Raid Battles in Pokémon GO offer Trainers the opportunity to work together to defeat powerful Pokémon. Successfully defeating the Raid Pokémon will grant Trainers the chance to catch them using special Premier Balls. Some Raid Pokémon are incredibly rare to encounter in the wild, making Raids a great way to obtain Candy for those Pokémon. The list of available Raid Pokémon is updated roughly every month, offering players an updated roster of Pokémon to battle.
Raid Pokémon Eggs will occasionally appear at Gyms, signifying upcoming available Raid Battle encounters. You can quickly check if there are currently active Raids or if there are any scheduled to start. You can do this by tapping the Nearby Pokémon indicator and then go to the “Raids” tab. This menu will show which Raids are currently active as well as upcoming raids.
You’ll receive a notification if a Raid Battle is starting at a nearby Gym. You’re going to see an Egg, and a timer will appear on the map above the Gym’s location, as well as in the Raids tab. You can check the difficulty of a Raid Battle by the color of the Egg as well as by the number of little, angry Pokémon faces displayed above it.
How to obtain Raid Passes
To participate in a Raid Battle, you’ll first need to get a Raid Pass. You can obtain one free Raid Pass each day from the first Gym Photo Disc you spin. You can hold only one Raid Pass at a time, so you’ll want to use it before spinning a Gym Photo Disc on another day.
If you don’t get a chance to use the free Raid Pass before spinning your first Gym of the day, don’t worry. You’ll still receive your free Raid Pass at the first Gym you spin that day after your Raid Pass gets used. You can hold any number of Premium Raid Passes but only one EX Raid Pass. There are three different kinds of Raid Passes:
Regular Raid Passes
Raid Passes are the standard Passes that grant access to Tier 1-5 Raid Battles. You can receive one free Raid Pass per day by spinning a Gym’s Photo Disc and can hold only one at a time.
Premium Raid Pass
Premium Raid Passes also grant access to Tier 1-5 Raid Battles. You have to purchase them from the in-game Shop. You can hold multiple Premium Raid Passes at a time, so you’ll need these Passes if you want to challenge many Raid Bosses in a single day.
Special Raid Passes
EX Raid Pass
You can only obtain EX Raid Passes by getting lucky. Seriously. EX Raids are special events scheduled to occur that grants Trainers the opportunity to catch rare Pokémon, including Mewtwo!
There are other raid Pokémon that you can encounter at different dates, such as Deoxys in all of its forms, Regigigas, and more that are yet to be confirmed. Regigigas will make its appearance in the game on November 1st through the 4th alongside Regice, Regirock, and Registeel as five-star raids.
Using a Raid Pass to challenge a Pokémon
A Raid Boss can be challenged by Trainers from all teams, regardless of which team currently controls the Gym. However, the team who control the Gym when the Raid Boss gets defeated receives extra Premier Balls, which you use in attempts to catch the Raid Pokémon.
Trainers can join private groups or automatically get matched with nearby Trainers in groups of up to 20 Trainers each. Your Raid Pass will be consumed upon entering a Raid Battle and will grant access to the Raid for as long as it is active.
When a Raid Egg hatches and the encounter is ready to be challenged, a lobby gets created and Trainers have two minutes to join. You’ll generally want to try to join a raid right as it begins. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to have additional Trainers to party with, unless you’ve brought with you a group of friends. If you’d prefer to battle the Raid Pokémon only with friends, you can create a private lobby and challenge the Boss together.
The Raid will be available for a limited amount of time from the time it begins, typically one hour, and any number of Trainers can participate in the battle during this time. Legendary Raids will have longer than usual Raid duration.
You can rejoin the battle as many times as you need while the raid is active. This small break gives you opportunities to Revive knocked out Pokémon or change your team if necessary. Once this window has passed, the Gym returns to normal and previously defending Pokémon return to their posts.
However, there are also times where a raid will inevitably get canceled. For example, if an EX Raid gets canceled, you will earn a compensation of five raid passes and 50,000 Stardust. It is rare for raids to get canceled. If it were ever to happen, the game’s method of a refund will be helpful in other raids and training up your Pokémon.
Gamepur freelance writer Rebekah McPherson contributed to this story.