A Pokémon GO shadow on the map might have appeared in your game. The shadows are actually of Team Rocket balloons, which you can find and fight.
Team Rocket is back in Pokémon GO, this time leading the invasion in their trademark hot air balloons. The balloons function like an aerial, mobile PokéStop where you can challenge Rocket Grunts. Like the Grunts you fight at regular Stops, defeating them gives you a chance to catch and purify the Shadow Pokémon they have in tow.
Pokémon GO Shadow on Map: What Does it Mean?
To actually engage the Rocket balloon, you'll have to pull your camera back. If you see just the Shadow, zoom out and you'll find the balloon over head. Tap on the balloon to fight the Grunt inside.
You can also challenge the Rocket Leaders with the appropriate radars, just like the normal Stops.
Players on r/TheSilphRoad have discovered that the balloons have dedicated spawn times. According to u/gildenelson, you can battle a maximum of four balloons a day. You'll find a balloon spawn every six hours. The balloons on your map will actually de-spawn when the window completes.
- 00:00 - 05:59
- 06:00 - 11:59
- 12:00 - 17:59
- 18:00 - 23:59
There's also an interesting interaction with floating Pokémon Buddies and balloons. Your buddy will actually knock the balloon away, which might disrupt you actually fighting the Rockets inside.