Shadow Pokémon (GO)

A Shadow Charmander (left) and the same Charmander immediately after purification (right)

Shadow Pokémon (Japanese: シャドウポケモン Shadow Pokémon) are Pokémon in Pokémon GO that have been modified by Team GO Rocket through unnatural means, resulting in them having dark, flaming auras (except Mewtwo, and Apex Shadow Pokémon) and angry, red eyes. By defeating members of Team GO Rocket, players can capture Shadow Pokémon and restore them to a more normal state through purification.

In the Pokémon Box, Shadow Pokémon have a GO Shadow icon.png icon at the bottom left of their image, and Purified Pokémon have a GO Purified icon.png icon. Similar to Lucky Pokémon, the Pokédex will keep count of the number of Pokémon that the player has purified of that species; evolving a Purified Pokémon will not increment the evolution's purified counter.

The Charged Attacks Frustration and Return are exclusive to Shadow Pokémon and Purified Pokémon, respectively. Unlike all other moves, these are not re-rolled upon evolution. On Community Days, eligible Purified Pokémon may learn event-exclusive moves, replacing Return upon evolution, even if that Pokémon already knows a second Charged Attack. Shadow Pokémon can only learn their event-exclusive moves if Frustration is first forgotten, either by purification or using a Charged TM during certain events. Once forgotten, Frustration and Return cannot be relearned, even if an Elite Charged TM is used, or if it evolves.


According to the research of Candela and Professor Willow, Shadow Pokémon are the result of having been artificially overpowered by Team GO Rocket, causing them frequent pain from their uncontrollable strength. Shadow Pokémon are surrounded by what looks like a purple fire, or in Mewtwo's case, surrounded by its Psychic power. Apex Shadow Ho-Oh's aura looks like a spiral, while Apex Shadow Lugia's aura looks like a giant wisp with lightning. During a Team GO Rocket battle, Shadow Pokémon used by Team GO Rocket members have significantly inflated stats, especially in Attack, potentially attaining CP values much higher than the maximum possible by powering up. The CP of Team GO Rocket's Pokémon increases with each player's Trainer level. Their Shadow Pokémon's moves, including Charged Attacks, are randomly selected from the species' current move pool.

For further information about how CP is calculated for Team GO Rocket's Shadow Pokémon, see Team GO Rocket → Pokémon.

If a Team GO Rocket member is defeated, they will leave behind one of the Shadow Pokémon used in battle, which the player can then "rescue" by capturing it in a bonus challenge using Premier Balls. During the capture encounter, Shadow Pokémon attack more frequently than their normal counterparts[1]. Although their target rings are colored red to indicate a 5% base capture rate, their actual catch rates appear to be no different from that of their normal forms. Since November 7, 2019, all Shadow Pokémon are caught at an initial Power Up level of 8, or 13 with a Weather Boost, and their IVs are randomly determined the same way as in standard wild encounter. Until March 25, 2023, only Shadow Pokémon left behind by Team GO Rocket Leaders, Jessie, and James had a chance of becoming Shiny. Now Grunts can have give Shiny Shadow Pokémon as long as said Pokémon was previously owned by a Team GO Rocket Leader. For example, Shadow Grimer can be shiny as it was owned by Cliff, but not Shadow Rattata can't.

In addition, Shadow and Purified Pokémon cannot be transferred to Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, but Purified Pokémon can be transferred to Pokémon HOME.

Shadow Pokémon, once captured by the player, all have the following characteristics:

  • Have Frustration as a Charged Attack, which normally cannot be replaced using a Charged TM
  • Cost ×1.2* Candy and Stardust to power up and to learn a second Charged Attack
  • Have the following stat modifiers (not factored into CP) as a "Shadow Bonus":
    • ×6/5 Attack
    • ×5/6 Defense
  • Cannot be traded (since July 25, 2019)
  • Cannot Mega Evolve
Sorting (formerly)

Originally, when viewing the list of currently owned Pokémon, sorted by Pokédex number, they are sorted in the order: normal, Shadow, Purified. This is no longer the case.


Through a process discovered by Blanche and Professor Willow, players can Purify (Japanese: リトレイン Retrain) Shadow Pokémon using Candy and Stardust, restoring them to a more normal state. Purified Pokémon have almost same appearance as their normal forms, but surrounded by a misty, white aura.

Upon purification, the Pokémon will:

  • Power up to the player's Trainer level, up to level 25 (if currently at a lower level)
  • Have each of its IVs increased by 2 (up to the maximum 15)
  • Have Return replace the Charged Attack in the first slot
  • Cost 0.9× Candy to evolve (rounded down)
  • Cost 0.9× Stardust and Candy to Power Up (rounded up)
  • Cost 0.8× Stardust and Candy to learn a second Charged Attack
  • Lose its Shadow Bonus (Attack and Defense modifiers)
  • Be eligible for Special Trades, which do not cost extra Stardust if the receiving player already has the purified form registered
  • Be able to Mega Evolve, if it can

Apex Shadow Pokémon

Apex Shadow Pokémon are a special kind of Shadow Pokémon. They were created by Team GO Rocket Leader Arlo using mysterious power stolen from behind the mysterious door, during the Season of Heritage.[2] Currently, there are only two Apex Shadow Pokémon: Ho-Oh and Lugia.

Unlike regular Shadow Pokémon, Apex Shadow Pokémon will not know Frustration once caught. And once purified, they will not learn Return.

Both Apex Shadow Ho-Oh and Apex Shadow Lugia can be obtained from Masterwork Research: Apex.

List of Shadow Pokémon

Main article: List of Shadow Pokémon (GO)


  • Prior to July 25, 2019, Shadow Pokémon were eligible for Special Trades. However, due to the likelihood of a Lucky Shadow Pokémon being purified with perfect IVs, this feature was restricted.
  • Prior to July 31, 2019, purification costs were on average much higher and did not necessarily scale directly with Buddy distance. For starter Pokémon, the purification costs were also higher for the second and third stages.
  • Shadow Pokémon received a major update on March 2, 2020. Prior to this, Shadow Pokémon
    • Cost 3× the Candy and Stardust to power up or learn a second Charged Attack
    • Had no way of forgetting Frustration other than purification
    • Did not have any special stat modifiers
  • Prior to November 7, 2019, Shadow Pokémon were caught between Lv. 1 to 5 or Lv. 6 to 10 if Weather Boosted.


In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 暗影寶可夢 Amyíng Pokémon
Mandarin 暗影寶可夢 Ànyǐng Pokémon
  French Pokémon Obscur
  German Crypto-Pokémon
  Indonesian Pokémon Bayangan
  Italian Pokémon ombra
  Korean 그림자 포켓몬 Geurimja Pokémon
  Brazilian Portuguese Pokémon Sombroso
  Spanish Pokémon oscuro
  Thai โปเกมอนชาโดว์ Pokémon Shadow
  Turkish Gölge Pokémon


Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 淨化 Jihngfa
Mandarin 淨化 Jìnghuà
  French Purification
  German Erlösung
  Indonesian Purifikasi
  Italian Purificazione
  Korean 정화 Jeonghwa
  Brazilian Portuguese Purificação
  Spanish Purificación
  Thai ชำระล้าง Chamralang
  Turkish Arındırma


Boss: Giovanni
Leaders: CliffSierraArlo
Lower members: Team GO Rocket Grunts
Pokémon: Shadow Pokémon
Items: Mysterious Component
Rocket RadarSuper Rocket Radar

  This article is part of Project Sidegames, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Sidegames.