Here's What Happened During My Very First Pokémon Go Raid

The latest update to Pokémon Go brought some big changes to the mobile game. Gyms are never going to be the same again—and that's a good thing.

Pokemon Go pikachu fighting, squirtle, cyndaquil and sneasel tyranitar raid battle

(via Niantic)

I took the opportunity today to try out one of the game's brand new features, Raid Battles. If you're under Level 20 in the game, these aren't open for you just yet, but they will be soon! Occasionally, you might see a pink, rotating egg above a gym with a timer counting down above it. This is counting down to the next Raid Battle.

To participate in the raid, you'll need a Raid Pass. You can get a free one each day and buy an additional Premium Raid Pass in the shop if you're really desperate for more fights.

Raids are big battles where you can team up with other trainers to fight one ultra-powerful Pokémon called a Raid Boss. Beating the Raid Boss gives you special rewards, and at the end you get a limited number of chances to catch the Pokémon. The fighting mechanics are the same as the old gym battles, but this time you're not alone!

Pokemon Go Quilava Raid Boss

(via Niantic)

When I joined my first raid, a counter gave me about two minutes as it searched for other players to fight alongside me. However, by the time those minutes had ticked down, I was still the only person in the raid. Even with six decently powerful Pokémon at my side, I didn't think I had a chance at defeating the beefed-up Quilava boss on my own.

Pokemon Go Raid battle waiting room alone

(via Niantic)

However, with lots of time to spare and without the loss of a single Pokémon, I managed to take out the 5085 CP Quilava with just a 2139 CP Golem.

Pokemon Go Raid Battle, Golem defeating Quilava

(via Niantic)

My prize was two Golden Razz Berries, which make Pokémon much easier to catch, and 11 Premier Balls, giving me 11 chances to make the Quilava my own.

Pokemon Go rewards for Raid Battle

(via Niantic)

After a couple of shots, he was mine. He's a pretty tough one too, so it wasn't long before I evolved the boss Quilava into a mighty Typhlosion.

Pokemon Go Typhlosion

(via Niantic)

Overall, these Raid Battles seem like an awesome opportunity to nab Golden Razz Berries to save up for super rare Pokémon caught in the wild. It's also great for catching Pokémon who have eluded you so far in the game.

Pokemon Go: Capturing Raid Boss Quilava with Premier Ball

(via Niantic)

Outside of Raid Battles, gyms operate quite differently now, too. You can now spin Gyms for rewards, like a Pokéstop, and each gym can hold up to six Pokémon from a single team. If you're team Mystic, for example, and you run into a Mystic Gym with an open slot, you can add your Pokémon to the team immediately without any fighting.

As soon as your Pokémon has been assigned, you'll see its motivation meter. Your Pokémon will slowly lose motivation over time, as well as when it's defeated in battle by a rival. You can boost its motivation back up by feeding it berries. Finally those Nanab Berries in your inventory will have a use!

Best of all, your Pokémon can earn a lot more coins for you with this system. I haven't historically been great at capturing Gyms, but when I got my Alakazam back from its time at a local Gym today, he gifted me more than 50 coins for less than a day at the Gym. That's more than I'd ever collected before—and enough to nab me the glasses I'd always wanted for my avatar.

Pokémon Go Amandanite avatar with glasses

(via Niantic)

I'm also enjoying that the new Gym system means I'm seeing a bigger variety of Pokémon at Gyms. Historically, they were dominated by overpowered Dragonites, Blisseys, Vaporeons, Gyarados and Arcanines, but now they're frequented by all kinds of Pokémon.

Pokemon Go update new gym with Pokémon

(via Niantic)

The downside? Taking a Gym back from a rival team can be more difficult than ever with the new motivation system. I think the game is encouraging people to team up and take on gyms as a group to make things even more competitive.

Overall, I think these changes are going to be great for the game (which I hadn't been playing consistently ever since Magikarp Jump came out). If Pokémon Go can keep the game fresh with updates like these, I think it's not long before we'll see some epic events like the Mewtwo fight showcased in the first Pokémon Go trailer.


Did you know Pikachu has its own week-long event? Click HERE to find out all about the Pikachu Outbreak Festival.