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| Team GO Rocket
GO ロケット団 GO Rocket-dan
Promotional artwork from Pokémon GO
Team GO Rocket (Japanese: GO ロケット団 GO Rocket-dan, literally GO Rocket Gang) is a villainous team in pursuit of evil and the exploitation of Pokémon in Pokémon GO. Their objective is to invade PokéStops for their resources by using Shadow Pokémon in Trainer Battles to defend their claims.
Team GO Rocket invasions initially started on July 22, 2019, lasting for 24 hours before stopping all of a sudden. On July 25, 2019, Team GO Rocket began reappearing at even higher rates with a new Special Research, A Troubling Situation, becoming available.
On July 27, 2019, Team GO Rocket started an all-out invasion of all New York City PokéStops as part of a real-life publicity stunt organized by Niantic with continuous updates on the official Twitter channel. Later on that day, Team GO Rocket seemingly took over Pokémon GO's Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels. Localized social media in other languages were also vandalized in the same way. Team GO Rocket then began publishing information about their worldwide domination goals and achieving Giovanni's goals. They also started giving visual hints and broadcasting a video countdown setting up for an event on July 28, 2019. On that day, claiming that the invasion in New York was nothing but a decoy, Team GO Rocket started invading every single PokéStops in each timezone from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time as well as globally announcing their presence by sending broadcast messages to every Trainer in-game.
On August 1, 2019, after suffering a series of defeats, Team GO Rocket expanded its pool of Shadow Pokémon species. They expanded their roster again on September 5, 2019, to include some more species.
On September 29, 2019, a suspicious folder appeared in Professor Willow's computer, which contained several corrupted files. On October 2, 2019, Professor Willow had managed to recover these corrupted files, which were revealed to be profiles of Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra.
On November 5, 2019, Team GO Rocket Leaders began appearing in certain cities around the world. By equipping a Rocket Radar, players were able to locate and battle them at PokéStops being used as hideouts. On November 7, 2019, Team GO Rocket Leaders started appearing worldwide, with a monthly Special Research, Looming in the Shadows, unlocked for players that have completed A Troubling Situation.
On November 12, 2019, the team leaders Blanche, Spark, and Candela used the Rocket Radar to track the locations of and battle Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo, respectively. All three team leaders emerged victorious, and the Team GO Rocket Leaders retreated to set up new hideouts.
From November 2019 until April 2020, Professor Willow issued Special Research tasks to track down Team GO Rocket activities including those of their leader Giovanni as it was apparent he was in the process of subduing some Legendary Pokémon. By April 2020, Giovanni's activity had temporarily recessed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early July 2020, while training for GO Fest 2020, Professor Willow and his assistants found on several occurrences strange scraps of paper that were left over by Team GO Rocket. When pieced together, these scraps appeared to indicate some upcoming renewed activity by the organization who seemed to be working on a hot air balloon. Around the same time, several trainers received email mistakenly sent to them from Team GO Rocket on their registered email account. On July 7, 2020 Team GO Rocket started to deploy globally anew using Team GO Rocket balloons. On July 9, 2020, Jessie and James began appearing in the game.
In the following weeks, new pieces of evidence were discovered indicating Team GO Rocket was about to unleash a new dastardly plan using their balloon fleet to attempt to capture the Mythical Pokémon Victini. On July 26, 2020, Team GO Rocket started a worldwide all-out invasion by invading most PokéStops and dropping Team GO Rocket confetti from their balloons in an effort to take over Pokémon GO Fest 2020. During this new take-over the Team GO Rocket Leaders used Shadow Legendary Birds while Giovanni himself had a Shadow Mewtwo in his team. During this showdown Professor Willow's assistants successfully withhold Team GO Rocket Leaders while the Trainers confronted Giovanni himself, preventing Team GO Rocket from successfully capturing Victini.
A PokéStop invaded by a Team GO Rocket Grunt
Occasionally, for players level 8 and above, a PokéStop may be invaded by a Team GO Rocket Grunt attempting to steal its items and resources. From a distance, an invaded PokéStop's cube is frequently rotating and has a dark, shadowy overlay. If within range, the invaded PokéStop turns black with the red "R" logo above it, and a Team GO Rocket Grunt is standing beside it in the overworld. Invaded PokéStops turn back to normal if the Grunt is defeated or 30 minutes has passed since the PokéStop was initially invaded. If a player successfully defeats a Grunt, the affected PokéStop can immediately be spun regardless of how much time has passed since the last spin. If the player's Item Bag is full, a Team GO Rocket Battle can still be triggered, but no items will be received.
Using a Rocket Radar, players can see which PokéStops are being used as Team GO Rocket Hideouts. Hideouts look identical to invaded PokéStops, except they are instead guarded by a Team GO Rocket Leader. Data for Team GO Rocket Hideouts is determined at the beginning of each day; different players battling in a hideout at the same PokéStop will encounter the same Team GO Rocket Leader, using the same team. Once the Leader is defeated, that PokéStop will no longer appear as a hideout the next time a Rocket Radar is equipped. Using a Super Rocket Radar effectively works the same way as the Rocket Radar, except it shows the locations Giovanni and, more commonly, Decoy Grunts disguised as him.
The Rocket Radar only works from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. If the Rocket Radar is equipped outside this time window, no hideouts will appear on the map, and the player's team leader will suggest checking back in the morning.
Team GO Rocket balloons
A standard Team GO Rocket balloon (left) and a Meowth balloon (right) hovering near a trainer
Since July 7, 2020, a hot air balloon may periodically hover near the player, casting a large dark shadow on the open-world map. If the player taps the balloon, a Team GO Rocket Battle will be initiated. If the player has a Rocket Radar equipped, then one of the three Team GO Rocket Leaders will appear. And if the player has a Super Rocket Radar equipped, then Giovanni will appear from the balloon, overriding any equipped Rocket Radar. Otherwise, if no radar is equipped, then a Team GO Rocket Grunt will appear. Once the battle against Team GO Rocket has concluded, the balloon will blast-off to higher altitudes and will disappear from the world map.
From July 7 to September 30, 2020, a Meowth-shaped balloon may sometimes appear instead. Tapping this balloon will initiate two consecutive battles against Jessie and James.
Under regular circumstances, a Team GO Rocket balloon may appear up to 4 times per day, each within a specific 6-hour time window. However, these time frames may be shortened during special events to make balloon encounters more frequent. Nearby Team GO Rocket balloons can also be seen from the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar views. It is possible to encounter a Team GO Rocket Leader or Giovanni even outside the time frame in which the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar can be used.
A Team GO Rocket balloon is set to appear once within each of these time windows:
- 12:00 A.M - 5:59 A.M.
- 6:00 A.M. - 11:59 A.M.
- 12:00 P.M. - 5:59 P.M.
- 6:00 P.M - 11:59 P.M
Team GO Rocket Battles
Upon interacting with an invaded PokéStop, the Team GO Rocket member will challenge the player to a Trainer Battle, during which they will use three Shadow Pokémon with highly inflated CP values. Unlike in other Trainer Battles, the player's Pokémon will not be healed beforehand or afterwards, requiring the use of medicine to restore any lost HP. If the player loses, their team leader will appear and give advice based on type advantages against the Team GO Rocket member's Pokémon. Team GO Rocket Battles can be repeatedly attempted until either the player is victorious or the PokéStop invasion expires. In battle, Team GO Rocket Grunts never use Protect Shields, but Team GO Rocket Leaders and Giovanni will always use Protect Shields against the player's first two Charged Attacks.
Defeating a Team GO Rocket Grunt rewards the player 500 and a Mysterious Component.
Defeating a Team GO Rocket Leader rewards the player 1,000 and two of the following bundles, with duplicates possible, except for Strange Eggs:
Defeating Giovanni rewards the player 5,000, a Unova Stone, and three of the following bundles, with duplicates possible:
If the player is victorious the Team GO Rocket member will abandon one their Shadow Pokémon used in battle. Similar to a Raid Battle, there is a bonus challenge afterwards to capture the abandoned Shadow Pokémon using Premier Balls. The Shadow Pokémon's CP will be adjusted to have regular stats at a Power Up level of 8, or 13 if Weather Boosted. In the capture screen, Shadow Pokémon attack more frequently than normal, and their target rings are colored to indicate a 5% base capture rate; however, their actual catch rates do not appear to be different from that of their normal forms. In addition, any Shiny Shadow Pokémon and all Shadow Pokémon left by Giovanni have a 100% catch rate on the first Premier Ball that hits.
The number of Premier Balls given is based on the number of Pokémon the player has remaining at the end of the battle and the Hero and Purifier medals, ranging from 2 to 11 Premier Balls for defeating most Team GO Rocket members or 9 to 18 Premier Balls for defeating Giovanni.
|| Premier Balls
| Team GO Rocket
| Pokémon Remaining*
|| +1 per Pokémon
* In the event of a tie by double knockout, the player is given the win with +0 Premier Balls for Pokémon remaining.
|| This article contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while. Please check the content of this article and update it as required.
For a list of possible Shadow Pokémon for each Team GO Rocket member, see:
- Team GO Rocket Grunt (Trainer class) → Trainer list
- Team GO Rocket Leader (Trainer class) → Trainer list
- Giovanni → Pokémon GO
The CP for each Shadow Pokémon used by Team GO Rocket follows the standard CP formula, but using modified values for each of the their three stats:
cpMR is the CP multiplier specific to Team GO Rocket, which increases with the player's Trainer level
HP value is also rounded down during battles, but not in the CP calculation.
The values of
cpMR have been empirically estimated to be the following at each Trainer level. Using the above formulas, these numbers can predict the CP of Team GO Rocket's Pokémon with a margin of error of ±1 CP. The following table shows the estimated
cpMR at each Trainer level. The multiplier columns on the right show how much each stat of a Team GO Rocket Grunt's Pokémon is multiplied from that of a normal Pokémon of the same species and IVs*, powered up to the Trainer level.
|| Est. cpMR
- At the end of the Team GO Rocket promotional video, a silhouette of Giovanni flashes, followed by a quote, "Earth is where I shall unleash my evil schemes next!" The quote is a possible reference to Giovanni's final line in Episode RR from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, "Now...what new world shall I unleash my evil schemes upon...?"
- Team GO Rocket's appearance in Pokémon GO was first hinted at both Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Chicago and Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Dortmund where Grunts started photobombing on each day of those events after closure time. Those photobombs initiated a Meowth encounter.
- A Team GO Rocket hot air balloon was sighted at Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Dortmund for each day of the event around closure time.
- During Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Yokohama, Giovanni started photobombing on each day of the event after closure time. Each of these photobombs initiated a Meowth encounter.
- During a battle, all the Shadow Pokémon a Team GO Rocket member sends out will always use its male model if applicable. However, during the capture encounter, the Shadow Pokémon can be either possible gender.
In other languages
Team GO Rocket Invasions
| This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.
Team GO Rocket Leaders
| This video is not available on Bulbapedia; instead, you can watch the video on YouTube here.