Pokemon Go Sends a Weird ‘R’ Notification with Possible Giovanni Picture

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Is it a glitch, an ominous warning, a message from Team Rocket, or some weird threat? Pokemon Go players aren’t sure how to react after getting an ominous notification from Pokemon Go on their phones that just says “R.” After two tweets from Pokemon Go that also included the letter R and shadowy images, it’s definitely intentional. And now there’s a countdown video for Saturday night. Here’s what we know so far about it and what players are saying.

UPDATE: Scroll to the end of this story to see what happened when the countdown ran out on the live stream. 

Pokemon Go Has Been Sending Notifications that Just Say ‘R’

Pokemon Go sent out a notification today that just said “R” and was accompanied by an image for some players. Then the game also tweeted the letter R along with a shadowy image that just shows the capital letter.

One person wrote: “I just got a notification from Pokémon Go that just says R Are they alright???”

Another wrote: “pokemon go sending a notification that just says “R” is the most f***ing ominous thing theyve done.” [sic]

The notification literally just said “R” and nothing else.

For most people, the notification simply looked like this:


If you didn’t have notifications on, you would have missed the crucial announcement.

People in some regions were already getting a ton of notifications because of the Team Rocket invasion. But the “R” notification was just … odd.

Tweets, Plus Some Notifications, Had Images Attached

The funny thing is that Pokemon Go tweeted the letter “R” too, so that’s making players think it might be intentional.

If you lighten the image, it looks like a dark capital R with 7/28 next to it. This must be indicating that something involving Team Rocket is happening in two days.

Maybe it’s just short for Respect?

However, the image looked like a little different for others. This image was shared by u/WizrdLizrd1 on Reddit and it showed the silhouette of a person with the letter R notification. Some said this version of the notification was more likely to show up on Android and it was a shadowy picture of Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket.


Lightened it looks like this. (This photo was shared by u/Tomernator on Reddit.)


Most people said they didn’t get an image, just the letter “R,” or they saw the tweet that included a shadowy image of the letter R.

Players aren’t sure what to think of the notification, but most are saying that it’s a reference to Team Rocket’s arrival and something that’s going to happen on July 28, in two days. Just yesterday, Team Rocket invaded Pokemon Go and a new Special Research request accompanied their arrival.

Two Years Ago, Niantic Responded to a Support Request By Just Saying ‘R’ After 35 Days

Some players who’ve been around since the beginning remember that a long time ago, Niantic replied to a support request by just saying “R” and then closed the case. Some players are wondering if this is an inside joke referencing that moment. Here’s a look at that response, shared originally by u/MistaWhiska on Reddit two years ago:


Today’s Notifications Are Likely Referencing a Mysterious Event on July 28

Most likely, this is referencing a mysterious event on July 28 involving Team Rocket that players will want to watch for.

Pokemon Go doubled down with another R tweet, so now we can say it’s definitely intentional. This one showed shadowy figures of two people with the 7/28 date included.

Brightened, it looks like this:


These tweets and notifications happened after trainers in New York City defeated Team Go Rocket and contained their spread, so this must be indicating that their threat isn’t over and something involving Team Rocket will be happening on July 28.

Now They Have a Countdown Video

Although the tweets and notifications referenced July 28, a YouTube video is counting down to the evening of July 27.

When the Countdown Ended, Team Rocket Took Over

The countdown itself didn’t show anything – the live stream simply ended, leaving viewers confused. But a lot happened on Pokemon Go’s official Twitter account. It has changed and is now owned by Team Go Rocket.

I’m going to guess this is the video we should have seen:

It looks like Team Rocket is going to take over ALL Pokestops between 4-5 p.m. local time.

Before making this announcement, the following tweets were shared:

This is a developing story.

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