Earlier this month, Niantic announced that Jessie and James, the iconic Team Rocket duo from the animated series, would be leaving Pokémon GO this month. This would make September 30th the last day that players could hope for a chance to catch Shadow Shiny Ekans or Koffing from these encounters. Many trainers were alarmed by this upcoming departure, as Jessie and James encounters are somewhat rare as it is, due to the fact that they cannot be hunted. They arrive on players' screens in their infamous Meowth balloon at random during the Team GO Rocket encounter windows, which happen every six hours. Now, Niantic has announced a surprise event next week focusing on these two that will increase the odds of an encounter.
From Tuesday, September 22nd at 12 AM until their departure on Wednesday, September 30th at 11:59 PM, the Meowth balloon will be "appearing more often than usual." This will run concurrently with the next major Pokémon GO event, the Mega Buddy Event, which is set to debut Shiny Doduo and feature large Pokémon in the wild. While these events are unrelated, all of this certainly spells a busy week for Pokémon trainers.
There are no details on exactly how often Jessie and James will appear, but something happened at the tail end of this week's Mega Battle Event that may offer a clue. Currently, Team GO Rocket balloons are appearing every three hours rather than every six, increasing the possible encounters from four total per day to eight. Niantic has not commented on whether or not this change is temporary and part of this upcoming event or if it will be a permanent change.
If this new schedule sticks around through the window of increased Jessie and James encounters, though, trainers will have a fair shot at those two coveted Shadow Shinies before Team Rocket blasts off.