Jessie and James, Rocket Events, and Datamines

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It's been an extremely busy day for Pokemon Go, with new features and backend data, so let's get right into it!

Jessie and James Balloon

Jessie and James, the famed Team Rocket members and antagonists from the Pokemon anime have made their debut in Pokemon Go! They will randomly appear in a special Meowth balloon for a limited time, and will leave behind Shadow Koffing or Shadow Ekans depending on which you battle!

Team Rocket Rotation

Team Rocket has seen its first revamp in quite some time, with changes to the pool and the leaders!

New Shadow Pokemon

We're also getting reports that Sierra now has Shadow Lapras, Cliff has Shadow Grimer, and Arlo has Shadow Pineco.

New Shadow Pages for these Pokemon will be added soon!

Giovanni's Return

Giovanni's back, and this time he has Shadow Suicune!

You can expect information on taking down Shadow Suicune as soon as we know the full lineup!

Our upcoming battle week limited research has some new details, and a new event!

  • Poison and Dark Type Pokemon will appear in eggs, raids, and the wild more often
  • Team Rocket Balloons will appear more frequently
  • The Meowth Balloon featuring Jessie and James will appear more frequently 

We're also getting our second Team Rocket takeover!

  • The Team Rocket Balloon will appear even more frequently than normal
  • 2x Stardust for defeating Team Rocket
  • Many (potentially all) Pokestops willl be taken over 
  • Using a Charged TM during the event can remove Frusteration from a Shadow Pokemon's moveset!

All of this will be happening on July 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. local time!

New Datamine

Oh boy... our friends at Pokeminers have been running ragged today, as they've found so many updates! Please hop over to their Twitter account and let them know how much we all appreciate them!

More Galarian Formes are coming! Expect them to be added to our database soon!

New Costumed variants of Gengar and Lapras were found in the Master

We finally have more information on long-distance remote raiding! For now it seems that it's a 10-person per lobby maximum, but that could change pre-release.

And finally, here's their full breakdown of the update. It has all that we've mentioned and even more, including information on Go Fest 2020! We recommend that you take a look!

Full Announcement: Jessie and James

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Full Announcement


A mysterious duo has arrived in Pokémon GO via a...Meowth balloon? The two call themselves Jessie and James, and it looks like they’re up to no good! Help us defeat them!

As Team GO Rocket’s balloons prowl the skies, we’ve been investigating them further. The Grunts piloting the balloons are just as perplexed as we are as to where these characters came from. From what we understand, Team GO Rocket has assigned Shadow Pokémon to protect Jessie and James as they seek to create more Shadow Pokémon.

This is where you all come in! Check the map to see whether Jessie and James’s Meowth balloon is flying by. When the Meowth balloon appears, tap it to battle Jessie and James.

Plus, avatar items inspired by Jessie and James are now available in the shop!

It looks like Jessie and James won’t be here for long, so let’s GO teach these silly villains who’s boss before they leave.Pokémon GO

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidance from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

—The Pokémon GO team

Full Announcement: Rocket Takeover

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Full Announcement


Remember when we said week two of the GO Fest Weekly Challenges would be battle-themed? There’s been a slight change of plans. Technically, it’s still battle-themed. However, with Team GO Rocket balloons appearing more often and other disturbances in the world of Pokémon GO that we believe are related, the GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle Timed Research will focus entirely on taking down Team GO Rocket!

GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle

Date + Time

Friday, July 10, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time


In addition to all previously announced details about this week’s Timed Research and events, the following disturbances have been detected in the Pokémon GO world.

  • Poison-type and Dark-type Pokémon are appearing in the wild, in Eggs, and in raids.
  • Team GO Rocket balloons are appearing more often.
  • The Meowth balloon seems to be appearing at a higher rate.
  • Suicune has been turned into a Shadow Pokémon. Defeat Giovanni to save it! Complete the GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle Timed Research to receive a Super Rocket Radar that will help you track Giovanni down!
  • Our findings show that the following Pokémon are being captured and turned into Shadow Pokémon now. Please go rescue them!
    • Nidoran ♀
    • Nidorina
    • Nidoran ♂
    • Nidorino
    • Machop
    • Machoke
    • Gligar
    • Shuckle
    • Stunky
    • Skuntank
    • We’re receiving word that the Team GO Rocket Leaders have found additional species of Pokémon to turn into Shadow Pokémon, too!

We’ve intercepted messages from Team GO Rocket that indicate they’re planning to take over more PokéStops and capture more Pokémon! There will be an increased amount of Team GO Rocket activity in your area soon, and we’re sure this won’t be the last time. We’ll share any other intercepted messages we receive if something like this happens again!

Sources seem to point to the following information.

Date + Time

Sunday, July 12, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time

Keep your eyes peeled for...

  • Team GO Rocket balloons in the skies and more Team GO Rocket Grunts capturing PokéStops for the duration of the take-over!
  • 2× Stardust when you defeat Team GO Rocket Grunts and Team GO Rocket balloons
  • The Meowth balloon appearing more often than usual
  • The opportunity to use a Charged TM to let your Pokémon forget the move Frustration and learn a new move
  • Team GO Rocket music playing in Pokémon GO

Be sure to share your findings (and victories!) with us on social media with #TeamGORocket. For tips and tricks on how to defeat the Team GO Rocket Leaders, opt in to receiving our push notifications and emails! It takes a certain level of villainy to launch a plan of this scale during our biggest celebration of the year. Let’s show them who’s boss, Trainers!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change. Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receiving push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. For the latest on in-game events and feature updates, be sure to check this help center article.

—The Pokémon GO team

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.