Team GO Rocket Encounters Fixed In Pokémon GO

Team GO Rocket has come home at last. I never could've imagined I'd miss being menaced and mocked by NPCs so much, but without these evil-doers, Pokémon GO has felt about as empty as Niantic's communication about the issue. At last, though, the situation is fixed and Niantic is even planning some kind of recompense. Let's get into it.

Team GO Rocket balloons in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Team GO Rocket balloons in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

For the past few weeks, Team GO Rocket has been entirely gone from Pokémon GO. It began when Niantic introduced a new update that seemingly destabilized these encounters, so Niantic swiftly disabled the battles entirely. This is a matter of personal opinion, but it sticks out to me as absurd that Niantic communicated the issue to Pokémon GO players on Twitter rather than in actual in-game pop-up or blog post. Considering how players often need to restart to trigger Rocket balloon encounters, I cringe at the thought of how many people have been madly restarting the app over and over for weeks due to the company's poor communication.

Now, the return of Team GO Rocket has indeed been added as a Pokémon GO blog post. It reads:

Thank you for your patience while we addressed the issues with Team GO Rocket. We apologize for their extended absence, and we are letting you know that they are back. To make up for the time Team GO Rocket was away, Shadow Zapdos will be returning as an encounter when you defeat Giovanni from Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at 12:00 a.m. until Thursday, June 17, 2021, at 12:00 a.m. local time. Thank you again for your patience and understanding while we worked on this issue.

In addition to this, there is a free box in the shop titled "GO Rocket Box" that includes one radar and 30 Poké Balls. Now, on one level, I'm impressed that they gave us anything at all. On another level, we would've earned significantly more than one Rocket Radar for free if Team GO Rocket had been here, so giving one after such poor communication is a little odd. In any case, box aside, it is a good sign to see Niantic switch to the blog for communication rather than social media, which many players will not know to rely on for in-game information.

Good luck on your Shiny Shadow hunts now that we can get on the grind again, fellow Pokémon GO players.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.