Pokemon Go Team Rocket battles, shadow pokemon and more explained

The Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket invasion has been in the game for quite some time, but the way trainers can interact with them and the events surrounding how you deal with them have changed over the years. Whether you face the many Team Go Rocket grunts, the Rocket Leaders, the big boss himself, Giovanni, or Jessie and James from the Pokemon anime, there are a lot Pokemon Go trainers will need to know about.

We’ve got everything you need to know about Pokemon Go Team Rocket here, including links to some more specific guides to defeating the leaders, Giovanni, shadow Pokemon, and more.  

 How to find Pokemon Go Team Rocket 

pokemon go team rocket

(Image credit: Niantic)

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Trainers first need to know how to find Team Go Rocket in Pokemon Go. There are two ways to find and battle them.

The first is through Pokestops. In the overworld map, trainers may come across a Pokestop that is black in color. They will also see a Team Go Rocket avatar standing next to it. Trainers can simply spin the Pokestop and the grunt will challenge you to a Pokemon battle.

The second way is through Team Go Rocket balloons that appear above your trainer in the overworld. These balloons spawn every so often and by simply tapping on the balloon will engage in a dialogue with a grunt (or leader) and a challenge will be issued.

Defeating these grunts will reward trainers with some Stardust, of the the Pokemon Go Mysterious Components you need to build a Rocket Radar, and the chance at catching a specific Shadow Pokemon.

As for what Team the Rocket Grunts use, that is indicated by their dialogue. Here’s a list of dialogue and the corresponding types they use for you to construct your team ahead of the battle.

Pokemon GO team rocket

(Image credit: Niantic)

Pokemon Go Rocket Grunt dialogue and pokemon type Type Dialogue MixedWinning is for winners. Don’t bother, I’ve already won. Get ready to be defeated!BugGo, my super bug Pokemon!DarkWherever there is light, there is also shadow!DragonROAR!…how does that sound?FairyCheck out my cute Pokemon!FightingThis buff physique isn’t just for show!FireDo you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?FlyingMy Flying-type Pokemon wants to battle with youGhostKe…ke..ke…ke…ke…GrassDon’t tangle with us!GroundYou’ll be defeated into the ground!IceYou’re gonna be frozen in your tracksNormalNormal does not mean weakPoisonCoiled and ready to strike!PsychicAre you scared of psychics that use unseen power?RockLet’s rock and roll!WaterThe waters are treacherous!

Pokemon Go Shadow & Purified Pokemon

Pokemon Go Team Rocket: Shadow Pokemon in a gym

(Image credit: Niantic)

Shadow Pokemon are essentially corrupted versions of normal Pokemon that have the charge move Frustration, and significantly lower CP than usual. Above the option to evolve it and teach it a new move, Purify will be available. The cost for this is different depending on the Pokemon, but it usually only costs a few thousand stardust and a couple of candy.

Shadow Pokemon’s attacks are stronger than their normal or purified versions, but their defenses are also lower. Purifying shadow Pokemon means that the resulting CP will be considerably higher, but of course they lose the badass purple smoke and red eyes. Find out more in our guide on how to purify shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go and visit our Pokemon Go shadow Pokemon guide to see the complete list of shadow Pokemon in the game.

Other Pokemon Go Team Rocket information

There are a lot of other tidbits of information that will come in handy when trying to stop the scourge of Team Rocket. 

  • Invaded Pokestops have a time limit of exactly 30 minutes
  • The shadow Pokemon at each invaded stop is the same for everyone
  • You need to be at least level eight to find invaded Pokestops
  • The Pokestop returns to normal after you complete the battle
  • Shadow Pokemon have a chance to be shiny
  • Purifying a shadow Pokemon adds two points to each IV stat, so a 13/13/13 shadow Pokemon will be 100% when purified
  • Purification also increases the level of the Pokemon to 25
  • Shadow Pokemon can be traded and placed in gyms
  • You can’t replace Frustration with a TM but there are some events that allow trainers to do so. As for Return, these can be replaced with TMs.
  • Purified Pokemon cost slightly less to evolve

Good luck stopping Team Rocket!

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