Raids are a relatively new feature in Pokémon GO. Just like in the MMORPGs that inspired these encounters, raids require teamwork from all nearby players to bring down powerful Pokémon known as Raid Bosses.

Not only do these battles provide exclusive rewards, but they're also the only present way to get your hands on Legendary Pokémon. But we'll go into more details about how Raids work later in this guide.

How should I prepare for raids in Pokémon GO?

Before you can get into the mad world of raiding, you have to be level at least trainer level five. You already are? Congratulations! You can now join raids.

But before you run off and try to duff up Legendary Pokémon, there's a few things you should know. First of all, you need a raid pass to join a raid, and you can get one daily just by visiting a gym. So from level five you should try and make it a habit to visit a gym each day just for the pass. You can only hold one pass at a time though, so use it!

If you want to raid more than once per day, you can buy additional passes from the in-game shop. These cost 100 PokéCoins.

How do I join a raid in Pokémon GO?

Once you've got a raid pass or two, keep an eye on your local gyms. When a raid is about to begin, a large egg will appear over the gym with a countdown timer. When that counter reaches zero, the raid boss will be revealed.

To join, just go to the gym and redeem your pass to start fighting the boss. It might be worth convincing a few friends to join you if you can, as bosses are pretty tough and you don't want to get there just to find out you're alone.

You and up to 20 other trainers can battle a raid boss together, so try and gather as many players as you can before you tackle them.

How do raids work in Pokémon GO?

Once the egg has hatched, and a particular raid boss appears at a local gym, you have one hour to beat if until it disappears. To fight it, you have to redeem a raid pass at which point you will enter a lobby.

Here, you can pick a team from local players to fight the raid boss with. You can also change your particular team of up to six Pokémon to take in with you.

Once the battle begins, you have five minutes to defeat the boss. If you fail, you can retreat and try again as many times as you want until the hour is up. You don't even have to use a new raid pass!

Do I have to play with strangers or can I play with friends?

That's entirely up to you. You can either set up a private raid group (which requires a password to access) if you only want to battle with your friends, or you can allow randoms or join a random group yourself if you don't mind making new friends.

What are the rewards for defeating a raid boss in Pokémon Go?

Once you start fighting a raid boss, you've only got five minutes to bring it down. Do so though, and you get a chance to catch it. This chance varies depending on the boss, and can be as high as 70% or as low as 2%.

You also get a bunch of other goodies, like rare candies, golden razz berries, and fast TMs and charged TMs.

Are all raid bosses the same in Pokémon GO?

There are five (well, technically six) different tiers of raid bosses in Pokémon GO, and each tier denotes the difficulty. Here's a handy chart to help break it all down.

Tier Egg Number of Players
1 Pink Can complete solo.
2 Pink Can complete solo.
3 Yellow Can complete with a small group of around five players.
4 Yellow Can complete with a small group of around five players.
5 Legendary Requires a large group of around 10-15 players.
EX Ex Raid Boss Requires a large group of around 10-15 players.

Can I increase my chances of capturing a raid boss in Pokemon GO?

Once you've defeated the raid boss, you'll receive a bunch of premier balls that you can use to catch it. You can't use any other PokéBalls so make them count.

The number you receive depend on numerous different variables. You get five just for defeating the raid boss, up to three more depending on how much damage you deal, and then more depending on how much damage your team contributed.

You also get two more premier balls for being in control of the gym that the raid takes place at, so you should try and keep control of the gym that you fight regularly at to give yourself the biggest chance of catching the raid bosses.

Finally, you can also use golden razz berries to increase your chances of capturing a raid boss. You get these as a reward for raiding so basically, the more you raid the higher your chance of capturing a boss.

What's an EX raid battle in Pokémon GO?

EX raid battles are the most difficult type of raid battle in Pokémon GO – so tough, in fact, that they're invite only. You have to grab an EX raid pass that details when and where the EX raid will take place.

Right now, there's only one EX raid boss in Pokémon GO, and it's MewTwo. We're not sure if any more EX raid bosses will make it into the game.

How do I get an EX raid pass in Pokémon GO?

You receive an EX raid pass for fulfilling specific criteria in Pokémon GO. Basically, you have to raid a lot at a specific gym near you.

To give yourself the highest chance of getting an EX raid pass, you should try and raid often at a specific gym near you. In fact, you should do it so much that you get a gold gym badge for that specific gym.

Try and pick a busy gym though, in well trodden areas like parks. Aim to successfully complete each raid as well.

Do all of the above and you should receive your EX raid pass sooner rather than later.

I just got an EX raid pass in Pokémon GO, what do I do with it?

The pass will be for a specific gym, so you'll know where you have to redeem it. It will also have a time that the raid will take place in, and it's likely to be in a few days time. 

That means you have time to prepare and coordinate, which is essential, as MewTwo is an incredibly powerful Pokémon. You'll ideally want to get 20 players together and go in with a complete raid team.

Also, pay attention to MewTwo's elemental weaknesses below, so you can decide on the best Pokémon to bring with you to counter MewTwo.

Which Pokémon are raid bosses in Pokémon GO?

We'll now list all of the raid bosses in Pokémon GO, but there's a few things you should note before we begin. First, not all of the raid bosses are currently available to battle in the game. First off, several of these Pokémon were temporary raid bosses, and we're not sure if they'll ever come back. We'll denote these Pokémon with an asterix (*).

Secondly, we'll also list the boss CP (the combat power of the Pokémon when you fight it), the capture rate (your chance of capturing it if you defeat it), and the CP range of the Pokémon once you've caught it. This varies just like catching a Pokémon in the wild.

Finally, we'll also list the elements that the raid bosses are strong and weak against, so try and pick Pokémon that can counter them. If an element is in bold, that means that Pokémon is particularly strong or weak against that element.

Tier One Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Magikarp 1165 70% 104 125 Fire / Ice / Water / Steel Electric / Grass
Metapod 1534 25% 209 239 Grass / Ground / Fight Fire / Rock / Flying
Swablu 2766 50% 374 412 Bug / Grass / Ground / Ghost Electric / Rock / Ice
Snorunt 2825 50% 402 441 Ice Fire / Rock / Steel / Fight
Wailmer 3369 50% 756 814 Fire / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass
Wartortle 4503  10% 705 756 Fire / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass
Charmeleon 5085 10% 793 847 Bug / Fire / Grass / Fairy / Steel / Ice Rock / Ground / Water
Ivysaur 5238 10% 831 886 Electric / Grass / Fairy / Fight / Water Fire / Flying / Ice / Psychic

Tier Two Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Sableye 8266 20% 694 745 Normal / Poison / Fight Psychic Fairy
Dewgong 9216 20% 1020 1082 Ice / Water Electric / Grass / Rock / Fight
Mawile 9403 50% 793 848 Bug / Grass / Normal / Rock / Dark / Fairy / Flying / Poison / Dragon / Ice / Psychic Fire / Ground
Marowak 9891 15% 908 966 Electric / Rock / Poison Grass / Ice / Water
Tentacruel 12,190 20% 1287 1356 Bug / Fire / Fairy / Poison / Steel / Fight / Ice / Water Electric / Ground / Psychic
Sandslash 12,312 20% 1262 1330 Electric / Rock / Poison Grass / Ice / Water
Magneton 14,172 20% 1208 1278 Bug / Electric / Grass / Normal / Rock / Fairy / Flying / Poison Steel / Dragon / Ice / Psychic Fire / Ground / Fight
Cloyster 15,678 20% 1338 1414 Ice / Water Electric / Grass / Rock / Fight

Tier Three Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Azumarill 8989 15% 803 858 Bug / Fire / Dark / Dragon / Fight / Ice / Water Electric / Grass / Poison
Porygon 11,419 40% 840 895 Ghost Fight
Piloswine 13,663 12.5% 1237 1305 Electric / Poison Fire / Grass / Steel / Fight / Water
Ninetails 14,914 10% 1167 1233 Bug / Fire / Grass / Fairy / Steel / Ice Rock / Ground / Water
Scyther 17,358 30% 1337 1408 Bug / Grass Ground / Fight Electric / Fire / Rock / Flying / Ice
Machamp 18,144 10% 1574 1650 Bug / Rock / Dark Fairy / Flying / Psychic
Jynx 18,296 30% 1363 1435 Ice / Psychic Bug / Fire / Rock / Dark / Steel / Ghost
Omastar 18,915 15% 1460 1534 Fire / Normal / Flying / Poison / Ice Electric / Grass / Ground / Fight
Gengar 19,768 10% 1420 1496 Bug / Grass / Normal / Fairy /  Poison Fight Dark / Ground / Ghost / Psychic
Alakazam 22,646 10% 1569 1649 Fight / Psychic Bug / Dark / Ghost

Tier Four Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Wobbuffet* 7144 25% 531 585 Fight / Psychic Bug / Dark / Ghost
Meowth* 9079 50% 329 364 Ghost Fight
Pikachu* 11,845 20% 410 450 Electric / Flying / Steel Ground
Lapras 21,768 5% 1414 1487 Electric / Grass / Rock / Fight Ice / Water
Nidoqueen 23,216 12.5% 1267 1336 Bug / Electric / Rock / Fairy / Poison / Fight Ground / Ice / Psychic / Water
Victreebel 23,780 12.5% 1228 1296 Electric / Grass / Fairy / Fight / Water Fire / Flying / Ice / Psychic
Poliwrath 24,247 12.5% 1325 1395 Bug / Fire / Rock / Dark / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass / Fairy / Flying / Psychic
Nidoking 24,873 12.5% 1294 1363 Bug / Electric / Rock / Fairy / Poison / Fight Ground / Ice / Psychic / Water
Snorlax 25,419 5% 1833 1917 Ghost Fight
Absol
26,262 50% 1232 1303 Dark / Ghost / Psychic Bug / Fairy / Fight
Houndoom* 27,302 15% 1373 1445 Fire / Grass / Dark / Steel / Ghost / Ice / Psychic Rock / Ground / Fight / Water
Ursaring* 27,409 15% 1501 1577 Ghost Fight
Feraligatr 27,740 5% 1481 1554 Fire / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass
Golem* 30,572 12.5% 1589 1666 Electric / Fire / Normal / Rock / Flying / Poison Grass / Ground / Steel / Fight / Ice / Water
Aggron 33,485 12.5% 1636 1716 Bug / Normal / Rock / Fairy / Flying Poison / Dragon / Ice / Psychic Ground Fight / Water
Tyranitar 34,707 5% 2011 2097 Fire / Normal / Dark / Flying / Poison / Ghost / Psychic Bug / Grass / Fairy / Ground / Steel / Fight / Water
Dragonite* 35,383 5% 1961 2046 Bug / Fire / GrassGround / Fight / Water Rock / Fairy / Dragon / Ice

Tier Five Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Deoxys* 2% 1570 Fight / Psychic Bug / Dark / Ghost
Registeel* 30,596 2% 1222 1292 Bug / Grass / Normal / Rock / Fairy / Flying / Poison / Steel / Dragon / Ice / Psychic Fire / Ground / Fight
Suicune 34,471 2% 1538 1613 Fire / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass
Articuno 37,603 3% 1599 1676 Bug / Grass / Ground Electric / Fire / Rock / Steel
Celebi* 37,726 1687 1766 Electric / Grass / Ground / Fight / Psychic / Water Bug / Fire / Dark / Flying / Poison / Ghost / Ice
Jirachi* 37,733 2% 1687 1766 Grass / Normal / Rock / Fairy / Flying / Poison / Steel / Dragon / Ice / Psychic Fire / Dark / Ground / Ghost
Mew* 37,733 3% 1687 1766 Fight / Psychic Bug / Dark / Ghost
Entei 38,628 2% 1847 1930 Bug / Fire / Grass / Fairy / Steel / Ice Rock / Ground / Water
Regice* 41,777 2% 1682 1764 Ice Fire / Rock / Steel / Fight
Regirock* 41,777 2% 1682 1764 Fire / Normal / Flying / Poison Grass / Ground / Steel / Fight / Water
Moltres 41,953 3% 1788 1870 Bug / Fire / Grass / Fairy / Ground / Steel / Fight Electric / Rock / Water
Zapdos 42,691 3% 1820 1902 Bug / Grass / Flying / Ground / Steel / Fight Rock / Ice
Latias* 45,704 2% 1846 1929 Electric / Fire / Grass / Fight / Psychic / Water Bug / Dark / Fairy / Dragon / Ghost / Ice
Lugia 42,753 2% 1969 2056 Grass / Ground Fight / Psychic Electric / Rock / Dark / Ghost / Ice
Raikou 42,932 2% 1831 1913 Electric / Flying / Steel Ground
Rayquaza 45,468 2% 1995 2083 Bug / Fire / Grass Ground / Fight / Water Rock / Fairy / Dragon / Ice
Ho-Oh 48,276 2% 2133 2222 Bug / Fire / Grass / Fairy / Ground / Steel / Fight Electric / Rock / Water
Latios* 49,322 2% 1995 2082 Electric / Fire / Grass / Fight / Psychic / Water Bug / Dark / Fairy / Dragon / Ghost / Ice
Groudon 51,968 2% 2236 2328 Electric / Rock / Poison Grass / Ice / Water
Kyogre 51,968 2% 2236 2328 Fire / Steel / Ice / Water Electric / Grass

EX Raid Bosses

Raid Boss Boss CP Capture Rate Min Captured CP Max Captured CP Strong Against Weak Against
Mewtwo 49,430 6% 2184 2275 Fight / Psychic Bug / Dark / Ghost