What are Elite Raids and how do they work in Pokémon Go?


If you ever see a feature in Pokémon Go that you haven’t used before, that is probably because Niantic has either recently added it or only rolls it out on special occasions. That is kind of how Elite Raids work, as they are a special type of raid battle only used for certain encounters within very limited timeframes. 

Unlike normal raids or even some of the other special raids, some Elite Raids only appear during specific events and are tougher than normal raids. They also exclusively feature rare Pokémon as bosses, which is part of the reason they appear so infrequently. 

Because they are such a unique feature, there is a lot some players might not know about this raid type. So here is everything you need to know about Pokémon Go’s Elite Raids, including what Pokémon have been featured in them and all of the bonuses that come with beating one. 

Pokémon Go Elite Raids: All features, spawn times, and Pokémon

An Elite Raid battle is a special subsect of raid originally introduced in October 2022 as part of an event surrounding the arrival of Hoopa Unbound. They are partially tied to EX Raids in that they only appear at a select number of Gyms in the overworld. This makes them even rarer to see, and they tie into exclusivity. 

Related: How to get the Poké Transporter for Pokémon Bank on Nintendo 3DS

You can tell a Gym will feature an Elite Raid because a special red Raid Egg will appear over that location. These Raid Eggs have a 24-hour timer for when they hatch to ensure players know when to come back with their teams ready to battle a rare Pokémon.

Elite Raids only last for a set period of 30 minutes, making it so players need to really push themselves in order to clear the challenge for a chance to catch the featured Pokémon and earn some additional bonuses. 

When do Elite Raids spawn in Pokémon Go

Niantic typically blocks out a day to host special Elite Raids, though they can appear outside of those days in some cases—but only when specified by the developers. 

As of March 2023, Elite Raids run on a sort of an event timeline from 11am to 5pm local time. During that time, Elite Raid Eggs will hatch at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm, with each session lasting for 30 minutes. After that, the event is over and no more Elite Raids will spawn. 

All featured Elite Raid Pokémon and bonus spawns in Pokémon Go

Only certain Pokémon have been featured in Elite Raids since their introduction, though Niantic plans to use the feature more in the future. 

Here are all of the Pokémon who have appeared in Elite Raids and when they were or will be added: 

  • Hoopa Unbound: Oct. 16, 2022
  • Regidrago: March 11, 2023
  • Regieleki: April 9, 2023

Once players clear an Elite Raid, they gain access to an exclusive bonus. For 15 minutes after the raid concludes, whether you successfully catch the featured Pokémon or not, other rare Pokémon will spawn around that Gym for 15 minutes. 

Here are all of the Pokémon reported to be featured in that Elite Raid bonus spawn pool, which includes multiple very rare Pokémon like Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. 

  • Alolan Raichu
  • Galarian Mr. Mime
  • Jynx
  • Snorlax
  • Dragonite
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Hisuian Qwilfish
  • Sneasel
  • Flygon
  • Feebas
  • Shelgon
  • Metang
  • Darumaka
  • Frillish
  • Klink
  • Mienfoo
  • Rufflet
  • Denio
  • Wooloo


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