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Pokemon Go raids: How raids work and tips for completing them

pokemon go raids
(Image credit: Niantic)
Pokemon Go raids quick guide

What are Pokemon Go raids?

(Image credit: Niantic)

- Special boss battles that at gyms
- Eggs hatch after an hour countdown
- Raid boss is available for 45 minutes
- Three levels of difficulty
- Harder the raids need more trainers
- Earn XP, special items, and rare Pokemon
- Remote Raid Pass lets you join from afar
- Invite up to five friends
- Level five or above
- Raid Pokemon regularly change

Pokemon Go Raids are an integral part of the player experience transforming the oftentimes solo adventures to a more cooperative affair. It's a way for people to play cooperatively against tough bosses and work together for once. Trainers looking to team up with friends and strangers can do so against some of the most powerful Pokemon ever using the Raid feature in Pokemon Go

But what exactly are Pokemon Go Raids and how do they work? Yes, veterans of the game already know a lot of what there is to Raids but for newcomers and those looking to brush up this guide will break down everything there is to know about the cooperative experience in Pokemon Go.

Since the introduction of Pokemon Go Raids there have been plenty of updates and changes to the mechanic that trainers of all levels will want to know.

How to join a Pokemon Go raid

(Image: © Niantic)

In the Pokemon Go overworld, trainers will periodically see Eggs appear at certain Pokemon Gyms. These Eggs will be accompanied by a timer, when it reaches zero the Egg will hatch.

Trainers can find Raids nearby when pressing the nearby function in the bottom right corner and tapping the Raid section. The level/difficulty of the Raid will be determined by the number of symbols near the Egg in this section or by its color. Level 1 Raids, which are the most common and easiest to defeat, have pink-colored Eggs appearing over Raids. Level 3 Raids have yellow Eggs while Level 5 Raids have purple Eggs with white stripes. Mega Eggs are beige and red in color and pop up as often as Level 5 Raids.

To participate in the Pokemon Go Raid, trainers simply have to be at the respective gym within 45 minutes after the Egg hatches. As long as you have a Raid Pass -- which is given out for free once per day at your first Gym PokeStop spin of the day -- you can have a shot at taking down the Raid boss. If you want to do more than one Raid per day, you can pick up Premium Raid Passes from the in-game store for 100 coins apiece.

There are also Pokemon Go Remote Raid Passes that allow for trainers to enter any Raid even if they are in a different country. Trainers can pick up these special Raid Passes for 100 coins in the in-game shop or pick up three Remote Raid Passes for 250 coins.

Inviting friends to a Raid is pretty easy. Trainers just need to follow the below steps:

How to invite friends to a Pokemon Go Raid

Pokemon Go raids

(Image credit: Niantic)
  1. Join a public or private Raid Lobby.
  2. Tap the Invite Friends button on the right side of the screen. 
  3. Select the friends you would like to invite to the raid (up to 5), then tap “Invite Friends.” Keep in mind that there is a limit to how many Trainers can join a Raid Battle remotely, and this limit applies to invited friends as well. While you can only invite up to 5 friends at a time, after a short cooldown period you can invite more friends to the same lobby if you’d like.  
  4. Once you’ve sent your invitations, recipients will receive a notification that they’ve been invited to a Raid Battle. Invited friends can join the Raid Battle even if you have to leave the lobby yourself. However, if you are the only Trainer in the Raid Lobby and you leave the lobby before anyone else joins (invited friend or otherwise), invited friends will no longer be able to join the lobby with your invitation. 

How to accept a Pokemon Go Raid invite

  1. When invited to a Raid Battle, you’ll either receive an in-game notification (if you have the app open) or push notification (if the app is running in the background or closed). However, you’ll only receive push notifications if the “Raid Invitations” setting is toggled on in your Settings menu.
  2. You can tap the in-game notification to directly access the Raid Battle to which you’re invited. Tapping a push notification will open the Pokémon GO app, after which you can tap the active raid invitation from the “Nearby” menu. 
  3. Once you’ve accessed the Raid screen, you can join the lobby by tapping the “Battle” button. You’ll need to use a Remote Raid Pass if you are not within an interactable distance of the Gym or a Battle Pass if you are within an interactable distance.
  4. Note: If the Raid Lobby is already full or the lobby is already hosting the maximum number of Trainers raiding remotely, you won’t be able to join.
  5. The invitation will disappear after the Raid Battle has started if you never joined the Raid Lobby. However, if you successfully start the Raid Battle through an invitation but encounter an error and are unable to complete the battle, the invitation will remain in the “Nearby” menu, allowing you to rejoin as long as the Raid Battle is ongoing and up to a few minutes after the Raid Battle is over so you can still encounter and catch the Raid Boss.

 Pokemon Go raid times 

pokemon go raids

(Image credit: Niantic)

Generally speaking, Pokemon Go raid times are completely random. There's no way of knowing when an egg will appear above a specific gym, nor what Pokemon will hatch, but there are a couple of guidelines.

Pokemon Go raid eggs will only spawn between 5:30am and 7:45pm local time. This means the time raid bosses will be available is 6:30am to 9:30pm, once an egg has hatched. This is because Niantic doesn't want players roaming the streets in the middle of the night, for obvious reasons. You can however join remote raids in different timezones, provided you have a friend that can invite you and you have a Remote Raid Pass.

Every Wednesday, from 6pm to 7pm local time, will be Raid Hour. This is when most, if not all, gyms in the vicinity will spawn level five raids with whichever legendary Pokemon is in eggs at the time. This changes frequently, so make sure you check

 Pokemon Go raid tips 

pokemon go raids

(Image credit: Niantic)

Pokemon Go Raids can be difficult depending on the level of the Raid. Level 1 Raids are very easy and can be solo’d by any trainer as long as they know their type matchups. 

Level 3 Raids can get a bit tricky. Because of the timed nature of Raids, trainers who wish to take on the Raid solo may not have a problem taking out these Pokemon as long as they deliver enough damage before time runs out. If you can get one or two friends/strangers to help, these Raids can be easy.

Level 5 and Mega Raids are where the difficulty comes in and where many trainers are needed to take it down. These raids can range from around 30,000 boss CP to 50,000, and you will not be able to complete them solo. This is where you'll be able to catch legendary Pokemon and other exclusives, depending on which Pokemon are in the current raid pool.

Make sure you stock up on potions and learn the counters for whichever Pokemon Go raid boss you're up against, so you can create your party appropriately. If you don't have any strong counters, go for some all-round versatile beasts; Tyranitar and Dragonite are two good examples. Best of luck!

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I'm currently a GamesRadar guide contributor with a specialty in everything Pokemon GO. If you've wanted to know the best way to take down a Rayquaza, there's a good chance you read one of my guides. I previously have written for IBT Media, Newsweek and Screen Rant. I'm a huge fighting game fan and everything Pokemon, but I've grown to love RPGs.