Pokemon Go Shadow Raids explained: How they work & current lineup

Shadow Raids in Pokemon GoNiantic

Shadow Raids have arrived in Pokemon Go, giving Trainers a chance to battle and catch Shadow Pokemon in special Raid Battles – but how do they work? Here’s everything you need to know.

Raid Battles are one of the most exciting parts of Pokemon Go, especially as they’re the main way to catch Legendaries, but they’ve just received a major shakeup with the arrival of Shadow Raid Battles.

With Team Go Rocket members taking over Gyms around the world, Trainers will be able to battle (and hopefully catch!) powerful Shadow Pokemon in Raids for the first time in Pokemon Go history.

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These Shadow Raids will only stick around for a limited time, and they’ll be more difficult to take down than traditional Raid Bosses, so we’ve rounded up all the information you need to take part below.


A Shadow Raid in Pokemon GONiantic

When are Shadow Raids coming to Pokemon Go?

Shadow Raids will debut in Pokemon Go as part of the Rising Shadows event, which begins on Monday, May 22, 2022, at 10AM local time.

They will be available in the game until that event ends on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at 8PM local time.

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How do Shadow Raids work in Pokemon Go?

Shadow Raids are very similar to regular Raid Battles, but they’ll only appear during special events. The main difference is that they feature Shadow Pokemon, which are Pokemon that have been captured by Team Go Rocket and are stronger than they normally would be.

Shadow Raid Bosses will become enraged as you battle them, resulting in their attack and defense being boosted. This makes them trickier to take down than regular Raid Bosses, so it’s even more important to team up with other Trainers and come prepared with a solid team of counters.

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A Shadow Raid in Pokemon GONiantic

It’s possible to subdue an enraged Shadow Pokemon by using Purified Gems. This is a new item type that can be crafted from Shadow Shards. How do you get Shadow Shards? Well, the good news is that they’ll be dropped by members of Team Go Rocket when you defeat them.

Once you’ve collected enough Shadow Shards, you’ll be able to put together a Purified Gem. When you use these against a Shadow Raid Boss, its attack and defense will be temporarily reduced – and if your team uses enough Purified Gems together, it will return to its non-enraged state.

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An important thing to point out is that you cannot join Shadow Raids with Remote Raid Passes, so you’ll need to travel to the Gym that’s hosting the Shadow Raid and use a regular Raid Pass to take part.

Shadow Raid Boss schedule in Pokemon Go

Shadow Raid Bosses will appear in Gyms from May 22, 2023, at 10AM local time until May 28, 2023, at 8PM local time. There will be 1-Star and 3-Star Shadow Raid Bosses available to battle during this time.

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Here are the Shadow Raid Bosses that will appear in Shadow Raids:

1-Star Shadow Raid Bosses

  • Shadow Poliwag
  • Shadow Machop
  • Shadow Bellsprout
  • Shadow Beldum

3-Star Shadow Raid Bosses

  • Shadow Bayleef
  • Shadow Quilava
  • Shadow Croconaw
  • Shadow Sneasel

You will also be able to encounter Shadow Mewtwo in 5-Star Shadow Raid Battles from May 27, 2023, at 10AM local time until May 28, 2023, at 8PM local time.

Be aware that not every Gym will host Shadow Raids; some will still feature regular Raids. You can see the standard Raid Boss schedule here.

What are Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon Go?

Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon GONiantic

Shadow Pokemon are described as creatures that have been captured by Team Go Rocket and made stronger through “unnatural means”.

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The main difference with Shadow Pokemon is that they’ll deal more damage with their Fast Attacks and Charged Attacks, but they’ll also take more damage from other Pokemon. This means there’s a bit of a trade-off, but that damage boost can make them useful in PvP Battles.

It’s also possible to Purify a Shadow Pokemon using a combination of Stardust and Candy. This will improve their IV values when appraised and reduce the amount of Candy required to Power Up, Evolve, or learn a new attack.

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It was previously only possible to encounter Shadow Pokemon by defeating a Team Go Rocket Grunt or Leader, so the introduction of Shadow Raids has given players even more ways to catch them.

That’s everything you need to know about Shadow Raid Battles! Check out some more Pokemon Go guides below:

Best Pokemon in Pokemon Go | All upcoming Spotlight Hours | Current Raid bosses | Arlo counters guide | Cliff counters guide | Giovanni counters guide | Sierra counters guide | Grunt counters guide | How to catch a Ditto | What are Strange Eggs? | How to get Remote Raid Passes | Fastest way to get Best Buddy status | Pokemon Go catching tips

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