Imagine you are a Pokémon happily minding your own business and doing pocket monster stuff, when Team GO Rocket catches you. Then, using a crazy technique that puts you in agonizing pain, they force you to obey all of their evil whims. Now stop imagining, because that’s exactly what has been happening in Pokémon Go since Team GO Rocket invaded the game in the summer of 2019. Fortunately, here at iMore we know everything there is to know about Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go. on how to catch them. for all the species that Team GO Rocket has in its hands. And be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories so you can be fully equipped when you take on them!
What exactly are Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
A mechanic originally introduced in Pokémon Colosseum, Shadow Pokémon are Pokémon that have been corrupted to be forced into criminal actions. It is not difficult to distinguish them from their normal counterparts as they have a purple aura around them and completely red eyes. They are in constant pain and need Pokémon Trainers to rescue and Purify them. Now that Team GO Rocket has invaded Pokémon Go, they have brought in armies of Shadow Pokémon.
How can you catch Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Go?
You can only catch Shadow Pokémon if you defeat Team GO Rocket in battle first. Once you’ve found a Team GO Rocket Pokestop or a Team GO Rocket Hot Air Balloon, you will have to defeat a team of three Shadow Pokémon, usually of the same type, with your own team of three. You can find more information on how to beat Team GO Rocket in our Guide. However, once defeated, you will be able to attempt to catch a single Shadow Pokémon in the same way that you would catch a Pokémon after a raid.
You will receive a set amount of Premier Balls for defeating Team GO Rocket without knocked out Pokémon and fewer if you lose some in battle, although that number can also be increased with continued success against Team GO Rocket.
Team GO Rocket Leaders
In addition to taking on an endless series of Team GO Rocket Grunts, featuring Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar, you can take on three executive leaders from Team GO Rocket, and even Giovanni himself. These battles are even more difficult than those of the Grunts and change relatively frequently. For more on these battles, check out our Cliff, Sierra, Arlo, and Giovanni Counters Guide, now featuring Jesse and James, too!
Purifying Shadow Pokémon
While you can keep Shadow Pokémon as is, you can also purify them. Purify increases a Pokémon’s stats and makes it easier to power up. There are also achievements for purifying many Shadow Pokémon, as well as research rewards for doing so.
All that is needed to purify a Shadow Pokémon is Stardust and Candy. The amount of Stardust and Candy varies depending on the rarity of the Pokémon, and since Stardust is one of the most needed items in Pokémon Go, you can be selective about which Shadow Pokémon you purify. In general, the cost of purification depends on the walking distance. If a Pokémon gains one Candy per kilometer, its purification will cost 1000 Stardust and one Candy. If you are a Starter, or require 3 or 5 KM to earn a Candy, it will cost 3,000 Stardust and three Candy. If it takes 10 KM to earn a candy, it will cost 5,000 Stardust and five Candy. Legendary Pokémon are the most expensive to purify, at a whopping 20,000 Stardust and 20 Candy. Once you’ve decided on a Shadow Pokémon to Purify, you’ll find the option on the profile screen just above the options to power up or evolve:
Purified Pokémon get an immediate boost to level 25 and improved IV values, as well as a special charge move called Return, so there’s certainly an excellent reason to Purify some of the rarer ones.
Keeping Shadow Pokémon
After a recent rebalancing of Shadow Pokémon stats and the introduction of elite TMs and events that can change their movements, these tormented Pokémon have incredible attack power in exchange for reduced defenses. This makes them excellent glass cannons. There are some Raids where these Shadow Pokémon are the best counters. The trade-off, however, is that they are extremely expensive to power up and pass out quickly, meaning you’ll need a lot more revs and potions to keep driving them into battle.
All available Shadow Pokémon
While Niantic will continue to expand and alter the roster of Pokémon to fall under the bondage of Team GO Rocket in the future, here are all the Shadow Pokémon released so far and the costs of purifying them.
Do you have any questions about fighting, catching and purifying Shadow Pokémon? Or will you keep your Shadow Pokémon like glass cannons? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Best Battery Packs guide to keep your phone charged while trying to catch them all.