After what feels like forever, Team Rocket has finally invaded the world of Pokémon Go, bringing with them infected PokéStops and Shadow Pokémon. Using this guide, you'll be able to better understand what Team Rocket's sinister plans are, and how you can help defeat them.
Team Rocket in Pokémon Go: How To Find Team Rocket
Tracking down Team Rocket in Pokémon Go isn't all that easy. For starters, only trainers at Level 8 or above will see Team Rocket in their game. Secondly, the PokéStops that Team Rocket Grunts appear at are quite rare, so don't expect to see them dotted all over your location. Keep checking your map regularly and be alert for any PokéStops that don't look normal.
You can tell if a PokéStops is infected by Team Rocket because, at a distance, the cube in the middle will be slightly darker than normal, and it won't rotate smoothly – instead, it will jitter about uncontrollably.
Initial reports suggest that infected PokéStops only manifest themselves for around half an hour at a time, so if you see one nearby, you need to get to it quickly.
Team Rocket in Pokémon Go: Team Rocket Battles And Capturing Shadow Pokémon
If you have a Team Rocket PokéStop nearby, you'll be able to take on the Grunt contained within in a trainer battle. The Grunt will use a team of Shadow Pokémon; these are normal Pokémon which have been infected by Team Rocket.
Each Team Go Rocket Grunt you encounter will be given a Pokémon type, which is indicated by the dialogue they use when you begin your battle. "Normal doesn't mean weak" will give you a normal-type encounter. "These waters are treacherous!" will be a Water-type encounter (seems obvious, right?), while "Do you know how hot Pokemon fire breath can get?" will be a Fire-type encounter. Finally, "Don't tangle with us!" will lead to a Grass-type encounter.
Should you emerge successfully from the contest, you'll earn the chance to capture one of these Shadow Pokémon. The number of Pokéballs you have for this depends on how you did in the battle. If you manage to catch it, you'll get to keep it.
Team Rocket in Pokémon Go: Purifying Shadow Pokémon
Purifying Shadow Pokémon is the next step of the Team Rocket metagame within Pokémon Go. Shadow Pokémon have a purple flame on their picture, so locate the Shadow Pokémon in your Pokémon storage by looking for this. They also behave erratically, and it costs more than normal to power them up with Candy and Stardust – three times as much, in fact. You can't trade Shadow Pokémon, either.
Tap on that Pokémon, and you'll be given the usual options of 'Power Up' and 'Evolve' – as well as the option to 'Purify'. Purifying a Shadow Pokémon costs you both Stardust and Candy, and the amounts in both cases are dependant on the Pokémon and its current power level.
Purified Pokémon offer many benefits. For example, the candy cost for powering up or evolving that Pokémon decreases by 10 percent, as does the Stardust cost for powering up or teaching that Pokémon a secondary move. IVs increase by 2 in every statistic and the monster's level will increase, up to a level cap of 25.
You can tell if a Pokémon is a purified Pokémon because it will have a blue star next to its picture in your Pokémon storage.