Pokémon Go Team Rocket Balloons and how often do Team Rocket Balloons appear explained

Team Go Rocket balloons have often been seen floating in the skies in Pokémon Go since July 2020.

These Team Go Rocket balloons will allow you to fight against Team Go Rocket Grunts, a Team Go Rocket leader or, if you’re lucky enough to have a Super Rocket Radar, against the head of the organization himself: the legendary Giovanni.

It is also possible to find special Meowth balloons during certain events, which will allow you to battle Jessie and James in Pokémon Go.

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Team Go Rocket hot air balloons in Pokémon Go explained

Team Go Rocket’s invasion began when they occupied PokéStops with their dangerous Shadow Pokémon. However, something It happened in March 2020 and that meant that most of us wouldn’t leave the house to rescue the Dark Pokémon. In response, and to offer a safe way to play, Niantic added Team Go Rocket Balloons, which causes Grunts to appear in hot air balloons at your location at set times of the day.

This feature has carried over to this day and now, just like with Remote Raiding, Team Go Rocket balloons are helping to make Pokémon Go more accessible to players in rural areas and those who prefer to stay at home.

Flying high above the map, these hot air balloons act as overrun roaming PokéStops (though you can’t tap them for items and your daily bonus), allowing you to battle a Team Go Rocket Grunt or Team Leader, depending on whether you have Rocket Radar equipped. .

If you manage to defeat the Team Go member Rocket in the Balloon, you will have the opportunity to capture one of his Shadow Pokémon. The normal rules apply here: it’s almost always the first Pokémon they send into battle if it’s a Grunt, and it’s always the third Pokémon (the Legendary) if it’s Giovanni. There are no benefits or penalties for using them, so treat them as you would any other Team Go Rocket encounter!

That being said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Since the Team Go Rocket balloons are in the sky, you may have to zoom out to see them. You’ll know if one has spawned and you’re too close if you can see the shadow of the balloon on the ground.

Finally, it’s important to note that if you’re followed by friends with large, floating Pokémon, such as Rayquaza, these Pokémon can throw the balloon off course. This doesn’t make a huge difference, but it’s pretty fun to see them get involved, even if it’s by mistake.

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How often do Team Go Rocket balloons appear in Pokémon Go?

You have a chance to find a total of four Team Go Rocket hot air balloons in Pokémon Go every day.

Each potential hot air balloon has its own dedicated period of the day when it could appear. Unless there is an event that changes spawn times, you can expect your daily balloons to appear at the following times:

  • First hot air balloon: between 00:00 and 05:59
  • Second hot air balloon – between 6:00 and 11:59
  • Third hot air balloon – between 12:00 and 17:59 hours
  • Fourth hot air balloon – between 6:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Remember, you have 20 minutes to defeat the Team Go Rocket member in the Rocket balloon, so if you take too long, you’ll see (say it with us) Team Rocket takes off again!

From time to time, an in-game event will change the spawn rate of these Team Go Rocket balloons, up to a maximum of one balloon every 20 minutes. Keep an eye on your Today menu to see if such an event is happening in Pokémon Go.

How to Battle a Team Go Rocket Leader in a Rocket Hot Air Balloon in Pokémon Go

As mentioned, who you see in a balloon depends on whether you have a rocket radar or a super rocket radar equipped. Or, more specifically, if you had one equipped when the Globe appeared. Equipping or unequipping a radar after it has spawned won’t change who is on the balloon, and defeating the leader/Giovanni will consume your radar, so keep this in mind before trying to quickly attack Niantic.

So if you want to meet a Team Go Rocket leader in a rocket balloon, all you have to do is equip a Rocket Radar before your next spawn time.

It’s important to remember that the team leader you encounter will be selected at random, meaning that if you’re looking for a specific leader, you might be out of luck. Unequipping and re-equipping the radar will not change who you see on the globe. Also, if you want to fight Jessie and James during one of their rare events, or if you’re looking for a particular Grunt and have a radar equipped, they won’t appear in a balloon. Team leaders and Giovanni always have priority.

The Season of Adventure Abundance is here! Their first event is A Paldean Adventure, which sees the true release of Gen 9 and the special research mission A Paldean Adventure. You can also work on the Timed Investigation: Master Ball mission and compete in the Go Battle League. Be sure to compete in Shadow Raids, complete routes, use Daily Adventure Incense for a chance to encounter Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, and Galarian Moltres. This incense can also give you encounters with other rare Pokémon in Pokémon Go.

How to fight Giovanni in a rocket balloon in Pokémon Go

Got a Super Rocket Radar and want to take down the Big Bad himself? Don’t want to leave the house and risk running into that pesky Decoy Grunt? Don’t worry, we understand and we have the perfect solution for you!

Just equip a Super Rocket Radar and wait for your next spawn window. With one equipped, you’re guaranteed that your next balloon will have Giovanni on it.


Now all you have to do is defeat it and hopefully capture the latest Shadow Legendary Pokemon. This is particularly useful if you want to hold your next encounter with Giovanni for a day when the weather matches the type of Pokémon. Catching a weather-enhancing Shadow Legendary is more difficult, of course, but the amount of Stardust and Candy it saves can make this an attractive thing to consider.

Good luck fighting Team Rocket in their balloons!

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