Raid Battles have become an integral part of Pokemon Go. But you can’t just participate in a raid any time you want. Rather, you need a Raid Pass to do so. So how, exactly, can free Raid Passes be obtained?
The only way to get a Raid Pass for free is to spin the Photo Discs at gyms. If you’ve been spinning gym Photo Discs but haven’t received a Raid Pass, it could be because you’re not a high enough level to participate in raids. As of June 27th, Niantic has only made Raid Battles available to players who are Level 20 and above, and so if you have not yet reached this level, you can’t participate in Raid Battles. You also won’t receive a Raid Pass from spinning Photo Discs if you have already received a Raid Pass that day; the game only gives you one Raid Pass each day.
Once you’ve used your Raid Pass for the day, you won’t be able to acquire another free one, but you can purchase a Premium Raid Pass from the store for 100 coins. These coins, of course, can either be obtained by defending gyms or by using real-life money. A Premium Raid Pass functions exactly the same way as a regular Raid Pass, and it can only be used a single time.
Ever since this Pokemon Go update was released, players have been begging Niantic to add in some other ways to receive Raid Passes, or to provide them with more than one free Raid Pass per day. But it’s unclear whether Niantic will actually do anything like this, as they want to increase revenue and encourage players to spend money on Premium Raid Passes.
One other frequent complaint that players have about these Raid Passes is that when you join the Raid Battle, you’ve used the pass, and you can’t get it back if no other local Pokemon Go players end up joining to play alongside you. It also sometimes happens that players can not participate in a Raid Battle due to an “error” message; if you’ve lost a Premium Raid Pass for this reason, here’s a look at how you can get a refund: