Pokemon Go Team Go RocketSource: Niantic

Imagine you're a Pokémon happily minding your own business and doing ... um, pocket monster things, when Team Go Rocket using some crazy technique that puts you in agonizing pain and forces you to obey their every evil whim. Now stop imagining, because that's exactly what's been going on in Pokémon Go since Team Go Rocket invaded the game in the summer of 2019. Setting up shop at Pokèstops all over the map, Team Go Rocket has stolen some of the items at each one, daring you to defeat their Shadow Pokémon to stop them. Luckily for them, you can rescue Shadow Pokémon after battling them and purify them.

Let's dive more in-depth on what Shadow Pokémon are and which ones you can find in-game.

What exactly are Shadow Pokémon?

A mechanic originally introduced in Pokémon Colosseum, Shadow Pokémon are Pokémon who have been corrupted to be forced into criminal endeavors. It's not hard to tell them apart from their normal counterparts as they have a purple aura around them and completely red eyes. They are in constant pain and need Pokémon trainers to rescue them and Purify them. Now that Team Go Rocket has invaded Pokémon Go, they've brought along armies of Shadow Pokémon.

How can you capture Shadow Pokémon?

You can only capture Shadow Pokémon by defeating Team Go Rocket in battle first. Once you've found a Team Rocket Pokèstop, you'll have to defeat a team of three shadow Pokémon with your own team of three. It's sometimes an easy task and sometimes not, depending on the strength of your opposition, which can vary. While you can find more information on just how to beat Team Go Rocket in our Guide, once beaten, you will be able to attempt to catch a single Shadow Pokémon in the same way you would catch a Pokémon after a raid.

Pokemon Go Shadow Squirtle catchSource: iMore

You'll receive a set number of Premier Balls for defeating Team Go Rocket with no fainted Pokémon and less if you lose some in battle, though that number can also be boosted with continuing success against Team Go Rocket.

What do you do with Shadow Pokémon after you catch them?

Well, you could keep them as is. They look cool, and let's face it; Purifying a Shadow Rattata isn't going to make it any more useful than the Rattata you caught in the wild. The problem is that shadow Pokémon are actually weaker than they could be if you purify them. Plus, there are achievements and Research tasks that require Purifying Shadow Pokémon.

All it takes to purify a shadow Pokémon is Stardust and Candy. The amount of Stardust and Candy varies depending on the rarity of the Pokémon, and given that Stardust is one of the most necessary items in Pokémon Go, you might be selective about which Shadow Pokémon you Purify. Once you've decided on a Shadow Pokémon to Purify, you'll find the option in the profile screen right above the options to power up or evolve:

Pokemon Go Shadow WartortleSource: iMore

Purified Pokémon get an immediate increase to level 25 and boosted IV values, as well as a special charge move called Return, so there's certainly an excellent reason to Purify some of the rarer ones.

So, which Shadow Pokémon are available right now?

While Niantic will continue to expand and alter the list of Pokémon to fall under the thrall of Team Go Rocket going forward, here's every possible Shadow Pokémon you can find, catch, or evolve now.

  • Bulbasaur (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Ivysaur (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Venusaur (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Charmander (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Charmeleon (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Charizard (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Squirtle (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Wartortle (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Blastoise (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Weedle (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Kakuna (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Beedrill (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Rattata (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Raticate (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Sandshrew (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Sandslash (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Zubat (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Golbat (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Oddish (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Gloom (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Vileplume (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Venonat (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Venomoth (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Meowth (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Persian (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Psyduck (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Golduck (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Growlithe (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Arcanine (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Poliwag (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Poliwhirl (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Poliwrath (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Abra (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Kadabra (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Alakazam (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Bellspout (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Weepinbell (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Victreebel (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Magnemite (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Magneton (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Grimer (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Muk (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Drowzee (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Hypno (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Cubone (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Marowak (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Hitmonchan (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Scyther (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Electabuzz (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Magmar (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Magikarp (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Gyarados (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Lapras (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Porygon (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Snorlax (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Articuno (20,000 Stardust + 20 Candy)
  • Zapdos (20,000 Stardust + 20 Candy)
  • Moltres (20,000 Stardust + 20 Candy)
  • Dratini (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Dragonair (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Dragonite (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Crobat (1,000 Stardust + one Candy)
  • Mareep (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Flaaffy (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Ampharos (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Bellossom (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Politoed (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Wobbuffet (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Scizor (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Sneasal (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Houndour (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Houndoom (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Porygon2 (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Larvitar (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Pupitar (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Tyranitar (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Mudkip (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Marshtomp (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Swampert (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Seedot (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Nuzleaf (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Shiftry (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Ralts (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Kirlia (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Gardevoir (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Sableye (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Trapinch (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Vibrava (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Flygon (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Cacnea (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Cacturne (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Shuppet (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Banette (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Duskull (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Dusclops (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Turtwig (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Grotle (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Torterra (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Weaville (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Magnezone (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Electivire (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Magmortar (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • PorygonZ (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)
  • Gallade (5,000 Stardust + five Candy)
  • Dusknoir (3,000 Stardust + three Candy)

Got more questions about shadow Pokémon?

We're all ears! Please let us know what else you need to know in the comments section below, and we'll do our best to keep you up to speed.

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