Are you coiled and ready to strike like an Arbok? This will bring back memories to anyone who spent time playing Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness for the Gamecube back in 2005. It looks like Team Rocket is at it again—invading your hometown and corrupting innocent local Pokémon into Shadow Pokémon.


Here's everything you need to know about the invasions.


Coiled and Ready to Strike


Team Rocket PokéStops are the key to this event. They are visible to any player above level eight and often appear in black and red instead of the usual sky blue. This is a sign that Team GO Rocket has invaded that location. To reclaim the PokéStop, interact with it as you normally would and prepare for battle!


Team Rocket Battles function much like your average PvP battle. Grunts will present you with a mono-typed team of three corresponding to which fairly obvious line they throw at you in the beginning of the fight. We recommend trainers pay attention to these lines as they'll give you the clear advantage.


The lines are:

  • Bug – "Go, my super bug Pokemon!"
  • Dark – "Wherever is a light, there is also shadow."
  • Dragon – "ROAR! … How’d that sound?"
  • Electric – "Get ready to be shocked!"
  • Fairy – "Check out my cute Pokemon!"
  • Fighting – "This buff physique isn’t just for show!"
  • Fire – "Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?"
  • Flying – "My bird Pokemon wants to battle with you!"
  • Ghost – "Ke…ke…ke…ke…ke…ke!"
  • Grass – "Don’t tangle with us!"
  • Ground – "You’ll be defeated into the ground!"
  • Ice – "You’re gonna be frozen in your tracks."
  • Normal – "Normal doesn’t mean weak."
  • Poison – "Coiled and ready to strike!"
  • Psychic – "Are you scared of physics that use unseen power?"
  • Rock – "Let’s rock and roll!"
  • Steel – "You’re no match for my iron will!"
  • Water – "These waters are treacherous!"


Don't panic too much if you lose a battle. Team Rocket Grunts carry stronger Pokémon than usual and you can re-match them at any time after healing your team.


Shadow Pokémon appear after you win your battle. Similar to their appearance in Gale of Darkness, these Pokémon are radiating with dark purple energy and have glowing red eyes. Encounters with Shadow Pokémon are the same as encounters after raids—use your premier balls and pray. When captured, Shadow Pokémon will have the unique move "Frustration".


Shadow Lugia from "Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness" bears a resemblance.

You will also have the option to purify Shadow Pokémon by spending a certain amount of Stardust and Candies on them. The number of Pokémon you purify will be reflected in your Pokédex.


Purified Pokémon will only need 90% of the normal Stardust cost to power-up—stacking with Lucky—and will replace "Frustration" with "Return."


New Badges are also available for battling Team GO Rocket Grunts and Purifying Shadow Pokémon.


Fight well, trainers!


Photos and Media courtesy of Niantic Labs, Nintendo.