'Pokémon Go' Team Rocket Invasion: How to Catch and Purify Shadow Pokémon

Team Rocket is finally in Pokémon Go.

After plenty of teases from the official accounts of Niantic, Pokémon Go and The Pokémon Company - along with some recent datamines and Apple Store leaks - Team Go Rocket has arrived in the popular mobile game.

Not only have Team Go Rocket started to appear in Pokémon Go, they also bring Shadow Pokémon with them into the game for the first time. These Pokémon have had their hearts locked, which is what allows them to do bad things for Team Rocket.

Here's everything you need to know about Team Go Rocket and how to purify the Shadow Pokémon.

pokemon go team rocket update shadow
Pokemon Company/NewsGeek


It may be a bit tricky to find Team Go Rocket in Pokémon Go, but if you are patient and look closely you'll be able to identify them.

Team Go Rocket appear in PokeStops, but the stops they appear in are different from your standard ones. Look closely to see one of the light blue PokeStops turn a shade darker and move around on its own.

It's a bit difficult to explain, but if you take a look at this screen capture from the Silph Road subreddit you'll understand what you're looking for.

Once you've gone inside the PokeStop (and spun it) the Team Go Rocket Grunt will appear to challenge you to a battle with their Shadow Pokémon.


After finding the Team Go Rocket Grunt you'll enter into a battle with their Shadow Pokémon. This battle is tougher than your regular trainer battle.

According to Serebii's Joe Merrick, you'll go in with a team of Great League Pokémon and go up against two Ultra League and one Master League Pokémon. Once the Grunt is defeated, you'll earn Premiere Balls based on a number of criteria, like how many of your Pokémon remain.

Once a trainers successfully captures a Shadow Pokémon, it will have the charged move Frustration. Use a certain number of Stardust and candy to "purify" the Pokémon. One trainer said their Shadow Charmander needed 2000 Stardust and two Candy to be purified. After it evolved into a Shadow Charizard, it needed 5000 Stardust and five Candy.

After a Shadow Pokémon is purified, it will swap Frustration for Return. If you evolve a purified Bulbasaur into a Venusaur, for example, it will keep the move Return.

According to Serebii, "a purified Pokémon gains multiple levels up to Level 25, gain slight gains in its IVs of +2 per stat, and has a special boost by having a reduction in the amount of Stardust and Candy required to power it up: 10 percent on Candy and 20 percent on Stardust."

We're still learning about the process of purification and we'll update with more information as we get it.

What do you think of Team Go Rocket coming to Pokémon Go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.