Team Rocket Invasions: Everything You Need to Know

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Team Rocket Invasions are upon us and in order to help fellow trainers, we collated all of the information report by our Discord members into one massive guide. Here’s everything you need to know about Pokemon GO’s new Team Rocket Invasion system. You should also read our Shadow Pokemon Guide: How to find them, stats, levels, IVs, lucky trading.

Team Rocket PokéStops

How to find Team Rocket PokéStops? Easy, the invaded Stops show as a darker shade of blue and have a flickering effect on the overworld map. They can be easy to miss if you are not paying attention, so be sure to investigate the map carefully.

Team Rocket PokéStops are visible to all players Level 8 and above and they have a hidden 30 minute timer. When the timer runs out, the PokéStop will no longer be under Team Rocket’s control. When you get in range of a Invaded PokéStop, it will turn black and Team Rocket will appear. The Invaded Stops are visible to everyone and they behave in the same way as Raids.

In order to start the Team Rocket battle, you need to interact with the Invaded PokéStop. After completing the Team Rocket Battle, the PokéStop will turn back to its normal form for you. Other players will still see it as a Invaded PokéStop.

There is no daily limit on the number of Team Rocket PokéStops you can complete. You can only have 1 Battle per PokéStop (same as raids). Multiple Team Rocket PokéStops can be found next to each other. We haven’t heard or observed any S2 cell influence so far.

Fighting a Blastoise in Team Rocket Battles

Team Rocket Battles

Team Rocket Battles are very similar to regular PvP battles. You will be fighting Team Rocket Grunts that usually have a mono-typed team. Once you start the battle, you don’t have to stay in range of the PokéStop, but we’re not sure if the usual 80 meters limit applies here or not.

Battles are fought in a 3v3 format. It seems that Team Rocket Grunts do not use Shields during the battle. Unlike regular Trainer Battles, your Pokemon will not be automatically healed after the battle. Grunts have Pokemon with boosted stats and CP values that are not normally obtainable in the game.

Defeating the Grunts gives you a chance to catch a Shadow Pokemon with Premier Balls. The reward for completing the Battle is 500 Stardust and the Shadow Pokemon Encounter. If you lose the battle you can re-match and try again.

You can figure out which Type of Pokemon the Grunt will use by paying attention to the taunt line they use before the encounter:

  • BUG – Go, my super bug Pokemon!
  • DARK – Wherever is a light, there is also shadow.
  • DRAGON – ROAR! … How’d that sound?
  • ELETRIC – Get ready to be shocked!
  • FAIRY – Check out my cute Pokemon!
  • FIGHTING – This buff physique isn’t just for show!
  • FIRE – Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?
  • FLYING – My bird Pokemon wants to battle with you!
  • GHOST – Ke…ke…ke…ke…ke…ke!
  • GRASS – Don’t tangle with us!
  • GROUND – You’ll be defeated into the ground!
  • ICE – You’re gonna be frozen in your tracks.
  • NORMAL – Normal doesn’t mean weak.
  • POISON – Coiled and ready to strike!
  • PSYCHIC – Are you scared of physics that use unseen power?
  • ROCK – Let’s rock and roll!
  • STEEL – You’re no match for my iron will!
  • WATER – These waters are treacherous!

Be sure to use appropriate counters as these fights are not easy.

Shadow Pokemon Encounter

After defeating the Team Rocket Grunt, you will have a chance to capture the Shadow Pokemon they’ve left behind. Currently, there are only a few Pokemon confirmed to appear in the post-battle Shadow Encounter:

Bulbasaur Charmander Squirtle
Rattata Zubat Snorlax

Shadow Pokemon spawn at levels 1 through 5 (6-10 if weather boosted) and you get a handful of Premier Balls to catch it. The amount of Premier balls is based on how many of your Pokémon survive the battle, your Purify Pokemon Medal rank, and your Defeat Team Rocket Medal rank. The minimal number of Balls if all of your Pokemon have survived is 5 Premier Balls.

Team Rocket Grunts defeated badge Pokemon Purified Badge icon

Shadow Pokemon have a fixed charge move called Frustration. It’s trash. It’s still not clear if Shadow Pokemon can be shiny during the Shadow Encounter and their IVs can be low. Weather Boosted Shadow Encounters have a 4/4/4 IV minimum.

Purify Shadow Pokemon

Purified Squirtle
Purified Squirtle

Shadow Pokemon are pretty bad on their own, but they can be purified by spending Stardust and Candy. You can Purify a Pokemon by using the “Purify” button above the power-up button. Once purified, the Shadow Pokemon will switch to it’s Purified form:

  • Purified Pokemon are always level 25, regardless of the Shadow Pokemon’s level
  • Purified Pokemon get +2 IV on top of every IV they had in their Shadow form
  • Purified Pokemon will have Frustration replaced with the Return charge move
  • Purified Pokemon cost 90% Stardust to power up
    • Stardust discount stacks for Lucky Purified Pokemon

Shadow and Purified Pokemon adhere to the same mechanics like regular wild Pokemon:

  • They can be traded
  • They can be placed in Gyms
  • They can be mass transferred
  • They can’t be transferred to Let’s Go

New Team Rocket and Purify Badges

There are two new badges added with the Team Rocket Invasions: Hero and Purifier.

Hero – Defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts

  • Bronze: 10 (awards 1 premier ball on shadow encounter)
  • Silver: 100
  • Gold: 1000


Purifier – Purify Shadow Pokémon

  • Bronze: 5 (awards 1 premier ball on shadow encounter)
  • Silver: 50
  • Gold: 500

Pokedex changes

A lot of Pokemon now have a Purified counter in the Pokedex. Evolving a Purified Pokemon will not increase the “Purified” counter in the Pokedex – you actually have to catch and purify them in order to increase the counter.

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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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