Team Rocket has invaded Pokemon Go. After weeks of teases, the villainous trainers have begun appearing in the hit Pokemon mobile game following its latest update, and they come with Shadow Pokemon in tow–dark versions of monsters that feature glowing red eyes and a sinister aura.
Just as in GameCube’s Pokemon Colosseum, you can rescue these Shadow Pokemon from their trainers and “purify” them, but first you’ll need to find the invading Team Rocket grunts and defeat them in a Pokemon battle. If you’re unsure of where the Rocket grunts are lurking or how the process works, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you catch and purify Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go.
[Update: It appears Team Rocket sightings have stopped–at least momentarily–in Pokemon Go, according to the game’s Twitter account. It’s as yet unclear when the villainous trainers and their Shadow Pokemon will reemerge.]
Where To Find Team Rocket
Team Rocket grunts are appearing around the world in Pokemon Go, but the villains aren’t just hanging out anywhere; they can only be found at certain PokeStops. Fortunately, there are a few visual clues that indicate which Stops have been taken over by Team Rocket.
First, the cube that denotes a PokeStop on the overworld map will twitch as though it were glitching out. Approach one of these PokeStops and you’ll notice it is “discolored,” appearing black instead of its normal shade of light blue. That’s your cue that a Team Rocket grunt is lurking at the Stop. Spin its Photo Disc and the Rocket grunt will appear.
At present, Team Rocket PokeStops are a rare sight, so your odds of coming across one are slim. When a PokeStop is taken over by Team Rocket, it will only be for 30 minutes at a time, giving you a brief window to battle the villains. You also need to be at least level 8 in order to encounter a Team Rocket PokeStop.
How To Catch Shadow Pokemon
Once you’ve encountered a Team Rocket grunt at a PokeStop, they will challenge you to a Pokemon battle. As previously mentioned, each grunt will have a Shadow Pokemon, which is surrounded by a dark aura. Defeat the Rocket grunt in battle and they will leave their Shadow Pokemon behind, giving you an opportunity to capture it.
How To Purify Shadow Pokemon
Once you’ve added a Shadow Pokemon to your collection, you can choose to either keep it in its Shadow state or “purify” it. This can be done by exchanging a certain amount of Stardust and Candy from the Pokemon’s information screen. While the Shadow Pokemon may look cooler, there are a few benefits to purifying them.
First, purifying a Pokemon will cause its base stats to increase. Purified Pokemon will also require less Stardust and Candy to power up, and one of the moves they knew as Shadow Pokemon–Frustration–will be replaced by the strong Normal-type attack Return.
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