Team GO Rocket

Team GO Rocket
GO ロケット団 GO Rocket-dan
GO Rocket logo.png
GO Team GO Rocket.png
Promotional artwork from Pokémon GO
Leader Giovanni
Region Earth
Admins Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo
Major targets PokéStops
Base locations Located via Rocket Radar

Team GO Rocket (Japanese: GO ロケット GO Rocket-dan, literally GO Rocket Gang) is a villainous team in pursuit of evil and the exploitation of Pokémon in Pokémon GO.[1][2][3][4] Their objective is to invade PokéStops for their resources by using Shadow Pokémon in Trainer Battles to defend their claims. Players may encounter Team GO Rocket after reaching level 8.


Team GO Rocket invasions initially started on July 22, 2019, lasting for 24 hours before stopping all of a sudden.[5] On July 25, 2019, Team GO Rocket began reappearing at even higher rates with a new Special Research, A Troubling Situation, becoming available.[6][7]

On July 27, 2019, Team GO Rocket started an all-out invasion of all New York City PokéStops as part of a real-life publicity stunt organized by Niantic with continuous updates on the official Twitter channel.[8][9][10] Later on that day, Team GO Rocket seemingly took over Pokémon GO's Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels. Localized social media in other languages were also vandalized in the same way. Team GO Rocket then began publishing information about their worldwide domination goals and achieving Giovanni's goals. They also started giving visual hints and broadcasting a video countdown setting up for an event on July 28, 2019. On that day, claiming that the invasion in New York was nothing but a decoy, Team GO Rocket started invading every single PokéStops in each timezone from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time as well as globally announcing their presence by sending broadcast messages to every Trainer in-game.

On August 1, 2019, after suffering a series of defeats, Team GO Rocket expanded its pool of Shadow Pokémon species.[11] They expanded their roster again on September 5, 2019, to include some more species.[12]

On September 29, 2019, a suspicious folder appeared in Professor Willow's computer, which contained several corrupted files.[13] On October 2, 2019, Professor Willow had managed to recover these corrupted files, which were revealed to be profiles of Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra.[14]

On November 5, 2019, Team GO Rocket Leaders began appearing in certain cities around the world. By equipping a Rocket Radar, players were able to locate and battle them at PokéStops being used as hideouts. On November 7, 2019, Team GO Rocket Leaders started appearing worldwide, with a monthly Special Research, Looming in the Shadows, unlocked for players that have completed A Troubling Situation.

On November 12, 2019, the team leaders Blanche, Spark, and Candela used the Rocket Radar to track the locations of and battle Team GO Rocket Leaders Cliff, Sierra, and Arlo, respectively. All three team leaders emerged victorious, and the Team GO Rocket Leaders retreated to set up new hideouts.

From November 2019 until April 2020, Professor Willow issued Special Research tasks to track down Team GO Rocket activities including those of their leader Giovanni as it was apparent he was in the process of subduing some Legendary Pokémon. By April 2020, Giovanni's activity had temporarily recessed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early July 2020, while training for GO Fest 2020, Professor Willow and his assistants found on several occurrences strange scraps of paper that were left behind by Team GO Rocket.[15][16][17][18] When pieced together, these scraps appeared to indicate some upcoming renewed activity by the organization who seemed to be working on a hot air balloon.[19] Around the same time, several Trainers received emails mistakenly sent to them from Team GO Rocket on their registered email account.[20] On July 7, 2020, Team GO Rocket started to deploy globally anew using Team GO Rocket balloons.[21][22] On July 9, 2020, Jessie and James began appearing in the game.[23]

In the following weeks, new pieces of evidence were discovered, indicating Team GO Rocket was about to unleash a new dastardly plan using their balloon fleet to attempt to capture the Mythical Pokémon, Victini.[24] On July 26, 2020, Team GO Rocket started a worldwide all-out invasion by invading most PokéStops and dropping Team GO Rocket confetti from their balloons in an effort to take over Pokémon GO Fest 2020.[25][26] During this new take-over, the Team GO Rocket Leaders used Shadow legendary birds[27] while Giovanni himself had a Shadow Mewtwo in his team. During this showdown Professor Willow's assistants successfully withhold Team GO Rocket Leaders[28] while the Trainers confronted Giovanni himself, preventing Team GO Rocket from successfully capturing Victini.

On January 25, 2022, during the Season of Heritage, Team GO Rocket suddenly increased their worldwide activity following Professor Willow and his asssitants attempted to unlock the Mystery Door.[29] It was later revealed on January 26, 2022 that this maneuver had been a decoy and that Team GO Rocket Leaders stole what was hidden behind the door while the three Team Leaders and the players were busy fending off grunt operations.

On March 22, 2023, Team GO Rocket began taking over Gyms and deploying Shadow Pokémon as Raid Bosses. Players can defeat them by completing Shadow Raids, which also offers a chance to capture the defeated Shadow Raid Boss.

Invaded PokéStops

A PokéStop invaded by a Team GO Rocket Grunt

Occasionally, for players level 8 and above, a PokéStop may be invaded by a Team GO Rocket Grunt attempting to steal its items and resources. From a distance, an invaded PokéStop's cube is frequently rotating and has a dark, shadowy overlay. If within range, the invaded PokéStop turns black with the red "R" logo above it, and a Team GO Rocket Grunt is standing beside it in the overworld. Invaded PokéStops turn back to normal if the Grunt is defeated or 30 minutes has passed since the PokéStop was initially invaded. If a player successfully defeats a Grunt, the affected PokéStop can immediately be spun regardless of how much time has passed since the last spin. If the player's Item Bag is full, a Team GO Rocket Battle can still be triggered, but no items will be received.

Using a Rocket Radar, players can see which PokéStops are being used as Team GO Rocket Hideouts. Hideouts look identical to invaded PokéStops, except they are instead guarded by a Team GO Rocket Leader. Data for Team GO Rocket Hideouts is determined at the beginning of each day; different players battling in a hideout at the same PokéStop will encounter the same Team GO Rocket Leader, using the same team. Once the Leader is defeated, that PokéStop will no longer appear as a hideout the next time a Rocket Radar is equipped. Using a Super Rocket Radar effectively works the same way as the Rocket Radar, except it shows the locations Giovanni and, more commonly, Decoy Grunts disguised as him.

The Rocket Radar only works from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. If the Rocket Radar is equipped outside this time window, no hideouts will appear on the map, and the player's team leader will suggest checking back in the morning.

Team GO Rocket balloons

A standard Team GO Rocket balloon (left) and a Meowth balloon (right) hovering near a trainer

Since July 7, 2020, a hot air balloon may periodically hover near the player, casting a large dark shadow on the open-world map. If the player taps the balloon, a Team GO Rocket Battle will be initiated. If the player has a Rocket Radar equipped, then one of the three Team GO Rocket Leaders will appear. And if the player has a Super Rocket Radar equipped, then Giovanni will appear from the balloon, overriding any equipped Rocket Radar. Otherwise, if no radar is equipped, then a Team GO Rocket Grunt will appear. Once the battle against Team GO Rocket has concluded, the balloon will blast-off to higher altitudes and will disappear from the world map.

From July 7 to September 30, 2020, a Meowth-shaped balloon may sometimes appear instead. Tapping this balloon will initiate two consecutive battles against Jessie and James (you are allowed to switch and/or heal your Pokémon between battles).

Under regular circumstances, a Team GO Rocket balloon may appear up to 4 times per day, each within a specific 6-hour time window, and balloons will leave after 20 minutes if left alone. However, these time frames may be shortened during special events to make balloon encounters more frequent. Nearby Team GO Rocket balloons can also be seen from the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar views. It is possible to encounter a Team GO Rocket Leader or Giovanni even outside the time frame in which the Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar can be used.

A Team GO Rocket balloon is set to appear once within each of these time windows:

  • 12:00 A.M - 5:59 A.M.
  • 6:00 A.M. - 11:59 A.M.
  • 12:00 P.M. - 5:59 P.M.
  • 6:00 P.M - 11:59 P.M

Team GO Rocket Battles

Upon interacting with an invaded PokéStop, the Team GO Rocket member will challenge the player to a Trainer Battle, during which they will use three Shadow Pokémon with highly inflated CP values. Unlike in other Trainer Battles, the player's Pokémon will not be healed beforehand or afterwards, requiring the use of medicine to restore any lost HP. If the player loses, their team leader will appear and give advice based on type advantages against the Team GO Rocket member's Pokémon. Team GO Rocket Battles can be repeatedly attempted until either the player is victorious or the PokéStop invasion expires. In battle, Team GO Rocket Grunts never use Protect Shields, but Team GO Rocket Leaders and Giovanni will always use Protect Shields against the player's first two Charged Attacks.


Each Team GO Rocket yields a set of rewards upon victory. Duplicate random rewards bundles are possible, except for Strange Eggs.

Team GO Rocket Base rewards Random rewards

Two of:


Three of:

  • Defeating a Team GO Rocket Leader will always yield one, and only one, Strange Egg if the player has space in their Eggs Storage.
  • All item rewards require the player to have space in the Item Bag to receive any.
  • Mysterious Components are rewarded only if the player does not already have a Rocket Radar on hand.
  • Shadow Shards are rewarded only if the player has less than ten Purified Gems on hand.

Bonus challenge

If the player is victorious the Team GO Rocket member will abandon one their Shadow Pokémon used in battle. Similar to a Raid Battle, there is a bonus challenge afterwards to capture the abandoned Shadow Pokémon using Premier Balls. The Shadow Pokémon's CP will be adjusted to have regular stats at a Power Up level of 8, or 13 if Weather Boosted. In the capture screen, Shadow Pokémon attack more frequently than normal; however, their catch rates are no different from that of their normal forms. In addition, any Shiny Shadow Pokémon and all Shadow Pokémon left by Giovanni have a 100% catch rate on the first Premier Ball that hits.

The number of Premier Balls given is based on the number of Pokémon the player has remaining at the end of the battle and the Hero and Purifier medals, ranging from 2 to 13 Premier Balls for defeating most Team GO Rocket members or 9 to 20 Premier Balls for defeating Giovanni.

Bonus Premier Balls
Team GO Rocket
Grunt/Leader Giovanni
 +9   +9
Pokémon Remaining*  +1 per Pokémon
  Hero Bronze Silver Gold Platinum
 +1  +2  +3  +4
  Purifier Bronze Silver Gold Platinum
 +1  +2  +3  +4

* In the event of a tie by double knockout, the player is given the win with +0 Premier Balls for Pokémon remaining.


For a list of possible Shadow Pokémon used by each Team GO Rocket member in Trainer Battles, see:

Team GO Rocket Grunt (Trainer class) → Trainer list
Team GO Rocket Leader (Trainer class) → Trainer list
Giovanni (GO) → Pokémon

In Shadow Raids, Grunts host one- and three-star raids, and Giovanni hosts five-star, Legendary raids.


The CP for each Shadow Pokémon used by Team GO Rocket follows the standard CP formula, but using modified values for each of the their three stats:[30][31]




and that

  •   is the CP multiplier specific to Team GO Rocket, which increases with the player's Trainer level.
  •   is a value that depends on the Team GO Rocket member's organizational rank. It equals

The final   value is also rounded down during battles, but not in the CP calculation.

The values of   have been empirically estimated to be the following at each Trainer level. The following table shows the estimated   at each Trainer level.

Level Est. rCPM
50 1
49 0.99589676
48 0.99179353
47 0.98769029
46 0.98358705
45 0.97948381
44 0.97538058
43 0.97127734
42 0.9671741
41 0.96307086
40 0.95653364
39 0.93806907
38 0.9196045
37 0.90113993
36 0.88267536
35 0.8642108
34 0.84574623
33 0.82728166
32 0.80881709
31 0.79035252
30 0.77188796
29 0.75342339
28 0.73495882
27 0.71649425
26 0.69802968
25 0.67956512
24 0.66110055
23 0.64263598
22 0.62417141
21 0.60570684
20 0.58724227
19 0.56877771
18 0.55031314
17 0.53184857
16 0.513384
15 0.49491943
14 0.47645487
13 0.4579903
12 0.43952573
11 0.42106116
10 0.40259659
9 0.38413203
8 0.36566746

In Shadow Raids, Shadow Raid Bosses have the same CP and stats as their standard counterparts. However, three- and five-star Shadow Raids my be more difficult due to Shadow Raid Bosses becoming enraged mid-battle, significantly increasing their Attack and Defense.


  • At the end of the Team GO Rocket promotional video, a silhouette of Giovanni flashes, followed by a quote, "Earth is where I shall unleash my evil schemes next!" The quote is a possible reference to Giovanni's final line in Episode RR from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, "Now...what new world shall I unleash my evil schemes upon...?"
  • Team GO Rocket's appearance in Pokémon GO was first hinted at both Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Chicago and Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Dortmund where Grunts started photobombing on each day of those events after closure time. Those photobombs initiated a Meowth encounter.
  • A Team GO Rocket hot air balloon was sighted at Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Dortmund for each day of the event around closure time.
  • During Pokémon GO Fest 2019 Yokohama, Giovanni started photobombing on each day of the event after closure time. Each of these photobombs initiated a Meowth encounter.

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese GO 火箭隊 GO Fójin Déui
Mandarin GO 火箭隊 GO Huǒjiàn Duì
  French Team GO Rocket
  German Team GO Rocket
  Indonesian Tim Roket GO
  Italian Team GO Rocket
  Korean GO로켓단 GO Rocket-dan
  Brazilian Portuguese Equipe GO Rocket
  Spanish Team GO Rocket
  Thai แก๊งโกร็อกเกต Gang GO Rocket
  Turkish GO Roket Takımı



Team GO Rocket Invasions

By Pokémon GO
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Team GO Rocket Leaders

By Pokémon GO
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Boss: Giovanni
Leaders: CliffSierraArlo
Lower members: Team GO Rocket Grunts
Pokémon: Shadow PokémonShadow Raid
Items: Mysterious Component
Rocket RadarSuper Rocket Radar
Shadow ShardPurified Gem

Villainous teams
Team RocketTeam MagmaTeam AquaTeam GalacticTeam PlasmaTeam Flare
Team SkullTeam Rainbow RocketTeam YellTeam Star
Team Great RocketTeam SnagemCipherPhobos BattalionGo-Rock SquadTeam Dim Sun
Team DebonairsPokémon PinchersDark LegionTeam GO RocketTeam BreakExplorers

Non-player characters in Pokémon GO
Professor WillowBlancheSparkCandela
Team GO RocketChallengersRhiMateo