Team GO Rocket balloons are special map encounters that happen once in every 6 hours. You can encounter up to 4 Rocket Balloons per day. You can fight GO Rocket Grunts or Leaders in GO Rocket Balloon encounters.

A common misconception is that Rocket balloons appear at random, but that’s not correct. Same goes for Jessie and James’ Meowth balloon.

When do Rocket balloons appear in Pokémon GO?

Rocket balloons appear automatically, once in every 6 hour window throughout the day:

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  • 12:00 a.m. to 06:00 a.m.
  • 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m.
  • 06:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The balloons appear as soon as you open the game during these time windows and you have 20 minutes to defeat it. If you don’t defeat it, the balloon will fly away.

Can Rocket Balloons despawn?

Yes, they can. Rocket balloons disappear if you haven’t interacted with them for 20 minutes. After the balloon despawns, you won’t be able to battle it until the next 6 hour window comes around.

For example, if you’ve opened your game at 12:40 p.m., and your 12-6 p.m. balloon is there, it will despawn at 1 p.m. You won’t get another balloon until 6 p.m.

Rocket Leaders and Rocket Balloons

You can find Sierra, Cliff and Arlo inside the GO Rocket Balloon if you have a Rocket Radar equipped when the balloon flies in.

The encounter is random, and it works like a typical GO Rocket leader encounter.

Jesse and James will still come to you even if the radar is equipped, so don’t worry!

How to find Jessie and James in Pokémon Go

Jessie and James Pokémon GO

Jessie and James are available from the Meowth Balloon.

Meowth Balloon is just another version of the regular Rocket Balloon and it replaces the regular balloon during the afore mentioned time windows. Meowth balloon spawn rate is once in every 6 hours, just like the regular GO Rocket balloon.

If you’re lucky, and Jessie and James are currently available in Pokémon GO, when you open the game there’s a 50% chance that the balloon that appears will be a Meowth balloon.

Again, if you don’t interact with the balloon, Jessie and James will leave.

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