A big Team Rocket event was announced at 12 a.m. Eastern, after a Pokemon Go ‘R’ countdown ended. The live stream itself didn’t lead to anything big, which left a lot of trainers disappointed in Niantic. (You can read about their disappointed reactions here.) But the event itself looks like a lot of fun, and it’s going to include an appearance from Meowth. Read on for more details about what’s happening.
Team Rocket Is Taking Over Pokestops from 4-5 p.m. Local Time Today, July 28
From 4-5 p.m. local time today, July 28, Team Rocket will be taking over all the Pokestops in your region. So be ready to battle! When the live stream ended at 12 a.m. Eastern, it just happened to be 4 p.m. New Zealand time. For people in that region, the event started immediately when the live stream ended.
You’ll Be Battling Team Rocket, So Power Up Your Pokemon
Players who have already battled Team Rocket warn that they aren’t easy to take down, so you’ll want to have your Pokemon powered up before engaging. Make sure you have plenty of potions and revives too.
According to people in New Zeland, the Rocket grunts stayed at the stops for the whole hour and didn’t reset halfway.
After You Win the Battle, You Can Catch Shadow Pokemon & then Purify Them
After you win the battle, you’ll be able to catch Shadow Pokemon. According to Pokemon Go’s official blog: “Candela and Professor Willow discovered that these Pokémon look unusual and behave strangely because Team GO Rocket tried to make them stronger through unnatural means. After additional research, Professor Willow has also found that Shadow Pokémon can’t be traded away by the Trainer who rescued them unless they’re Purified first!”
To purify Shadow Pokemon, you’ll need a certain amount of stardust and candy, which can vary depending on the Pokemon. This will help your Pokemon be stronger. According to the blog: “Not only does Purification help Shadow Pokémon return to a more normal state, but Purified Pokémon can also become stronger than their normal counterparts due to the gratitude they feel toward the Trainer who saved them!”
Meowth May Be Encountered Too
People in New Zealand who are already playing have said that during the hour that Team GO Rocket takes over, they’ll also appear in photobombs with your GO snapshots. This will trigger a Meowth encounter, notes Serebii.net. It’s happened in New Zealand and it happened sometimes in New York.
Not everyone is encountering this, however, so it’s not guaranteed.
There Are No Reports of Giovanni or Shiny Meowth
So far, players in New Zealand, where the 4-5 p.m. Team Rocket event first kicked off, haven’t reported seeing Giovanni or a shiny Meowth. There were no shiny shadow Pokemon encountered either.
When the Event Ends, Things Will Return to Normal
When the event begins, players will get a notification that reads: “We are Team GO Rocket and we have arrived. Read our statement now.” They’ll also see a notification that reads: “Shadow Pokemon need your help! Battle Team GO Rocket and purify as many Pokemon as you can! We can still stop them!”
In New Zealand, players got the following notification when the event ended. It reads: “We’re sorry for the odd notifications today. We’ve regained control now, and things should be back to normal. – The Pokemon GO team”
The notification above was shared on Reddit by u/Potatoslayer2. It appears that once the event is over, most of the Pokestops go back to normal. (Some players said that a few stayed under Team Rocket’s control, but it’s not clear if this stays that way for a long time or if it was just a few minutes after the event ended.)