Team Go Rocket bannerSource: Niantic

Pokémon GO players are now able to battle Team GO Rocket as they have taken over PokéStops. After winning a battle with Team GO Rocket, they leave behind a Shadow Pokémon of varying types that can be caught, purified, and added to the player's Pokémon.

But not every PokéStop has been taken over. Here's how you can tell if you've found one with Team GO Rocket and what you get out of the new tasks they brought along.

Team GO Rocket Invasions in Pokémon GO: Everything you need to know

How to find a Team GO Rocket PokéStop

  1. Find a PokéStop in Pokémon GO.
  2. Look at the top of the cube that indicates a PokéStop is there. These are usually a light blue color.
  3. Check for twitching and a slightly darker blue than usual. These signs indicate a Team GO Rocket stop. Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket stop 1
  4. Walk closer to the PokéStop. Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket stop 3
  5. If the cube turns completely black with an "R" above it and there is a Team GO Rocket representative, or Grunt, standing next to the stop, you've found one!

What kind of Pokémon will Team GO Rocket have

The Pokémon carried by each Grunt is different. Pay close attention to the wording before the fight to get an idea of what the strongest Pokémon you will need to prepare for. While we go into more detail in our Team Go Rocket Guide, many of the phrases Team Go Rocket Grunts say before battle will give you an idea of the types of Pokémon they will bring to battle.

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A couple of phrases you may run into include:

  • "ROAR! ... How'd that sound?" - Dragon-type
  • "Don't tangle with us!" - Grass-type
  • "Get ready to be shocked!" - Electric-type

Why fight Team GO Rocket?

Obviously, you can get a shadow Pokémon if you catch it after the battle. This Pokémon will be stronger than others once it's purified but will lose its shadow look in the process. If you follow the tasks assigned to you by Professor Willow, you will also be rewarded with new Pokémon, Stardust, XP, berries, rare candy, and TMs. Battling Team Go Rocket Grunts is also necessary to gain Mysterious Components, which, in turn, can be used to track down the Executives of Team Go Rocket. Defeating the Team Go Rocket Executives have even greater rewards, including Unova and Sinnoh Stones. Defeating the Executives is also necessary to challenge Giovanni once per calendar month, which brings Shadow Legendary Pokémon to battle.

Team GO Rocket Take Overs

While finding lots of Team GO Rocket PokéStops can be a challenge, especially if you don't have a ton of PokéStops in your are to begin with, every now and then, Pokémon Go has Team GO Rocket Take Overs, in which virtually all PokéStops is claimed by Team GO Rocket Grunts and Team GO Rocket Leaders are more plentiful. The last Team GO Rocket Take Over was November 24, 2019 from 11 AM to 1 PM but many players are holding out hope for this to be a monthly occurrence to help with completing the Special Research and facing Giovanni.

The future of Team GO Rocket in Pokémon GO

If you are enjoying the Team GO Rocket addition to the game, Niantic has good news for you:

"Your reaction to the Team GO Rocket feature has blown all of us away. To see something we've all worked so hard on bringing so much excitement to our players is what motivates us to continue making awesome experiences for you to enjoy. Trainers can look forward to more Grunts to defeat, more Shadow Pokémon to rescue, and maybe even some showdowns with new Team Rocket higher-ups...including one face that might be familiar..."

Now that you've found a Team GO Rocket PokéStop, get out there are catch your shadow Pokémon and practice for the upcoming adventures. Good luck and prepare for trouble!

Share your Team GO Rocket victories, and favorite shadow Pokémon catches in the comments!

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