Pokemon Go Raids: Everything You Have To Know

Pokemon Go Raid with friends

Pokémon Go became a cultural phenomenon the moment it released. This is due to nostalgia. Plus, the novelty of catching Pokémon IRL using AR tech, and the fact that you can keep them almost like pets. But they wouldn’t be that popular without any extra content. Now, that’s is where the Pokemon Go Raid function comes in.

This is part of an encompassing Gym rework done by Niantic back in 2017. Raids are where many players band together to fight a so-called ‘Raid Boss’ and defeat it. Defeating a Raid Boss grants rewards that help progress your Pokémon in every way. This makes them very attractive to hardcore players. Those that wanna show off their leveled up Pokémon and to compete and interact with other players as well.


So What are Raid Bosses?

Pokemon Go Raid Boss Groudon
photo from


Raid Bosses in Pokémon Go are huge Pokémon that you team up with others to take down. Usually, they have monstrous amounts of health and deal huge chunks of damage to your Pokémon. Taking them down requires a dedicated team. Usually, a Raid team’s composed of Pokémon that have elemental advantages over said Raid Boss. It also requires a lot of strategizing to pull off as well, something we’ll get into later.

Every week there’s a Pokémon Go Raid Hour with an increased number of Legendary Raids to do. This allows you to schedule your playtime and allows you to see which raids are available. There are exceptions to this, usually when Niantic decides to hold the same raid on all regions. An example of this is Armored Mewtwo back in 2019. Some of these critters are easy to defeat. Some take a bit of effort and others… Well, you’ll need more than yourself and your Pokémon to bring down.

Another thing of note is the fact that Raids are the only way to get certain rare Pokémon. Of particular note is Armored Mewtwo, Tornadus, Darkrai, and Giratina being notable examples. So you might want to buckle up if you wanna catch ‘em all. If you want some help, you can check out this Pokemon Go Egg to help you in your journey.

Pokemon Go Egg
Photo from Amazon


Pokemon Go Raid Requirements

You need to be over Trainer Level 5 to even take part in a Pokemon Go Raid. It used to be Trainer level 35, 30 full levels dropped. So you can start with the beginner raids before moving into the big leagues.


How to Participate in Pokemon Go Raids?

Participating in raids
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A Pokemon Go raid is only accessible at gyms, which are taller Pokestops you’ll see in towns and cities. No matter which team has control of the gym, anyone can partake in a raid when it appears. The raid’s indicated by a colored egg on top with a timer that’s counting from one hour. This is so communities can prepare and get players together to take it down.

Click the egg icon in the corner of your screen to reveal how difficult the raid is. The amount of monster faces above the egg represents the level of the gym, as does the color. Level one and two raids are pink. Level three and four are yellow, while level five raids are purple with white stripes. Level five and above raids are usually raids with legendary Pokémon, so keep an eye for those.

To do a Pokemon Go raid, you need to be near a gym within 45 minutes after the egg hatches. As long as you have a Raid Pass you can have a shot at taking down the raid boss. (said pass is free once a day at your first Gym PokeStop spin that day). If you want to do more than one raid that day, you can pick up Premium Raid Passes from the in-game store. Do note that those sell for 100 coins apiece.


What Are Pokemon Go Raid Tiers and How Do They Work?

Raid Gyms
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As mentioned above, each Raid has a tier. Going from Raid Tier 1 to Raid Tier 5 and EX. At Raid Tiers 1 to 2 you can hustle it up and defeat the Raid Boss on your own if you have the appropriate Pokémon for it. Going in Tier 3’s to EX raid? You’ll need not only top tier Pokémon but also those with advantages against said Raid Pokémon AND other players. Those advantages include elemental advantages and nullification against specific attacks. (Earthquake comes to mind for veteran players).

In addition to this, you can find out how difficult a raid is based on the color of the egg. Here’s a handy dandy picture on Egg Colors:


How Do You Capture A Raid Pokémon?

Once you’ve completed a Pokemon Go Raid you can catch the raid monster with Premier Balls. These Pokéballs are given to you during the Raid’s capture phase and will depend on some factors. Here they are for your pleasure:

  • Defeating the Boss (5 Premier Balls given [Fixed])
  • If you control the Gym the raid was on (2 Premier Balls)
  • Amount of damage dealt (3 Premier Balls)
  • Team Contribution (Variable. If your team made the most contribution add 3 Premier Balls)
  • Raiding with Friends (+1 to 4 depending on your Friendship Level)


Besides this, you can use consumables (berries) in Raid Battles as well. So you need to stockpile those as they might come in clutch. As an aside, if you run out of Premier Balls and you didn’t capture the Raid Pokémon, it’ll flee and you have to try again. So you might wanna practice your flicking.


What is a Pokemon Go EX Raid?

photo from


EX Raids are the hardest raids in Pokémon Go. And they’re pretty difficult to find as well. For starters, you need to find a park or a sponsored Gym before taking part. And even THEN you might not be able to take part.

Besides the elusiveness of the Gym, this raid type is held in. The Raid is also Invite Only. Translation? You need an EX Raid Pass for you to take part in this Hard as all Hell raid. This Raid Pass can be acquired by participating in Raids as often as possible, as many as possible. Leveling up your Gym Badge to Gold Level is another one. And lastly, having participated in an EX Raid with 20 or more players in the previous week.

Of these 3 methods, it’s getting your Gym Badge to gold is the easiest. This entails putting Pokémon in an EX Raid Gym your team controls and holding it. You can also increase it through completing raids and giving the Pokémon in the gym berries.


How to Invite Friends to an EX Raid?

Besides this, you can also invite, or be invited to an EX Raid by a friend.

Keep in mind though that you can only invite Ultra and Best Friends in an EX Raid. And they can only hold 1 EX Raid Invite Pass. So check up on them if they want to join in.


What happens if EX Raids are Cancelled?

Last but not the least, there are instances when EX Raids are canceled in Pokémon Go.

In those situations, the players participating will be compensated handsomely. 5 Raid Passes and 50K Stardust.

Others might say that the compensation isn’t enough for the chance of getting a Legendary Pokémon. But that’s what’s up, unfortunately.

Pokemon Go Raids: Everything You Have To Know

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