradually become enraged. When this happens both their defence and attack will be boosted, making them far more difficult to defeat.

It’s important to note that one-star Shadow Raid Bosses do not become enraged.

To subdue an enraged Shadow Pokémon, you need to use a Purified Gem. This will help neutralise their enraged state and, in doing so, make them easier to defeat.

Each player can use up to five Purified Gems per Shadow Raid and their effect will also stack, so, if lots of players in the raid are using Purified Gems, you’ll be able to defeat the Shadow Pokémon a lot faster.

To learn how to get Purified Gems, visit our Shadow Shards and Purified Gem guide for Pokémon Go.

The Season of Hidden Gems has arrived, bringing with it a new Go Battle League season. Depending on your region, you can currently battle Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf in five-star raids. Elsewhere, be sure to compete in Shadow Raids, 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.

Shadow Raid restrictions in Pokémon Go explained

There are two main restrictions to keep in mind when partaking in Pokémon Go.

The first, and most important, is that you can only join a Shadow Raid in-person. This means you have to be physically at the location of the Gym hosting the Shadow Raid and can not use Remote Raid Passes to attend. Partaking in a Shadow Raid will still consume one Raid Pass.

The second restriction is that Shadow Raids do not reward a team bonus for Premier Balls. This means that if you successfully complete a Shadow Raid at a Gym which is being occupied by your team, you will not receive any additional Premier Balls like you would in other raids. Team Rocket has, after all, technically stolen the Gym from your team.

Good luck in Shadow Raids!

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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