Since Team GO Rocket is invading Pokémon Go with their new hot air balloons, players are going to be encountering grunts more frequently.
To encounter any of the GO Rocket team leaders, however, you will need to have an item called the Rocket Radar.
This item is used to locate the various team leaders or admins of Team GO Rocket and in the case of these balloon encounters, using one will guarantee that you can find Sierra, Cliff, or Arlo piloting one of them.
In order to get a Rocket Radar, you will need to continuously battle the Rocket Grunts and pick up Mysterious Components. By collecting six of these, you can craft a Rocket Radar and equip it to encounter one of the admins.
It should be noted that the Mysterious Components are randomized drops, so you aren’t guaranteed to get one after each Grunt battle. Along with that, the Mysterious Components will no longer drop once you have a Rocket Radar in your inventory, so you can’t stack them up and use them consecutively.
There are also some instances of a Rocker Radar being on-sale in the in-game shop for 200 PokéCoins.
To use the Rocket Radar, you need to go into your inventory and select it from your item list. Leaders will not spawn at night however when it comes to normal encounters, but this hasn’t been confirmed for the balloon battles yet.
The true leader of Team GO Rocket, Giovanni, won’t be drawn out by a simple Rocket Radar though. You will instead need to obtain a Super Rocket Radar by completing Special Research related to GO Rocket and Legendary Shadow Pokemon. Once you collect the item you can weed out the decoys that will spawn and battle the real mastermind behind the operation.
Niantic has already pointed out that this event will directly impact the original plans for the Go Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle Timed Research, so you should start interacting with GO Rocket before that begins on July 10.