How to complete A Troubling Situation Special Research in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket
Pokemon Go Team Go Rocket (Image credit: Niantic)

On November 7, 2019, Pokémon Go launched a new Special Research, Looming in the Shadows. To begin Looming in the Shadows, players must complete the previous Special Research, A Troubling Situation, and each month since, another Speacial Research was released that required all the previous lines to be completed first. Fortunately, A Troubling Situation is a quick and easy set with only three active steps.

For one week only, beginning October 12, 2020, Team GO Rocket Aerial Attacks have been boosted. Now you can challenge Team GO Rocket Grunts, Executives, and even Giovanni himself every three hours! Better make the most of this because, for a limited time only, Giovanni has also captured Shadow Mewtwo, the most powerful Pokémon in the whole game!

What is Team GO Rocket anyway?

Based on the original antagonists of Pokémon, Team Rocket is an infamous criminal organization led by Giovanni. The group seeks to steal valuable Pokémon and force those Pokémon to further Giovanni's endeavors. In Pokémon Go, the group is much the same, known as Team GO Rocket. Basically, they're the bad guys who've been missing from the game since day one. They're here now, and once a month, you can complete a Special Research to take on their leader, Giovanni and potentially rescue a Legendary Shadow Pokémon from him.

Team GO Rocket Aerial Attacks

Team Go Rocket Balloon Grunt (Image credit: iMore)

In addition to Team GO Rocket Invaded PokéStops, players can also challenge Team GO Rocket in hot air balloons. These balloons spawn randomly on the map, just like Pokémon, and will bring a Team GO Rocket Grunt, Executive, or even Giovanni, himself, directly to you. Under normal circumstances, Trainers can expect:

  • Without a Rocket Radar, you will encounter Grunts.
  • Jesse and James in their Meowth hot air balloon are no longer appearing, but should they return, they give you the chance to earn two Mysterious Components for the one balloon.
  • With a normal Rocket Radar equipped, you will encounter one of the Team GO Rocket Executives.
  • With a Super Rocket Radar equipped, you will have the chance to encounter Giovanni, himself.
  • The first balloon will show up between midnight and 6 AM local time.
  • The second balloon will show up between 6 AM and noon local time.
  • The third balloon will show up between noon and 6 PM local time.
  • The final balloon will show up between 6 PM and midnight local time.

The line ups for Shadow Pokémon are the same as if you encountered Team GO Rocket at a PokéStop. If you don't beat the Executive or Giovanni, your Radar will remain intact until you are able to defeat a Team GO Rocket leader.

Strange Eggs

As of October 12, 2020, Trainers can also rescue Strange Eggs from Team GO Rocket exectutives. These special eggs require 12 KM of walking to hatch and only contain select Poison and Dark type Pokémon.

A Troubling Situation

Initially released in July 2019, the Pokémon Go Special Research, A Troubling Situation, introduces players to Team GO Rocket. The Team GO Rocket Invasion, which released at the same time, had Team GO Rocket Grunts taking over Pokéstops and challenging trainers to battles using their corrupted Shadow Pokémon. Upon defeating these Grunts in battles similar to the PVP trainer battles, players get the chance to rescue a Shadow Pokémon and purify it.

Step one

  1. Evolve two Pokémon for a Murkrow encounter (potentially shiny).
  2. Power up a Pokémon five times for a Sableye encounter (potentially shiny).

Completion Rewards: 1,000 Stardust, and 2,000 XP

Step two

  1. Catch two Shadow Pokémon for a Koffing encounter (potentially shiny).
  2. Defeat three Team GO Rocket Grunts for an Ekans encounter (potentially shiny).

Completion Rewards: 2,000 Stardust, 2,000 XP, and five Golden Razz Berries

Step three

  1. Purify three Shadow Pokémon for 3,000 Stardust.
  2. Purify a Fire, Water, or Grass-type Shadow Pokémon for 3,000 XP.

Completion Rewards: 2,000 Stardust, five Silver Pinap Berries, and one Rare Candy

Step four

  1. Completed automatically for 1,000 Stardust.
  2. Completed automatically for 1,000 XP.
  3. Completed automatically for 1,000 Stardust.

Reward for completion: one Fast TM, one Charged TM, and three Rare Candies.

And voilà! You've completed A Troubling Situation! Now you can move on to the monthly Special Research lines that allow you to challenge Team GO Rocket Executives and even Giovanni himself!

A Troubling Situation or Team Go Rocket questions?

Do you have any questions about A Troubling Situation or challenging Team GO Rocket Grunts? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Best Portable Battery Packs for iPhone in 2020 guide so you can be sure to stay charged while you're defending the Pokémon Go world from Team GO Rocket!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.