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Pokémon Go Raids – Level requirement, how Raid Battles, Bosses, counters, Rewards and Passes work

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Pokémon Go Raid Battles are a new feature added to the game as part of a larger Gym Rework.

Available now for select players, Raids see players work together to take down powerful Pokémon named Raid Bosses – with exclusive rewards up for grabs – as well as the chance to finally catch those elusive Legendary Pokémon in the coming weeks.

Though Raid Battles aren’t live for everyone just yet, we understand how they work and the best ways to tackle them.

What is the Raid level requirement in Pokémon Go?

Raid Battles are currently available in select Gyms for Trainers over level 5, with plans to expand the pool to more trainers in the coming days:

At the start of the Gym update the restriction was level 35, so the requirement has dropped significantly in the past week or so.

It also looks like there has been a wider roll out of the places you can Raid since the feature launched, too. Initially, it appeared to be mostly in the US, with those we’ve spotted reported on Reddit (here and here) taking place at sponsored Starbucks stops. However, it looks like both non-US and non-sponsored destinations are now included, so keep an eye out on them as you explore in the coming days!

As for the wider rollout below the level requirement, Niantic has vaguely said “in the weeks ahead” following the Gym Rework update, which is set to release in the second half of June. With that in mind, our best guess is sometime in the first half of July, which will be timed nicely for the game’s first anniversary.

What are Raid Battles and Raid Bosses and how do they work?

Raids see trainers team up with other nearby players to take down “extremely powerful Pokémon” known as Raid Bosses under a time limit. These can have a massive amount of CP, up to 10 times as powerful, requiring a full group to stand a chance of winning.

Some Raid encounters will be easier than others. Each one is graded from one to five – one could be a Magikarp, four has you face off against many of the best Pokémon such as Tyranitar and Snorlax, and five suggested to be Legendary. We have more specifically on Raid boss tiers below.

Once you have completed a Raid, unique rewards as well as a chance to catch the creature is up for grabs, which we also explain in detail a little later.

Step-by-step breakdown of how Raid encounters work:

1) When a Raid is about to happen, an Egg will appear at the Gym with a countdown.

2) After it hatches, the Gym will turn into a Raid, you will have one hour until the Boss disappears. Up to 20 players can form a group, though you can venture in with just a few of you if you like.

3) After spending a Raid Pass (see below) you will wait in a lobby, in which time you can change your team and other players can match make with you. You have to defeat the boss within five minutes. Like regular Gym fights, you can take six creatures in with you. If you aren’t successful, you can retreat and use Potions and Revives on your team and try again as many times as you like until the hour is up without spending another pass.

4) If you are successful, you’ll receive rewards and a chance to catch the creature.

5) When the hour is up, all creatures originally assigned will return and the Gym will resume it’s prior state.

Raid Bosses and counters

Each Raid Boss fits into one of five tiers, one being the easiest and five the most challenging. These five can effectively be slotted into three groups, however, which was distinguished by egg colour.

Tier 1 or 2 – Pink Egg, can be soloed

Tier 3 of 4 – Yellow Egg, requires a group

Tier 5 – Legendary, currently unavailable

The types of bosses you face will have a fixed CP per encounter. Below is the list of every one ordered by CP, though bear in mind some creatures will be tougher than others regardless of that number, as well as ideal counter Pokemon as recommended by The Silph Road sub-Reddit (and subsequently updated in the following week):

Tier Raid Boss CP Best counters
1 Magikarp 1165 Anything!
1 Bayleef 4375 Flareon, Charizard, Gengar
1 Quilava 5085 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
1 Croconaw 5207 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
2 Muk 12269 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
2 Electabuzz 12390 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon
2 Weezing 12318 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
2 Magmar 12718 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
2 Exeggutor 13839 Pinsir, Gengar, Heracross
3 Vaporeon 16696 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
3 Arcanine 17832 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
3 Machamp 18144 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor
3 Gengar 19768 Gengar, Alakazam, Espeon
3 Jolteon 19883 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon
3 Flareon 21155 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon
4 Lapras 21768 Machamp, Heracross, Exeggutor
3 Alakazam 22646 Gengar, Houndoom, Tyranitar
4 Blastoise 24162 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon
4 Snorlax 25419 Machamp, Heracross, Alakazam
4 Venusaur 26921 Alakazam, Flareon, Espeon
4 Charizard 28485 Golem, Omastar, Sudowoodo
4 Rhydon 30512 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Victreebel
4 Tyranitar 34707 Machamp, Heracross, Primeape

If you want beat the above, remember that:

Type effectiveness makes a huge difference, so aim to get good counters ready for tough battles. The above table has ideal counters you can use; Machamp, Golem and Gengar appear to be strong choices for a variety of battles. If you need these, then face against them in lower tiers and capture them for yourself!

Though you can solo early tiers, or complete the hardest tiers with just three players if you’re good enough, the more players you have working with you, the better. Don’t be afraid to buddy up!

How Raid Passes and Raid rewards work in Pokémon Go

Though Raids are a free update, participating will require a ‘Raid Pass’.

Players can receive one per day from spinning the Gym’s photo disc (assuming you are high enough level to participate) and you can only hold one at a time. Additional ‘Premium Raid Passes’ must be purchased from the in-game shop – for 100 PokeCoins each – and we can assume you can hold as many of these as you please.

Our E3 preview also revealed if you participate in enough Raids, you’ll get access to a unique Raids via a Legendary Raid Pass.

These ‘Legendary Raids’ will work a little differently but will result in Legendary creatures, as discussed in our Legendary Pokémon battles page.

Raid Battle rewards

Meanwhile, completing the battle can reward players with exclusive new items. You can get any item regardless of difficulty tier, but the higher you go the more you’ll receive:

Rare Candies – when used on a Pokémon, will turn into that Pokémon’s Candy. One Rare Candy will equal one Candy for that creature.

Golden Razz Berries – Greatly increase Pokémon capture rate in the wild, and can be used in Gyms to fully recover Motivation.

TMs – Available in Fast and Charged varieties, these Technical Machines will permanently teach a new Fast Attack or Charge Attack respectively. It’s essentially move re-rolling, ideal for a high powered creature with weak Moves. This is the most uncommon reward of the set.

As well as the above, you’ll receive 3000 Trainer XP, 1000 Gym Badge XP, a chance at some standard Revives and and the chance to catch Pokémon featured as part of the battle – so if you’ve yet to bag a Tyranitar of your own, now could be your chance.

How Premier Balls are calculated

During this capture phase, you’ll be given a number of Premier Balls, which are the only means to catch the creature. The number of Premier Balls you receive depend on a number of factors, but expect about a dozen to play with:

Defeating the boss (fixed at 5 balls)

Damage inflicted (variable, maximum is 3 balls)

Gym Control (variable, addition of 2 if controlled)

Contribution by Team (variable, if majority of your team add 3)

In short, having the Gym on your team and inflicting more damage will see you have a better chance. It’s also worth remembering you can also use Berries during the encounter too, so stockpile those Golden Razz Berries – they may come in handy here for the tier 4 beasts.

If you run out of Premier Balls, the boss will flee.


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