Pokémon GO: Why You’ll Want To Keep Shadow Pokémon | Team Rocket GO Update Guide

Shadow Pokémon aren’t a new thing to Pokémon GO — but they’ve been upgraded in the latest patch. Released on 3/2/20, Shadow Pokémon have been given a significant boost in power. Not only are they stronger, they’re also cheaper to upgrade, costing less stardust and candy. Before, there was almost no reason not to simply purify your Shadow Pokémon and unlock the enhanced versions. Now you just might want to hold off and keep your Shadow Pokémon.

Even better, special Pokémon saved from Giovanni now get an even bigger power boost compared to the standard Shadow Pokémon you can acquire from Team Rocket GO grunts. In the guide below, I’ll go over all the changes to Shadow Pokémon, and provide a quick refresher to explain what Shadow Pokémon are, how to catch them, and why you might not want to purify them.


More Pokémon GO guides:

All The Shadow Pokémon You Can Catch (So Far!) | Full List | How To Catch (And Purify) Shadow Pokémon | Capture Guide | How To Fight Team Rocket GO | Invasion Event Guide | How To Fight Rocket Leader Giovanni | Legendary Shadow Pokémon Guide | How The Buddy System Works | How To Earn Buddy Hearts Easily | How To Catch New Unova Pokémon | Trade Evolutions Guide | How To Trade & Evolutions List


Shadow Pokémon are special, darkness-infused creatures you can capture when fighting Team Rocket GO grunts. Before the latest update, these special Pokémon only had a few unique features — they had a burning purple aura and glowing red eyes. Shadow Pokémon will also always have the move Frustration. Shadow Pokémon are now upgraded in a number of ways.

  • Shadow Pokémon deal more damage with Quick or Charged Attacks.
    • Shadow Pokémon also receive more damage from enemy attacks.
  • Powering up Shadow Pokémon and learning new Charged Attacks costs less Stardust and Candy.
  • Legendary Shadow Pokémon from Giovanni are more powerful.

Shadow Pokémon are now the glass cannons of Pokémon GO. Earlier, there was no reason why trainers wouldn’t want to purify Shadow Pokémon — purifying a Shadow Pokémon boosted CP to Level 25, get a +2 buff to all IVs, and decreased Candy / Stardust costs.

That’s all changed. It might actually be worth keeping a Shadow Pokémon now. If you want to see all the Shadow Pokémon available right now, check out our list here.


To catch Shadow Pokémon, you’ll need to discover Invaded PokeStops. Enter these PokeStops to initiate a Team Rocket GO battle against a grunt. Defeating Team Rocket GO grunts or leaders, you’ll get three Premium Balls to attempt to capture their Shadow Pokémon. It works like Raid Battles, so you only have three attempts max.

You can track down Pokémon Rocket GO Leaders by defeating grunts, and defeating the different leaders will help you locate Giovanni, who will always send out a high CP Legendary Shadow Pokémon. No worries there — if you defeat Giovanni, you’ll always collect his Legendary Shadow Pokémon. Those are even more powerful than the standard types, so they’re worth tracking down.

Goodluck hunting the bad guys, Pokémon Trainers! There are even rumors that you’ll be able to use TMs to teach Shadow Pokémon new Charged / Quick moves. But, that hasn’t be announced quite yet.