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Pokémon GO – Team Go Rocket Balloons in Detail

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Pokémon GO is continuously being updated by Niantic now and then. All these updates make the game even better and more engaging. Especially during the tough COVID-19 times, where most of the world’s population is locked in their homes, Niantic is doing great efforts making Pokémon GO playable from within the comfort of your homes. From the launch, the game has gone through many great changes, additions and enhancements, making the game better than ever before. Now, Niantic has added the Team GO Rocket Balloons in Pokémon GO after teasing the new feature for a whole week. Finally, now we know the exact purpose of those airborne Black Team Go Rocket balloons, and how and when does these Team GO Rocket Balloons appear in the game.

Whats up with Team Go Rocket Balloons

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The basic idea behind bringing the black Team Go Rocket Balloons is simply making the game playable by those who are not able to go out due to various reasons, and the COVID-19 lock down is one such reason. Now trainer will be able to see the black Team Go Rocket balloons on their map and upon tapping on the balloon you can battle the Team Go Rocket member, defeat them and get a chance to capture the shadow Pokémon. It is the same as battling the Team Go Rocket through the blacked out Pokéstops. Many players were unable to battle Team Go Rocket due to multiple reasons, the major reason being not having any Pokéstops nearby.

Upon encountering a Team Go Rocket balloon, apart from battling against the most common Team Go Rocket Grunts, by equipping the Rocket Radar you can encounter the Team Go Rocket leaders including Arlo, Cliff, Sierra, and even Giovanni if you equip the Super Rocket Radar.

How and When Do Team Go Rocket Balloons Appear

Now the objective of the Team Go Rocket balloons is pretty clear. It is somewhat similar to a Pokéstop which comes to you plus you get a chance to catch a shadow Pokémon as well. Once you are in the game, you will notice black shadow on the ground if your have zoomed in the map, after zooming out, you will see the black Team Go Rocket Balloon. You simply need to tap on the balloon to start the battle. Upon winning the battle you will get the basic rewards such as Pokéballs, items and a chance to catch the shadow Pokémon.

According to TheSilphRoad, few players were able to encounter as much as four Team Go Rocket Balloons at the following intervals. All these timings are based on your local time zone, thus you should not be confused.

First00:00 – 05:59
Second06:00 – 11:59
Third12:00 – 17:59
Fourth18:00 – 23:59

The timing reported is simply 24hours divided into four parts. Basically, you have a chance to encounter four Team Go Rocket Balloons on a single day. Keep checking in the game for the maximum chances of encountering more Team Go Rocket Balloons.

How to Encounter Team Go Rocket Leaders

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Niantic has clearly stated that apart from the grunts, the bosses could be seen lurking around in the balloons. Although, to encounter a Team Go Rocket Leader you will need to equip the Rocket Radar or the Super Rocket Radar. The Rocket Radar would increase your chances of encountering the bosses such as Arlo, Cliff, Sierra, whereas equipping the Super Rocket Radar would increases the chances of your encounter with the boss Giovanni himself. You can see the encounter with one of the Team Go Rocket Leader Sierra after using the Rocket Radar in the video above.

How to Obtain Rocket Radar and Super Rocket Radar in Pokémon GO

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Anyone can easily obtain both the variants of Rocket Radar by defeating Team Go Rocket grunts. As you encounter and defeat the very first six Team Go Rocket grunts, you will obtain a mysterious component after each victory. Six battles will get you 6 mysterious components and combining those components will get you a Rocket Radar.

Now, to obtain a Super Rocket Radar, you will have to defeat all the Team Go Rocket Leaders from different regions. These leaders include Arlo, Sierra and Cliff, no Giovanni here. And, apart from defeating these leaders, you will have to complete two missions that are “A Troubling Situation” and “Looming in the Shadows”. Other way to obtain the Rocket Radar is by purchasing it with Pokécoins.


This update is pretty amazing, especially for the players who are not able to go out of their homes. Encountering a black balloon is a straightforward process. You simply have to log in to Pokémon Go and wait for the balloon to appear. There are rumors according to which only players who are level 35 and above will encounter the Team Go Rocket Balloon which is completely FALSE. I have attached a video of a level 30 Pokémon GO player encountering the Team Go Rocket Leader Sierra and defeating her. You simply need to watch for the shadow on the ground or completely zoom out the map to see the balloons.

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Rsyche is an avid mobile gamer and the lead gaming content writer for the Mobile Gaming Industry and few other authoritative gaming blogs. He is so much passionate about mobile gaming that he started playing and writing about almost all the major mobile games and helping every mobile gaming enthusiast find the best content about their favorite mobile game.

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