Periodically, Pokémon Go introduces Special Research, sets of tasks that players can complete once for awesome rewards. While most of these Special Research are independent of each other, every so often one serves as a prerequisite for the next. 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.
While updates to the monthly Special Research lines have been temporarily put on hold, as of July 7, 2020, Team GO Rocket hot air balloons now spawn on the map like Pokémon encounters. These hot air balloons operate in the same way as invaded PokéStops, allowing players to challenge Team GO Rocket Grunts, Executives, and even Giovanni himself, all without the need to travel to PokéStops.
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
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. To challenge Executives Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo, you'll need to have a Rocket Radar equipped. To challenge Giovanni, you'll need to have a Super Rocket Radar equipped. Building the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar still works the same as before by gathering Mysterious Components or just buying it in the PokéShop.
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.
- Evolve two Pokémon for a Murkrow encounter (potentially shiny).
- Power up a Pokémon five times for a Sableye encounter (potentially shiny).
Completion Rewards: 1,000 Stardust, and 2,000 XP
- Catch two Shadow Pokémon for a Koffing encounter (potentially shiny).
- 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
- Purify three Shadow Pokémon for 3,000 Stardust.
- 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
- Completed automatically for 1,000 Stardust.
- Completed automatically for 1,000 XP.
- 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 Complete Pokédex, as well as our other Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!
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