Pokemon Go
Complete guide to raiding in Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go Raids were launched on June 23rd, 2017 when Niantic finally overhauled the games gym system. There are few who would argue the fact that the gym's were stagnated and something needed doing to maintain the interest of existing players and to try and ressurect lapsed & attract new players. It looks very much as though the introduction of raids and raiding in Pokémon Go may well remedy that somewhat so lets take a look at Pokémon Go raids in full detail.

Quick menu: Raiding Basics / Rewards / Raid difficulty levels / Raid Bosses and Tiers

Raiding basics

Raids are an exciting new feature whereby a much more powerful than normal Pokemon will spawn/hatch at a gym. These boss type Pokémon are on average 7-8 times+ higher in CP than the average trainers equivalent version would be. Players will recieve a notification stating that a raid is going to start by them soon and an egg will appear above the host gym alongside a countdown timer of one hour plus which is intended to allow time for an adequate number of players to gather to take on some of the tougher raid bosses.

What is a raid Raid boss about to arrive at gym Waiting for raid to start group selection

Once the timer finishes counting down the timer and egg icon above the gym will disappear and the boss will arrive. As players arrive they can organise their Pokémon into their most appropriate six for that battle, and even group up with other players using by sharing their group code. Your group code is the three little Pokémon icons in the top right while you're waiting for the battle to start.

Raid access
Every day a player will get one RAID PASS for free from the first PokeStop or Gym they visit - as long as they don't already have one. The raid pass is an item that is required to participate in raid battles. You will not be given raid passes until you are of the required level (currently level 20).
Raid Pass
If you want to participate in more raid battles you'll have to purchase a Premium Raid pass from the Shop at the cost of 100 Pokecoins. Although this is yet more Pokecoin outlay this is offset a little by the fact that the new gym system is somewhat more generous than the previous one.

In the very first few days of raids they were only accessible to trainers of level 31 and above however after much protesting from the communities slacker trainers this level was dropped ;-) Initially dropped to 28, then to 25 and now raids are available to everyone level 20 and above making them much more accessible to the playerbase.

Battling the Raid boss
When the battle begins it's a free for all and multiple trainers and Pokémon can attack the raid boss at once but don't allow that to make you slack combat-wise because the rewards you are given from a raid are based on a number of factors including these:-

  • How much your own team contributed to the downfall of the boss
  • How much damage YOU did personally to the raid boss
  • Whether or not your team controlled the host gym at that time

All of the above factors contribute to how many Premier Balls you are given to use in the bonus game.

Bonus game
The bonus game is where you get the chance to capture a scaled down version of the raid boss that was just defeated. Raid bosses can only be caught using Premier Balls awarded for your efforts in battle - the better you did in the fight the more balls you'll get and the more chance you'll have to catch the boss. In the screenshots below you can see from left to right: me finishing off an easy level raid boss, being awarded premier balls based on my contribution to the raid and finally the scaled down version of the raid boss that I caught.

Weak raid boss being beaten Raid Boss Contribution Captured scaled down raid boss

If you are a reasonably good level 25+ with decent Pokémon you should be able to solo the easiest levels of raids as I did above without much trouble. This is some consolation for those players who don't have a big Pokémon Go precense in their area as you'll still get to catch a Pokémon you might not commonly see in the wild. It should also be noted that of the 4 raid boss Pokémon I have caught so far all of them have had top level appraisal values and stats.


As well as getting the chance to capture the boss Pokemon to serve in your ranks you also get given a good couple of items for successfully completing a raid. You may get a stack of normal items like revives but also special items such as:-Razz Berry

  • Golden Razzberry: Makes a target Pokemon MUCH easier to capture
  • Rare Candy: This mysterious candy can be turned into ANY Pokemon's candy type. Obviously best used to get additional candies for rarer mons ie Dratini Candy.
  • TM's or Technical Machines: Teach your Pokemon a new move. This can either be a fast type move or one that you have to charge up. Very rare drop chance.

The higher tier boss you defeat the more special items you are likely to recieve and the higher percentage chance you have of getting a rare drop like a TM.

Raid difficulty levels / Tiers

There are five tiers of raid difficulty levels in Pokémon Go at present. The boss difficulty levels are represented by a little skull icon one skull being the most difficult, two

Pokemon Go Raid Tyranitar

being more difficult and so on. The colour of the egg above the gym where a raid is due to start will indicate what level of rarity/what tier the raid boss is going to be from.

  • Pink Egg's are the most common and will hatch tier 1 and 2 raid bosses.
  • Yellow Egg's are rarer than their pink counterparts and will hatch tier 3 and 4 raid bosses
  • Dark Egg's are the rarest of all... even moreso given the fact they aren't released yet. These eggs will contain the long awaited Legendary Pokemon and will most likely be saved for special occasions and events.

Raid Bosses and Tiers

Lets take a look at all the raid bosses that are currently available and what tier they are in etc:-

Tier 1 bosses
The easiest raid bosses consist of the second evo's of the Johto starter Pokemon and the mighty Magikarp. These guys all spawn from Pink/common eggs and should be comfortable to solo for most decent trainers.
Boss Egg CP in Raid Max Captured CP Best Attackers Can be solo'd?
153 Bayleef
 norm raid egg 4375 740 Flareon, Charizard, Gengar, Typhlosion Yes
159 Croconaw
 norm raid egg 5207 913 Exeggutor, Flareon, Jolteon Yes
129 Magikarp
 norm raid egg 1165 125 Everything Yes
156 Quilava
 norm raid egg 5085 847 Vaporeon, Starmie or Golem Yes

Tier 2 bosses
Things get tougher in tier 2 and you'll need a reasonable team to beat these. You will obtain greater rewards in terms of items for defeating one of these bosses then you would from a tier one boss.
Boss Egg CP in Raid Max Captured CP Best Attackers Can be solo'd?
125 Electabuzz
 norm raid egg 11311 1255 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon Yes
103 Exeggutor
 norm raid egg 12633 1666 Pinsir, Gengar, Heracross Yes
126 Magmar
 norm raid egg 11610 1288 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon Yes
089 Muk
 norm raid egg 11200 1548 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor Yes
110 Weezing
 norm raid egg 11245 1247 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor Yes

Tier 3 bosses
This is where the solo party ends. You'll need to team up with at least two or three other strong trainers to take down one of these tier three raid bosses but the reward is also much greater particularly in the cases of the harder to get hold of Alakazam and Machamp. Once more you are likely to recieve an increased amount of item based rewards for conquering one of these guys, that reward will be shared with the player's that you'll need
Boss Egg CP in Raid Max Captured CP Best Attackers Can be solo'd?
065 Alakazam
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 22646 1649 Gengar, Houndoom, Tyranitar No. 2-3+ Players
059 Arcanine
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 17832 1622 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon No. 2-3+ Players
136 Flareon
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 21155 1659 Golem, Starmie, Vaporeon No. 2-3+ Players
094 Gengar
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 19768 1496 Gengar, Alakazam, Espeon No. 2-3+ Players
135 Jolteon
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 19883 1560 Gengar, Dragonite, Alakazam, Flareon No. 2-3+ Players
068 Machamp
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 18144 1650 Alakazam, Espeon, Exeggutor No. 2-3+ Players
134 Vaporeon
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 16696 1804 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon No. 2-3+ Players

Tier 4 bosses
The most powerful non-legendary raid bosses. It'll take 5-6 strong trainers with the right type of Pokemon Teams to bring these guys down. But for the chance to grab Snorlax's and Tyranitars it's definitely worth coordinating with some others and attacking together.
Boss Egg CP in Raid Max Captured CP Best Attackers Can be solo'd?
009 Blastoise
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 24162 1309 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Jolteon No. 5-6+ Players
006 Charizard
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 28485 1535 Golem, Omastar, Sudowoodo No. 5-6+ Players
131 Lapras
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 21768 1487 Machamp, Heracross, Exeggutor No. 5-6+ Players
112 Rhydon
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 30512 1886 Exeggutor, Venusaur, Victreebel No. 5-6+ Players
143 Snorlax
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 25419 1917 Machamp, Heracross, Alakazam No. 5-6+ Players
248 Tyranitar
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 34707 2097 Machamp, Heracross, Primeape No. 5-6+ Players
003 Venusaur
 Rare Boss Raid Egg 26921 1467 Alakazam, Flareon, Espeon No. 5-6+ Players

I have no doubt that we might be seeing new Pokemon added to each of the existing tiers and of course we still have Tier 5 yet to come which will contain Mythical and perhaps Legendary Pokemon. These will no doubt be saved for special events, anniversaries and maybe seasonal events.

All in all Pokemon Go's raids have injected a new element of fun and invigorated the social aspect of the game. A week after the gym overhaul and raid release Pokemon Go has shot back up in the app charts. In the U.S App store it had risen from around 130th most downloaded to around the 70th.

Related Articles

Best Gym Defenders and Attackers in Pokemon Go

Attacking and defending gym's is the staple of competitive play in Pokémon Go, especially given the new, more generous Pokécoin rewards since the June 23rd 2017 update. Due to the shere number of...

Sign up to our free newsletter

For the latest news on the Pokemon videogames, TCG and more.

Other Pokémon Sites

- PokéPrint
- Join Avenue
- Your Link?
- Your Link?

Friends of PD

- Your Link here?
- Your Link here?
- Your Link here?
- Your Link here?