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An eventful summer of Pokémon catching once again comes to a close and as in previous years, players are being treated to a special appearance by a mythical Pokémon. Previously available to long-time Pokémon fans only through in-store events and now obscure Gamecube releases, the absolutely adorable Wish Pokémon Jirachi is now available to all GO players via a special research task. In this guide, we’ll cover the steps you’ll have to complete on the road to capturing Jirachi in the weeks (and maybe even months) ahead.

How to get Jirachi in Pokémon GO

Jirachi – Pokedex #385 – is a mythical Pokémon, one of a number of species that in the main series of games is traditionally distributed through retailer events. Such Pokémon are otherwise unobtainable during normal gameplay, yet a major feature of merchandise and the latest Pokémon anime movies. Like Mew and Celebi before it, Jirachi comes to every player of Pokémon GO via a special research task – a story-led series of quests that require you to perform various tasks for the game’s Pokémon professor, Professor Willow.

Special research tasks are quite good at making themselves known once available, but they can be found by tapping the binocular icon in the bottom right of the screen and navigating to the “special” section.

Jirachi’s special research task – ‘A Thousand-Year Slumber’ has plenty of challenges in store for Pokémon GO players new and old. Across seven distinct steps (with three individual subquests per stage), you’ll be accumulating a wealth of XP and useful items before finally getting a chance to catch this cute Steel/Psychic friend for yourself.

Aside from the requirements of an early but relatively steep Feebas evolution subquest there aren't any nasty shocks to warn players of in advance - no 400 candy evolutions this time!

Jirachi – ‘A Thousand-Year Slumber’ research walkthrough

Step 1/7

Quest

Reward

Catch 25 Pokémon

1,000 XP

Spin 10 Pokéstops or Gyms

Encounter: Jigglypuff

Make 3 new friends

Encounter: Feebas

Rewards: 1x Mossy Lure, 1x Magnetic Lure, 1x Glacial Lure

Things start off simple enough with your first stage tasks: catching Pokémon and spinning Pokéstops is what you spend the majority of your Pokémon GO playtime doing, after all. Making three new friends is a little bit more of a pain (though, isn’t that always the case?), particularly if you’ve completed a few such quests in the past and are running out of friends to pester. We recommend checking out our community friend code list, putting a call out on social media or joining a local Pokémon GO group.

Step 2/7

Quest

Reward

Catch 3 Whismur

10x Whismur Candy

Evolve a Feebas

1,500 XP

Gold Hoenn Medal

1,500 XP

Rewards: 2,000 Stardust, 10x Regular Pokéballs, 3x Incense

Here’s where the research really begins. While Whismur is a common catch, Feebas isn’t anything of the sort, and its lousy candy handouts – just one for every 5km you walk – may make this a long-term project for anyone new to the game (or anyone unfortunate enough to have recently evolved one). You will have to make Feebas your buddy at some point though – it won’t evolve until you’ve walked with it for 20km.

Help is nominally coming immediately after release in the form of Pokémon GO’s Water Festival, running from 23 August to 30 August, during which Feebas is supposed to be more common - though there seems to be very little evidence that rates have increased at all. However, Candy distance for water Pokémon is halved during the event, Feebas is featuring in raids and Niantic claims that more water Pokémon have been added to eggs - though we don't know which ones at this time. Of course, if you’re reading this guide at any time after this date, you're out of luck.

The Gold Hoenn Medal will be a challenge for Pokémon GO newcomers – it requires that you catch 90 unique species from the 135 of Pokémon Gen 3 (those from the Hoenn region featured in the Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire games). If you’re a Pokémon GO veteran, this one probably completed itself instantly.

Step 3/7

Quest

Reward

Take a snapshot of Loudred

Encounter: Snorlax

Make 3 Great Throws in a row

2,000 XP

Earn 3 Candies walking with your buddy

2,000 XP

Rewards: 20x Silver Pinap Berries, 3x Star Pieces, 2,000 Stardust

The third stage is arguably a little easier than the last. Your Whismur catches and candies should give you Loudred (Whismur requires only 12 candy to evolve – hit the camera button when looking at one in your Pokémon box) and you can equip a 1km Buddy Pokemon for a quick and easy three candies.

Making 3 Great Throws in a row is most likely to be where you get stuck. Aim within the inner coloured catching circle – you’ll get a ‘great’ when it is roughly two thirds the size of the outer circle (though the game will be just as happy if you throw an ‘Excellent’ as well).

Step 4/7

Quest

Reward

Catch 50 Psychic or Steel-type Pokémon

2,500 XP

Power up Pokémon 10 times

2,500 XP

Send 10 Gifts to friends

2,500 XP

Rewards: 1x Fast TM, 1x Charged TM, 1x Premium Raid Pass

Another straightforward stage, but one that could take a little while to work through. Psychic and Steel aren’t uncommon types, but you could speed things up by using a magnetic lure (not recommended – especially if you don’t have enough candies to evolve Magneton and Nosepass at the same time) or spawn Meltan (requires Pokémon Let’s GO).

The other steps are self-explanatory: root through your Pokémon box and hit the ‘Power Up’ button a few times; and if your current friends are taking too long to open the gifts you send, consider getting some new ones (this advice pertains solely to Pokémon GO).

Step 5/7

Quest

Reward

Battle a team leader 3 times

Encounter: Kricketune

Win against another trainer 7 times

3,000 XP

Win 5 raids

3,000 XP

Rewards: 3x Rare Candy, 20x Ultra Balls, 3,000 Stardust

Having got this far in the quest, Niantic want to get you to experience Pokémon GO’s PvP features. The first of the subquests here concerns arguably one of the game’s least well documented features: you can battle team leaders Blanche, Candela and Spark by tapping the Pokémon radar in the bottom right corner of your screen (the one with three nearby Pokémon shown on it) and selecting ‘Battle’ in the next screen.

For the second subquest, a Niantic designer presumably wants you to get involved in your local Pokémon GO meetup scene and create a tournament ladder, bitterly fighting until you wrest seven victories from new acquaintances, foes with whom you have forged lifelong rivalries and friendships in the flames of battle. What you will do instead is gain access to a second phone and Pokémon GO account, navigate to the ‘battle’ option on each profile and tap out seven of history’s saddest one-sided matches. “You cheated not only the game” etc. etc.

Raids are a little more fun – solo players should be able to take on anything three stars and below once they’re level 25 or so, and for all our previous sarcasm, it really is worth seeing whether local Pokémon GO groups are taking down any of the bigger targets in your area.

Step 6/7

Quest

Reward

Take 5 photos of Steel or Psychic Pokémon

Encounter: Chimecho

Make 3 excellent curveball throws

Encounter: Bronzong

Spin a Pokéstop 7 days in a row

4,000 XP

Rewards: 10x Silver Pinap Berries, 10x Star Pieces, 5,000 Stardust

The penultimate round of subquests are straightforward, but they’re going to take you at least a week to complete. This is because the third subquest locks you into playing every day for a full week and visiting at least one Pokéstop every day. Meanwhile, the first subquest just requires that you find your way back to the camera feature (from any psychic or steel Pokémon in the box tap the camera icon in the top right).

You could find yourself taking the most time over “making three excellent curveball throws”. For those unfamiliar with curveball technique, during a catch, you’ll have to make a circular motion with your Pokéball to spin it and attempt to land it within the inner catching circle when it’s around a third of the size of the outer circle for an ‘Excellent’ throw. Not the easiest thing (or one we can provide much written assistant for, other than saying to be patient and to not give up).

Step 7/7

Quest

Reward

Auto-completed quest

4,500 XP

Auto-completed quest

4,500 XP

Auto-completed quest

4,500 XP

Rewards: Encounter: Jirachi, 20x Jirachi Candy, Jirachi T-Shirt style

Congratulations on making it to step 7 - now it's finally time to catch Jirachi. Claim the XP for the autocompleted quests and trigger the Jirachi encounter. You'll be prompted to turn on AR mode and simply have to throw Pokéballs at your target until you catch it (if you need to back out of this encounter, e.g. if you run out of Pokéballs, you can trigger it again from the research screen).

Catching Jirachi, you'll also get 20x Jirachi candy and access to a special T-Shirt style, which you can see in the tweet below:

🌟 Wishing for a Jirachi T-shirt? They do say Jirachi grants wishes, so maybe today’s your lucky day! Trainers who complete the “A Thousand-Year Slumber” Special Research will be rewarded with an exclusive Jirachi T-shirt in the Style Shop! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/EeeZUoEuaH

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp)

The quest names and rewards above were compiled using information posted by users DanzMacawb and Braggioh on The Silph Road subreddit.

What if I caught a Jirachi at GOFest?

Though ‘A Thousand-Year Slumber’ will be most people’s first chance at grabbing a Jirachi in Pokémon GO, it was actually first available for attendees at the 2019 GOFest events in Chicago, Dortmund and Yokohama.

If you were lucky enough to complete the five-step questline unique to these events, you may be wondering whether it’s worth completing ‘A Thousand-Year Slumber’: well, in addition to all the regular rewards above you’ll get more Jirachi candy (though no second Jirachi). Of course, the real reward will be all the new friends that you’ll once again have to make along the way.