When Pokemon GO raids first opened up, they were originally only available for players who were level 35 or above, and at sponsored locations. After a few hours, the level restriction was dropped to 31, and then again to 28, and now, it’s sitting at 25. Locations no longer need to be sponsored to host raids, either.
So, now that Pokemon GO raids are accessible by the vast majority of players, it’s time that we explore the functionality and features of these raids, and look at exactly how they work. This is absolutely everything you need to know about raids in Pokemon GO:
What are Pokemon GO raids?
Pokemon GO raids are, put simply, mini-events that require the player to team up (or go solo) against a super-powered version of a Pokemon that appears at a gym. Once the raid Pokemon has been defeated, the player will receive some special items, and will even have a chance to catch the raid Pokemon that they defeated (in its non-super-powered state, of course.)
Where are Pokemon GO raids?
As mentioned above, raids take place at gyms. At first, raids were only available at sponsored locations, but this restriction has recently been lifted, which means any gym could potentially host a raid. Finding a raid is quite simple, and there are two main ways to tell if there are any raids in progress (or about to start) near you.
The first way to check is to take a look at your nearby list. Simply click on the list, and then click on the “raids” tab at the top. Nearby raids that have yet to begin will display their starting time (in local time), while raids that are currently in progress will display the amount of time that remains before the raid ends. If you click on the raid, the gym will be highlighted on the overworld, just like when you click on a nearby Pokemon.
The other way to see if there are any nearby raids is to simply take a look around. If you can see a gym with a giant egg on top, that means a raid is about to begin, and will have a countdown timer that tells you how long until it begins. If a raid is already in progress, you’ll see a Pokemon on top with a menacing face above the gym and a number of stars indicating the difficulty. The amount of time displayed is how long is left before the raid ends!
How long do raids last?
Once a raid has been assigned to a gym (and the egg has appeared on top of the gym), you will have between 30 minutes and two hours before the egg hatches and the raid begins. Once the initial timer has counted down to zero, the raid will begin, and you will then have a full 60 minutes to defeat the raid Pokemon, before the raid ends.
However, once you have commenced a battle with the raid Pokemon, you will only have 5 minutes to defeat the raid boss. If you fail to defeat the raid Pokemon in the 5 minute time period, it will regain all of its HP, and you will be forced to start the battle again from scratch!
How to obtain the raid pass
Once you’ve found a raid that is either about to begin, or is already in progress, you’ll need to also acquire a raid pass. A raid pass is an item that is required to take part in a raid, and can be obtained in two different ways.
The first way to obtain a raid pass is to spin the photo disc of a gym. Assuming you don’t already have one (you can only hold one raid pass at a time), you’ll receive a raid pass from the first spin of the day of a gym’s photo disc.
The second way to obtain a raid pass is to buy one with Poke Coins. A premium raid pass costs 100 Poke Coins, and unlike the regular raid pass, is able to be stacked. This means that you can buy multiple premium raid passes at once, and hold onto all of them until you’re ready to use them.
The raid Pokemon difficulty
Before you decide to take on the raid boss, you should pay attention to the difficulty of the raid. At the moment, there are two different eggs that can appear on top of a gym: The pink egg, and the gold egg. The pink egg is the common egg, and will hatch a 1 star, or a 2 star raid boss. The gold egg is the rare egg, and will hatch a 3 star, or a 4 star raid boss.
As you would expect; the higher the number of stars, the harder the raid boss is going to be to defeat. Pink eggs, and the raid Pokemon that hatch out of them, are quite easy to defeat. They will typically have CPs ranging between 1,000 and 11,000, and can generally be defeated solo by a level 25 or higher trainer.
Gold eggs, however, are a different story. These eggs hatch 3 and 4 star raid bosses, which are far harder to defeat than 1 and 2 star Pokemon. In fact, as far as we’re aware, it is impossible to solo a 4 star raid boss. If you come across a raid Pokemon with 3 or 4 stars, bring some backup, because it’s going to be one tough battle!
How to enter the raid
Once you’ve found a raid, acquired your raid pass, and teamed up with some friends (or decided to go solo if it’s a 1 or 2 star raid), it’s time to start the raid! Simply click on the gym, and click the “battle” button. You’ll now have 60 seconds to choose your team, make sure all of your Pokemon are healed, and plan any strategies with your friends.
How to beat the raid Pokemon
Once the 60 seconds are up, the battle will begin, and you’ll be able to start attacking the raid Pokemon with the help of your friends and team mates. Use your strongest attackers, make use of move-set type advantages and STAB, and be sure to dodge all of the raid Pokemon’s charge moves!
The special raid items
Once the raid is over, you might acquire some special items. Emphasis on might. These items are the Golden Razz Berry, the Rare Candy, the Technical Machine (Fast), and the Technical Machine (Charge). Each of these items can only be obtain by completing raids, and each of these items are highly valuable.
The Golden Razz Berry functions much like a normal Razz Berry (increases the odds of catching a Pokemon), except it’s more powerful. The Rare Candy, when used on a Pokemon, will transform into a single Candy of that Pokemon’s species. And, the Technical Machines can be used to randomly assign a Pokemon a new move (fast or charged) from that Pokemon’s current move pool.
How to catch the raid Pokemon
Once you’ve been given your rewards, you can attempt to catch the raid Pokemon! You’ll be given a number of premier balls (the better you performed at defeating the raid boss, the more balls you’ll receive), and you’ll be given the opportunity to catch the Pokemon.
Make sure to curve your throws, use Razz (or Golden Razz) Berries, and aim for Excellent! throw bonuses. It will also help if you have the gold catch medal(s) for the raid Pokemon’s type, too. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch the raid Pokemon before you run out of premier balls!
That’s all there is to know about Pokemon GO raids
They’re amazingly fun, they can be incredibly challenging, and they force players to interact with each other to achieve a common goal. Personally, I think Pokemon GO raids are a great new feature, and can’t wait to see how the legendary Pokemon are implemented with the raid system over the next month or so.
But what do you think about Pokemon GO raids? Have you tried them out yet, or are you still below level 25? And if you have tested them out, do you enjoy them? As always, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!
P.S. Want to download a raid cheat sheet? The cheat sheet shows you exactly which Pokemon to use against each raid boss, so you’ll never be left guessing even when you’re out on the road. Click here to download your free raid cheat sheet now!