Earlier this week, Pokemon Go players had their first encounter with Team Rocket. The villainous trainers would invade certain PokeStops and challenge players to battle using their Shadow Pokemon, but just as suddenly as they appeared, Team Rocket seemed to vanish from the game. The evil team is now back again in Pokemon Go in even greater numbers, and there’s a new Special Research questline to go along with them.
Just as before, you can encounter a Team Rocket grunt at certain PokeStops. You can tell which locations have been taken over by the team by their appearance. On the overworld map, the PokeStop cube will appear darker and will twitch erratically, and when you approach it, you’ll notice the stop is colored black rather than blue. Spin the Photo Disc at one of these PokeStops and the Rocket grunt will reveal themselves and challenge you to a Pokemon battle.
Rocket grunts come with Shadow Pokemon, which have red eyes and are surrounded by a dark aura. If you defeat the Rocket grunt in battle, they’ll leave their Shadow Pokemon behind, giving you an opportunity to capture it. Once you’ve rescued the monster, you’ll have the option to “purify” it by spending Candy and Stardust.
Not only will purification return the Shadow Pokemon’s appearance to normal, it’ll also increase its stats. Purified Pokemon will require less Stardust and Candy to power up, as well, giving you another incentive to purify them. You can read more about the process in our Pokemon Go Shadow Pokemon guide.
To coincide with Team Rocket’s invasion of Pokemon Go, a new Special Research questline dubbed A Troubling Situation is now live. When you boot up the game, Professor Willow will mention the recent Rocket sightings and assign your first few tasks.
There’s a lot more happening in Pokemon Go. As part of a One Piece crossover event, Pikachu wearing straw hats are appearing in the wild until July 29. The game’s current Legendary, Armored Mewtwo, will also be leaving on July 31, and shortly after that, Niantic will host the next Pokemon Go Community Day. That takes place on Saturday, August 3, and the featured Pokemon this time will be Ralts.
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