How to find and beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go – February 2024

Prepare your team wisely.
Giovanni using his Shadow Regirock to intimidate Pokemon Go players.
Image via Niantic

As anyone who has dealt with Team Rocket could have predicted, Giovanni is the one giving out commands for Team Go Rocket in Pokémon Go—though it is never explicitly stated until you are able to confront him.

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Whether it be dealing with a Go Rocket Takeover and an increased number of Rocket Balloons floating above the overworld or simply hunting down the Big Boss yourself using your Rocket Radars, you should be ready to clash with the powerful Shadow Pokémon Giovanni is known for using. 

You can encounter Giovanni in Pokémon Go by completing various pieces of special Go Rocket-themed research, typically given out by Professor Willow. There are other ways to encounter Giovanni through the use of other research or items you can collect, too.

Where and how to find Giovanni in Pokémon Go

Giovanni is not an easy person to find in Pokémon Go, and that is clearly by design considering he is a crime boss working from the shadows.

Typically, you will need to complete the following tasks to encounter Giovanni in Pokémon Go, but occasionally there will be other research tasks that allow you to skip around a few of the steps. But here is how you can encounter Boss Rocket in Pokémon Go.

  1. Collect six Mysterious Components from Team Rocket Grunts and unlock the Team Rocket Radar.
  2. Once you equip the radar, you’ll be able to find three other Rocket Leaders.
  3. After beating the leaders you found, complete the Team Rocket-related Special Research tasks.
  4. You’ll get the Super Rocket Radar when you’re done with all the encounters and challenges.
  5. Equip the Super Rocket Radar radar and start visiting PokéStops to find Giovanni.

You can’t find Giovanni without the Super Rocket Radar, meaning completing the necessary steps will be a must if you want to take him down. Players may also find a Rocket Grunt disguised as Giovanni as they search for the Team Go Rocket Boss, which will not use up the Super Rocket Radar.

How to beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go

Players will need to prepare a strong squad of Pokémon for the encounter to beat Giovanni in Pokémon Go.

Giovanni generally uses the same lineup during each encounter for a set period of time before it eventually gets updated as part of a new event or larger patch. The main change typically involves the middle part of his team and the Shadow Pokémon he is using as his ace—almost always a corrupted Legendary Pokémon.

You will want to build up your own team of Pokémon based on Giovanni’s roster to ensure you have your best chance to take him down. Here is what you will be facing if you challenge him throughout March.

Giovanni’s Pokémon’s lineup in Pokémon Go

First Pokémon

Persian

Persian is always by Giovanni’s side. Image via the Pokémon Company

Giovanni always starts off the battle with his trusty Persian, a Normal-type Pokémon who has become synonymous with the villainous leader since his debut in the anime. Persian is weak against Fighting-type moves, so you’ll want to feature Fighting-type Pokémon in your lineup to counter Persian.

Machamp, Breloom, and Lucario will be strong enough to bring down Persian, in most cases. If you have another strong Fighting-type Pokémon in your Pokédex, you can also use them.

Second Pokémon

Much like the Team Go Rocket leaders that serve under him, Giovanni possesses three unique options for the second slot in his party, almost always varying whenever his team is updated. These tend to include powerful Pokémon that Giovanni has either used at some point in the main series titles or anime or are simply strong ways to counter players that prepare solely for Giovanni’s last Pokémon.

Nidoking

Another staple of Giovanni’s team. Image via Game Freak

Nidoking returns once more to Giovanni’s team as an option for the Pokémon that will appear after players defeat Persian. Unfortunately, its dual Poison/Ground-typing makes it resist damage from the Fighting-type moves that bested the foe right before it, so players will need to prepare moves that do super-effective damage to Nidoking—or else they’ll succumb to a rapid onslaught of damage.

Options here include Water-type Pokémon like Gyarados, Swampert, Poliwrath, and Milotic, or Psychic-type Pokémon like Mewtwo, Alakazam, and Slowbro. But players should be wary of what Psychic-type Pokémon they opt to bring as most are rather frail and will not be able to take many hits from Nidoking.

Kingler

Kingler sprite from the official Pokemon series.
Kingler gives Giovanni some needed type coverage. Image via The Pokemon Company

Kingler isn’t a complex Pokémon to counter, as its strongest moves are Water and Bug-type. It can hit you with Metal Claw or Mud Shot, but bringing any strong Electric-type like Raikou, Zekrom, or Xurkitree should net you an easy win.

Garchomp

A powerhouse option for the Rocket Boss. Image via Game Freak

Giovanni is packing a Dragon-type again this time around, but keeping with the Rock and Ground-type theme, he swapped out his Kingdra for a Garchomp.

Ice-types are your best friend against this powerhouse, and you will likely want to avoid bringing any Dragons of your own since they won’t want to take many hits here. Most veteran players should have a decent Glaceon lying around to take up the challenge, but Beartic, Mamoswine, and Legendaries like Kyogre or Mewtwo with an Ice-type attack will get the job done.

Even some options for the previous two Pokémon Giovanni could potentially bring can challenge Garchomp, but you likely won’t be hitting it for super effective damage.

Third Pokémon

Regigigas

Regigigas sprite fromt he main Pokemon games.
The might of Regigigas is now in Shadow form. Image via The Pokemon Company

After months of work, Giovanni has now made Regigigas into a Shadow Pokémon, which means you will need to deal with a tanky Normal-type that hits like a truck.

Regigigas doesn’t have access to the scariest Fast Attacks with Hidden Power and Zen Headbutt, but it does have Giga Impact, Thunder, and Focus Blast in its Charged Attack slots.

With that coverage and its Normal typing, you do still want to try and bring strong Fighting-type Pokémon where you can. That means Lucario, Machamp, Terrakion, Blaziken, and Cobalion are good options.

Upon defeating Regigigas, players will have the opportunity to catch it and add it to their parties. As of right now, it is unclear when Regigigas will leave Giovanni’s rotation, so for those who want this Shadow Legendary Pokémon, be sure to act quickly.

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