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Pokemon Go different Raid types explained

| Pokemon GO
Pokemon Go different Raid types explained

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Pokemon Go is a game about collecting the titular monster, exploring the world around you, and meeting up with other trainers to battle together. There are a lot of different things that you can do while playing Pokemon Go, but if you have been seeing lots of giant eggs hatching on gyms on your map - you are seeing Raids, what we are talking about today.

There are a bunch of different types of eggs and raids that can be found all over the world, with some raids being in specific areas or for specific events. Raids last a limited amount of time, and you often will see a good amount of warning before the egg hatches, releasing the Pokemon inside. Raid Pokemon change each and every month, at a minimum, with 5 Star Raids changing more often. Pokemon Go also does special raid weekends and select days, where specific featured Pokemon show up more often in raids. These sorts of events are normally advertised a lot, but there is also a weekly 5-star Raid Hour, where loads of 5-star Raids of the current featured Pokemon can appear.

Each day, a player can get one free battle pass to take part in a raid. As there is a better chance of a good IV Pokemon and tons of badges to earn, using your daily pass is one of the daily things that many players aim to do. As a tip, Party Play also provides you with Party Power, which can actually do damage equally to an additional player, per person that has Party Play. 

There is just a lot going on with Raids! So let's break down everything you need to know about Raids in Pokemon Go and the various types of Raids you can encounter. 

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1 Star Raids

One Star Raids are often not rare Pokemon. These Pokemon might have been out recently, are currently out, or just are Pokemon that have been easy to catch. These raids have more than one Pokemon featured at a time, so you will not know the specific Pokemon in the egg until it hatches. You can solo a 1-Star Raid easily. If you are hunting a shiny that is in 1 Star Raids or you are just looking to use your daily pass, this is a good way to finish a raid quickly and won't damage your Pokemon much if at all. You can invite friends to 1 Star raids to battle with you.

3 Star Raids

There are some Pokemon that primarily appear only in 3 Star Raids, so if you are looking for a Turtonator, for example, this is the easiest way to find them. These raids have more than one Pokemon featured at a time, so you will not know the specific Pokemon in the egg until it hatches. 3 Star Raids can be done with two strong trainers (people who often increase their Pokemon's CP or create specific teams, or have a good Mega Pokemon) or three trainers who might be new or more casual players. You can invite friends to help you remotely to 3 Star Raids.

5 Star Raids

5 Star Raids often have one specific Legendary or Mythical Pokemon featured for a period of at least one week. This is sometimes disrupted when weeks feature the Legendary Beasts, for example, where the 5 Star Raid eggs could hatch into any of the three. There have also been times when three Pokemon are featured in 5 Star Raids, but they are region locked, forcing players to remote raid to other parts of the world to get specific Pokemon. 5 Star Raids are much more challenging to complete, and often you will want to have a Mega Pokemon. You will want a minimum of 5 people, generally, to sucessfully complete a 5 Star Raid. Though, if you have friends that make teams to specifically take on the featured Pokemon, many 5 Star raids can be duo'ed.

If you get a shiny at the end of your 5 Star Raid, it is a guaranteed catch - you just need to hit the Pokemon with the ball, just so you know!

Mega Raids

Mega Raids are a little different than the previously mentioned raids. On your map, you will see a Mega version of a Pokemon. When you battle the gym, you will be battling the Mega version of the Pokemon, but once you win, the Pokemon that you will be catching is actually the normal version. You will also gain some Mega Energy for that specific Pokemon, which can then allow you to Mega Evolve that Pokemon. Mega Evolutions make your Pokemon much more powerful, look different, and can level up your Pokemon in their Mega state, so that they cost less energy to evolve. You can only have one Mega Pokemon at a time, and it's only Mega evolved for a set amount of time, as shown by a timer on your screen. During the time that you have a Mega active, you can gain more candies per catch in the same type of Pokemon. Mega Raids really depend on the Pokemon when it comes to how many people are needed to defeat it! Charizard, for example, took more players than Mega Banette. You are able to remote into these raids.

Shadow Raids

Shadow Raids are a little different then the previously mentioned raids. These raids are manned by Team Rocket, who have turned a gym into a Shadow Raid gym. There are different star ratings for the raid, with Legendary Shadows appearing on select weekends throughout the month. During all other times, there are only 1 Star and 3 Star raids. These star ratings work much like normal 1 to 5 star raids, so consider those when thinking about how many players you use.

Half way through a Shadow Raid, the Pokemon itself will become enraged, attacking faster and harder. At this point, you and the various other trainers battled can use Purified Gems to subdue the Pokemon, so that they aren't taking out so many of your Pokemon. Purified Gems are made from four Purified Shards, which are given to players for beating Team Rocket Grunts, Leaders, and Shadow Gyms. When you have four shards, it will automatically make one gem. You can use up to five gems per person, per shadow raid, and need about 10 to actually subdue 5 Star Raids.

When you catch this Pokemon, it will still be a Shadow Pokemon you are attempting to catch. It is also worth noting that all Shadow Raids are local only, meaning you cannot invite anyone to join remotely. They are more challenging and meant to bring people together.

Community Day Eggs

After a Community Day, there often are blue, cloud eggs that appear around the map. These eggs are Local Only, meaning you cannot invite trainers to join remotely. Community Day Eggs feature the Community Day Pokemon, but beating this raid will not only let you grab the community day Pokemon at the end, but will also spawn a bunch of that Pokemon around your avatar and the gym for a set amount of time afterwards. The special thing about these raids are that the Pokemon that spawn around you and the gym have the Community Day elevated rates for shinies, allowing you to continue to collect shinies at a better rate after the Community Day has ended.

Elite Raids

In Early 2023, Pokemon Go did a few rounds of Elite Raids, which seemed to be trialing the idea of in-person only raids after several years of Remote Raids. Elite Raids were challenging raids, meant to be stronger than 5 Star, where everyone needed to be there in person. This concept was sort of like EX Raids, which are explained in the next page, but nobody needed an invite. Instead, eggs appeared 24 hours before hatch, giving everyone an idea of where to meet and when. These raids only lasted for 30 minutes after the time of hatch, and they needed to be completed with everyone presented in person. Like Community Day Eggs, there was special Pokemon that spawned after the completion of Elite Raids, but these spawns were super rare anyway and - according to the community - not worth waiting around for.

EX Raids

EX Raids have since been retired from Pokemon Go and were the raid type that really brought people out in droves back in the early days of the game. EX Raids were raids that happened at specific gyms (marked as EX Gyms within the game), at specific times. You could only join this raid if you had a ticket to attend or were invited by someone else via a ticket to attend. You did need to be physically at the location at the time to take on the Pokemon. This is where Mewtwo came to the game from originally. Currently, EX Raids do not happen in Pokemon Go.

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Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter is a prolific indie game journalist with a focus on smaller indie gems. She covers thousands of game jams and indie games on her YouTube channel, letting every game have a moment in the spotlight. She runs, a calendar of all of the game jams going on in the world, and judges many jams and events. You can find her on Twitter as @Jupiter_Hadley