Elite Raids are coming to Pokémon GO

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Elite Raids are a new type of Raid coming to Pokémon GO! Starting this weekend with Hoopa Unbound, the infamous mythic Psychic and Dark–type Pokémon, a new type of Raid Eggs will start appearing in Pokémon GO.

Starting this weekend, Trainers are invited to rekindle their local Raiding community, go out and find out which EX Gyms in their area will hold a very special Elite Raid.

Hoopa Unbound in Elite Raids

Hoopa (Unbound)

Starting this weekend, Hoopa Unbound will appear in the all-new Pokémon GO Elite Raids. Trainers are encouraged to group up, defeat Hoopa, and earn an opportunity to catch it. Trainers will not be able to participate in Elite Raids using Remote Raid Passes.

Please note that the first Elite Raid will begin at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., or 5:00 p.m. local time on October 16, 2022, depending on when their Raid Eggs appear. Trainers are also encouraged to stay around the Gym after the Raid – something mysterious may happen!

Hoopa Unbound can be caught in the following Combat Power ranges:

  • 2197 CP – 2289 CP (no Weather Boost, LVL 20)
  • 2746 CP – 2862 CP (Windy or Fog weather, LVL 25)

Hoopa Unbound can’t be Shiny during this event.

What are Elite Raids?

Elite Raids are a new type of raid focused on in-person play, and they will appear at selected EX Gyms worldwide. Elite Raids are designed to be challenging, a bit over Tier 5 difficulty, and they can only be completed in-person.

Elite Raid Eggs take 24 hours to hatch, and Trainers will have only 30 minutes to complete them once the Raid Egg has hatched. Since these Raids can only be completed in-person, Trainers are encouraged to organise well ahead of time and not be late for the spawn. 

Elite Raids are designed to rekindle the Raid Community, and to bring the local raiding communities back together, in-person. Unlike Tier 5 raids, Elite raids are designed to be infrequent, and to create a clear rallying point for the community to come together.

When do Elite Raids happen?

Elite Raids can only start at one of the following local times:

  • 11:00 a.m. 
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • 5:00 p.m.

Trainers will see a special Raid Egg on top of an EX Gym 24 hours before the Raid starts, and the Elite Raid Eggs will also be visible on the Nearby radar, and in Niantic Campfire.

Elite Raids will be infrequent. This weekend is the first for a while, though they will reappear (in the same form) during the Season of Light.

Despite Elite Raids taking place at EX Gyms, Trainers are not required to “activate” the Gym, nor will increased activity at an EX Gym increase the odds of an Elite Raid appearing on that Gym.

Niantic told us that the choice and number of EX Gyms which will host Elite Raids is under their control, and will remain something they can fine-tune in the future. Please do not Raid local EX Gyms ahead of time, it will not make a difference for the Elite Raids.

Please note that the first Elite Raid will begin at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., or 5:00 p.m. local time on October 16, 2022, depending on when their Raid Eggs appear.

Elite Raids Questions and answers

Professor Willow

Niantic held a press briefing prior to the announcement of the feature, and we were able to get answers for some questions that may arise with this new type of raids.

How do Elite Raids look like in Pokémon GO?

The Elite Raid Eggs are red (crimson) in color, and both the Raid Eggs and a spawned Hoopa Unbound Elite raids have a special swirly effect on top of the Gym.

A picture is worth a thousand words (provided by Niantic):

Elite Raid Egg and Hoopa Unbound Raid shown on a Pokémon GO map

How difficult are Elite Raids?

Elite Raids are designed to be slightly more difficult than regular Mega Tier 5 raids. They will require a small group of players to defeat, we would recommend a minimum of 5 Trainers with optimal counters.

Are there any special rewards for completing Elite Raids?

In essence, no. Elite Raids will reward the same item bundles as Tier 5 raids, but they will offer an increased XP reward for completing them – 13,000 XP. There may be some surprises after the Raid ends.

Are there any limits to how many Elite Raids can one Trainer complete?

No, there are no limits to how many Elite Raids you can complete. It is absolutely expected, and even encouraged, that you will complete as many as you can while they are available.

Are Elite Raids a replacement for EX Raids?

No, Elite Raids is something new that Niantic is trying out for now. There has been no statement on the future of EX Raids, but we were assured that Elite Raids are not the replacement for EX Raids, despite taking place at the same EX Gyms.

Why are only EX Gyms considered as host Gyms?

EX Gyms are a curated list of Gyms with good player activity, accessibility and popularity among the local player base. They are the perfect candidate to host any speciality type of Raid, as the local player base is already aware of their existence.

How can I find Elite Raids around me?

The Elite Raid Egg will appear 24 hours ahead of the raid. Trainers are encouraged to use the in-game tools, or Niantic Campfire, to discover which local EX Gyms are hosting an Elite Raid and to coordinate with their local community for future steps.

Future steps may include group transfers, a raiding route, or one-of raiding sessions – it’s all up to the local taste.

How good is Hoopa Unbound?

hoopa unbound

We’ve written an extensive piece on Hoopa Unbound earlier this year, so take a read through it for more information: Hoopa Unbound in Pokémon GO PvP and PvE.

The long and short of it is – not really that great in PvP but, amazing in PvE. Potentially the second best Psychic type out there if we ignore Mega Pokémon and Shadow Mewtwo.

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Zeroghan started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. A lover of all things Pokémon, web development, and writing.

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