Team Rocket has landed in Pokémon GO! But you won’t be seeing Jessie and James anytime soon, this Team GO Rocket is exclusive to Pokémon GO. Their appearance has been teased in-game for a while now, and now they’re finally here. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen them yet, Niantic‘s got a gradual roll-out plan for players worldwide.
Team Rocket Pokéstops
So what’s happening in this event? The Team Rocket Invasion begins like most marketing plans – with an epic rebrand. Open up the map and you’ll notice that some of your Pokéstops have been glitching. The cube that’s sitting above the stop is twitching and changing from the regular blue colour to a darker shade. Get a little closer and you’ll find it transformed into a Team Rocket Pokéstop. The stop will turn black with a gigantic R logo above it, for Team Rocket, and a Rocket Grunt will appear near it.
Once you see a glitching cube race over to it because Team Rocket members only appear for thirty minutes at a time. Moving about from Pokéstop to Pokéstop. Essentially, each invasion is a random, limited-time event. Each Rocket Stop is universal, however: so it’ll appear as a Rocket Stop for all players for the duration of its invasion.
Battle With Team Rocket
The actual Rocket Stop functionality isn’t anything to worry about – instead, the thing you should be concerned with is the Team Rocket Grunt. Like a
Pokémon encounter, you’ll be able to tap the grunt in order to engage in a trainer battle. Which functionally works just as it does with player-versus-player battles. You can fight an unlimited number of grunts per day, but only once at any given Pokéstop.
The Team Rocket Grunt will be using a different kind of Pokémon. Shadow Pokémon – They’re Pokémon possessed with negativity, identifiable by their evil red eyes. Once you’ve initiated and beaten the Rocket Grunt you’ll have the chance to catch one of the Rocket Grunt’s Shadow Pokémon. This mechanic works very similar to what happens after raids.
Once a Shadow Pokémon has been caught, you’ll have it as your own – but in order to truly make it one of your own, you’ll need to undertake the task of Purifying that Shadow Pokémon. As of now, you can only encounter 8 Shadow Pokémon – Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Rattata, Zubat, Snorlax, Dratini and Mudkip. As if we didn’t have enough Mudkips from last weekend.
Purifying Shadow Pokémon
Once you’ve caught a Shadow Pokémon, it’ll be added to your Pokemon roster like any other catch, but it will retain its shadowy nature, keeping the red eyes and the nasty purple cloud around it. Shadow Pokémon will also have a charged normal-type move called Frustration. Which is a fine move and all but also not as useful as any of the more specific moves it could have. Other than that, the Shadow Pokémon act and function like any other.
You’re able to cure that shadowy evil presence of a Shadow Pokémon by purifying them. Do this from a Pokémon’s profile page, but do note that it will cost a small amount of candy and stardust.
Purified Pokémon function like any other Pokémon, but thanks to Team Rocket they have some powerful bonuses.
- Purified Pokemon will by default have the normal-type charge move Return – and this move is entirely exclusive to Purified Pokemon. They’ll hold on to this move even through evolution, though it can be removed with TMs.
- Purified Pokemon will get +2 to all of its Individual Values, the base stats that determine a Pokemon’s power and strength.
- Purified Pokemon have a discount to the Stardust and Candy costs associated with powering up. This bonus stacks with those of Lucky Pokemon.
- Purified Pokemon also get a discount on the cost of their 2nd charge move for PVP battles.