Team GO Rocket has taken over the Pokémon Go Fest Battle Challenge

Team GO Rocket is taking Go Fest hostage.

Image via Niantic

Niantic has shifted the theme of the Pokémon Go Fest Battle Challenge week to focus on Team GO Rocket following the release of the balloon update. 

Now, players will need to combat the disturbances caused by Team GO Rocket. The evil team has started to spawn more frequently in areas surrounding PokéStops.

The event is still heavily focused on battling. Defeating GO Rocket Grunts will be the main way to complete many of the tasks set during Battle Challenge week. From July 10 to 15, Team GO Rocket balloons are appearing more often, and that includes the special Meowth balloon that Jessie and James appear from. 

Related: How to fight Jessie and James in Pokémon Go

And because Team GO Rocket is the theme, there are some added bonuses for the main portion of the challenge. 

  • Poison-type and Dark-type Pokémon are appearing more frequently in the wild, in Eggs, and in raids.
  • Team GO Rocket balloons are appearing more often.
  • The Meowth balloon seems to be appearing at a higher rate.
  • Complete the Go Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle Timed Research to receive a Super Rocket Radar to find Giovanni and get an encounter with Shadow Suicune.
  • More Shadow Pokémon encounters
    • Nidoran ♀
    • Nidorina
    • Nidoran ♂
    • Nidorino
    • Machop
    • Machoke
    • Gligar
    • Shuckle
    • Stunky
    • Skuntank
    • And more. 

The additional battle-themed event will take place on July 12 from 11am to 2pm local time, offering double Stardust for defeating GO Rocket Grunts. Team GO Rocket music will also replace most of the usual music in Pokémon Go for the duration of the event. 

Pokémon Go Fest’s Battle Challenge week will run from July 10 to 15, so be sure to take on as many Rocket Grunts as you can during that time.