'Pokémon Go' Team Rocket Balloons: Everything You Need to Know

Team Go Rocket has a new plan up its collective sleeve in Pokémon Go, and this time it involves hot air balloons.

Pokémon Go players may have noticed some Team Go Rocket balloons in the overworld of the popular mobile game. This isn't a bug, though; it's just the evil organization's latest attempt to take over the Pokémon Go world.

But the new hot air balloons make it easier for Pokémon Go players to challenge these trainers and catch Shadow Pokémon from the comfort of their own home. So, are Team Go Rocket really the bad guys?

pokemon go team rocket balloons
Niantic

Anyway, to interact with the Team Go Rocket balloons, you'll need to wait until a shadow appears above your character in Pokémon Go. The best way to see the balloon is to zoom out and then tap on it.

If you don't have a Rocket Radar, you'll encounter a Grunt. Defeat this Grunt to obtain a Mysterious Component. Collect six and you'll assemble the Rocket Radar to locate Team Go Rocket Hideouts.

Each Grunt you encounter will have a pre-set team. Oftentimes they'll focus on one type, and while they don't tell you the type of Pokémon they use, you can tell by the line of dialogue they use when you first encounter them.

Here's each line of dialogue with the type of Pokémon Team Rocket Grunts use:

  • "Winning is for winners. Don't bother, I've already won. Get ready to be defeated!" - Mixed typings
  • "Go, my super bug Pokémon!" - Bug
  • "Wherever there is light, there is also shadow!" - Dark
  • "Check out my cute Pokémon!" - Fairy
  • "Do you know how hot Pokémon fire breath can get?" - Fire
  • "ROAR!...How'd that sound?" - Dragon
  • "I want to let my bird Pokémon battle you!" - Flying
  • "My Flying-type Pokémon wants to battle with you!" - Flying
  • "Don't tangle with us!" - Grass
  • "You'll be defeated into the ground!" - Ground
  • "Normal does not mean weak!" - Normal
  • "Coiled and ready to strike!" - Poison
  • "Are you scared of psychics that use unseen power?" - Psychic
  • "Let's rock and roll!" - Rock
  • "The waters are treacherous!" - Water

For a limited time, Jessie and James from the Pokemon anime may also appear in their signature Meowth balloon. You can battle one of them to gain an encounter with either a Shadow Ekans or Koffing.

Jessie has Ekans as her first Pokemon followed by Scyther then Bagon. James leads with Koffing followed by Sneasel and Beldum.

Once you've assembled the Rocket Radar, the Team Go Rocket leaders will appear along with Grunts in the balloons.

There are three leaders that will appear, each with their own team of Pokémon. The composition of the three leaders' teams have changed during this new event. We've updated this section to reflect that.

Arlo has Pineco as his first Pokémon, followed by Charizard/Blastoise/Steelix and Scizor/Dragonite/Salamence.

Cliff has Grimer, followed by Marowak/Omastar/Electivire and Tyranitar/Swampert/Torterra.

And finally, Sierra has Lapras, followed by Exeggutor/Lapras/Sharpedo and Shiftry/Houndoom/Alakazam.

The main boss of Team Go Rocket, Giovanni, can also appear in the new hot air balloons—but only if you have the Super Rocket Radar. This item is only obtainable by completing the Special Research tasks, "Looming in the Shadows."

Giovanni goes into battle with a Persian, followed by Cloyster/Hippowdon/Steelix and Raikou/Entei/Suicune.

Have you been able to battle Team Go Rocket yet? Let us know your team to take down Team Rocket in the comments section.