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Pokémon Go Mysterious Components and Rocket Radar explained

Everything you need to know about summoning the Team Go Rocket Leaders.

Collecting Mysterious Components is an integral part of taking down Team Go Rocket and catching powerful Shadow Pokémon in the world of Pokémon Go.

Collect enough of these and you will be able to craft a Rocket Radar earning you the chance to track down and battle one of the Team Go Rocket Leaders Arlo, Cliff and Sierra in Pokémon Go.

All this leads up to a rare chance to battle the original villain of the Pokémon franchise – the very head of the organisation, Giovanni.

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What are Mysterious Components in Pokémon Go?

There are many benefits to catching Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go – from the lore-based reasons of purifying Pokémon to relieve them from their pain, to the fact that they deal 20% bonus damage. These Pokémon are so strong, it’s almost never correct to purify them.

There are three ways to get Shadow Pokémon, but the strongest belong to the Team Go Rocket Leaders, plus Giovanni, from whom you can catch Legendary Shadow Pokémon (roughly once per month). But how do you earn the chance to do this? That all boils down to Mysterious Components – you will earn your first one by taking down the Team Go Rocket Grunts that you occasionally see pop up around PokéStops.

The in-game description of Mysterious Components is: 'This appears to be what Team Go Rocker uses to hack PokéStops. Does it have another use?'

You'll receive this dialogue when you find this first Mysterious Component.

That heavily telegraphed second use is creating a Rocket Radar – collect six Mysterious Components and you'll see a notification saying: 'It looks like these components fit together!'

Click 'Combine components' and you will see a Rocket Radar form before your eyes!

The Season of Timeless Travels has arrived in Pokémon Go! The Along the Routes event is here, bringing Gift Exchange and the A Route to New Friendships quest with it. During it, take the time to try out Routes and Party Play while you're hunting down rare Pokémon, fighting in the Go Battle League or competing in PokéStop Showcases.

How to find Mysterious Components in Pokémon Go

There are two ways to get Mysterious Components in Pokémon Go: battling Grunts and completing event-exclusive Field Research tasks – though you will almost always get them from defeating Grunts.

Grunts are the lowest rung of the Team Go Rocket hierarchy, and can be found either at the dark blue, shaking Pokéstops or in the periodic Team Go Rocket Balloons. They each fit into a neatly telegraphed category – if they’re asking if you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get, there’s a solid chance that it’s because they’re obsessed with Fire-type Pokémon.

There’s no sure-fire way to make Grunts spawn at Pokéstops, but Balloons spawn at set times every day. The times vary depending on whether there’s a Rocket event on, so do check your phone a couple of times per day if you’re looking for a specific Shadow Pokémon!

The second way to collect Mysterious Components is from Field Research tasks. These can be the Field Research you get from spinning PokéStops during certain events or it can be from an event-specific Research task on your Today-view screen. Either way, the end goal is the same – get six of them and combine them into a Rocket Radar.

One last thing to note is that if you have a Rocket Radar, you can’t collect any more Mysterious Components, no matter how many Grunts you defeat!

How to use the Rocket Radar in Pokémon Go

To use the Rocket Radar, simply equip it from the Items bag. Once equipped, Team Go Rocket Leaders will spawn – if you don’t want them to spawn, simply navigate back to your bag and unequip the Rocket Radar. It’s also good to know that if you don’t have a Rocket Radar in your bag, you will be able to see the number of Mysterious Components you have in its place.

As you may have noticed from its in-game description (and indeed its name) 'You can use this to track down Team GO Rocket Hideouts!', there is slightly more to this than simply equipping it. While you can walk around and hope for the best or simply wait for your next Balloon – you are guaranteed a Team Go Rocket Leader encounter in a balloon if you have a Rocket Radar equipped – you can also use the Radar as a Radar. Well, kinda...

With the Rocket Radar quipped, return to the map screen and tap its icon in the upper right corner screen. This will bring up an overlay showing you where the nearest Team Go Rocket leader is in Pokémon Go.

When you approach an invaded PokéStop, the Rocket Leader inhabiting will appear on the map, just like a Grunt.

Use the Rocket Radar to hunt down the Team Go Rocket Leaders.

This trick is particularly useful if you don’t fancy fighting that particular Rocket Leader. There’s several reasons why you would want to target a particular Leader, from hunting a specific Shadow Pokémon to trying to complete the research tasks needed to take on Giovanni. Either way, which Leader is at a PokéStop is randomised. It’s also entirely possible that the same Leader will be at two nearby stops, spawning on your screen twice at the same time!

So, if you don’t like what you see, click the Radar icon and look for your next-nearest Team Go Rocket Leader.

Rocket Radars are reusable until a Rocket Leader has been defeated. From there, you can start collecting Mysterious Components again, create another Rocket Radar, and so on.

If you need a hand facing each Leader, our Arlo, Cliff and Sierra page can help.

Good luck hunting down those evil Team Go Rocket leaders!

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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.