Niantic is testing Legendary (Tier 5) Raids in the SF Bay area. At the moment, they’re using their internal “dogfood” servers (intended only for Niantic employees) and very short visibility of Tier 5 Raids to cloak their tests.

As raid test intervals are super short, it’s hard to catch them live, but two redditors have managed to do it in the past 14 days. Here’s how it looks:

Legendary Tier 5 Raid Tests

Encounter 1, reported by flipdrago, shows a number of placeholder silhouettes with 5 “boss head icons” under the raid name TEST. The heads are visible while zooming in, but also much more visible in the over-contrasted version below.

Click for larger version

Encounter 1 with additional contrast added, Tier 5 marking visible:

Click for larger version

Encounter 2, reported by Scooby1222, roughly 2 weeks ago:

As observed, these raids are tested at random times, only in SF Bay area. San Francisco is the location of Niantic’s US offices, so this is rather expected. We are not sure why these raids are visible for regular Trainers, but it could be a mistake (or an intentional leak) by Niantic.

This further reinforces the code we found in the 0.67.1 data mine and it’s now obvious why the Legendary Egg icon and textures were found in the 0.67.1 APK.

  • Pokemon Trainer N


  • Antonio Mercurio

    wow, Its happeninig. Thx Pokemon Go Hub you guys are awesome

  • Josh Hack

    fascinating how people actually worked this out.

  • John Jorgensen


  • Oscar Pinzas

    Hello! What is the best way to get in contact with you guys?

  • Imseos

    on the one side i am hyped^^ but on the other side i am a rural player (small town) and if i think i need rond about 10 player to defeat an tier 5 raid boss so its impossible to organize this thing only with pokemon go without fb or whats app?

    • Benny

      Best thing you can do is go to the closest city that’s what i do since the game is dead where i live.

    • Donald Dubrovic

      10 People?!?!?!? Lol forget you need atleast about 20 for legendaries

      • GonzoI

        20 is the cap, so “at least” isn’t really the issue. Also, it depends heavily on pokemon level. The recommendations for a tier 4 are much higher than the raiding parties people typically use. That said, we’re hard pressed to get the 5 we need for a Snorlax raid in rural areas, so the 10+ (I agree with his estimate) will be very difficult.

        • Luke Davies

          The Cap is 20 currently, doesn’t mean that won’t increase and I think it will and will make sense for Tier 5/Legendaries, they are going to be ridiculously hard to take down.

          • GonzoI

            1. The 20 player cap is due to server capacity. The servers aren’t going to be LESS active during legendary raids.
            2. The 20 player cap is in code. Code that would have to be deployed out as a change BEFORE testing if the test environment overlaps in the way shown above.

            The cap of 20 is the cap. It’s not going to change for legendaries, and it’s unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

          • leonidaswin

            Gonzol – Surely you work at niantic, don´t you?

          • GonzoI

            Nope, I actually know how to test my code before I deploy it to the users. That disqualifies me from working there.

          • Nick Landreth

            Such shade.

      • DrBanner

        Considering that Tyranitar is currently beatable with only two trainers, I think even 10 is a stretch, more like 10 is a very safe number of trainers.

        • Michael Sanders

          Really 2 people? What level and what’re you using???

          • C4rNifeX

            U should be >Lvl36 both and 6x Machamp With 2600CP or more.
            There is a korean Video of it

          • TCTan

            omg and here I am still trying to get 1 machamp.

          • Michal Husak

            For 2 people tyranitar you should be level 40, 4x machampn 2800+ CP ( not 6x, if you need 5+ you will not make it in time)

          • Marissa Caroline Clare

            There is a YouTube of someone beating it with 2

    • GonzoI

      What we’ve been doing is exchanging cell phone info with everyone we meet at raids in the hopes of getting a large enough network…and we’re up to about 7 with an 8th that has my info but hasn’t sent me his yet. I’m hopeful legendary raids will come out during GO Fest which will give us a little more time to catch a couple more people and maybe a few more. I agree with you on the 10 player estimate.

      Benny’s suggestion is probably what we’ll end up doing, even though it’s about an hour drive to it.

      • Crystal

        Our town has created a Raid FB page and everyone posts what is where around the city and who is going to make sure no one gets left out that wants to raid.

        • GonzoI

          A couple members of our group are on the local FB group. Last time we tried the group for a Tyranitar raid, there were posts of interest but no one would commit to actually come. Finally got a drive-up to join us and won. I’ve also tried Twitter and the Silph Road’s tool, but no one responded and I never see any in my area.

          • Imseos

            the silphroad tool is dead in germany … and i dont like the blizzard way … let 3. party guys fix the porblem with our ui …. and it is so sad if you start ingress there is a chat to start some team actions!

          • GonzoI

            The Atlas is still alive here, it’s just the new Raid tool that hasn’t caught on. And it’s understandable why. Email has a delay, no one with any sense trusts their phone number to amateur websites for text messages, and they haven’t really been pushing adoption.

    • Dave Raimonde

      You better start praying for some spoofers and thank them too

  • Mad Mady

    can we find which area in san fan bay ??

  • GonzoI

    Given how Snorlax raids go, it might be a good idea to get your Blisseys and Chanseys knocked out or stuck on gyms before starting the raid so you don’t get them in the autoselect list on rejoin. I threw my Blissey on a gym last night to get knocked out, and I’m not healing it until I want to throw it on a gym instead of a throw-away pokemon like I usually do.

  • Sanjeev C Das

    It is fake.. that was simple photoshopped..

  • So I’m not calling them a fake but why, in the first image, is there a flareon in the bayleaf circle? Never seen that before. Also, why does the contrast stay red for reds in that picture but the red on the flareon go black? Again, I don’t believe them to be fakes as I come to Hub everyday and trust what they publish. It just caught my attention.

  • Pokemon Trainer N

    I wonder what would happen if the people who took these pictures actually went to that gym where the test is ongoing…

  • fpsantangeloswingman

    According to the reddit post this originally appeared in, flipdrago is located in Southern California near Disneyland. He says he found the test there, not in SF. Disneyland is nearly 500 miles away from San Francisco.

    • Denngar

      Yeah, I saw the actual post first and then this. Kind of a shame the reporter didn’t get that deep into the thread =(

      • fpsantangeloswingman

        Kind of a shame they don’t bother to correct it.

  • Bout time.

  • Jason

    Not really big news.. most of us expected legendaries to be released at Go Fest just getting ready for it.. how they do them after that will be interesting.. do they just add them everywhere like regular raids at random.. or are they special times and places.. I would like to see them eventually be available everywhere.. but that won’t be till at least after Go Fest maybe later.. for now I have been checking everyday hoping they add more to this one year event

  • Robin Elizabeth

    I was at the SF fisherman’s wharf today and the game started acting all screwy once I got there. It was fine at the Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe they were testing? Or it was right after this info came out? It was around 12:30-2:30 pacific time. It would crash every time I tried to click a gym and a couple times just randomly. It happened at least 6 times then I gave up. Who knows?

  • pooranspress

    Isnt’ it strange, the screen also says ‘there are no raids nearby’ ?

  • hilmanefef

    hope the requirement pass without the fvcking gold defending gym badge!