New mechanics pop up in Pokémon Go all the time, but it is rare when they involve exclusive, meaningful, and paid content. Shadow Raids are looking to contain all three, which might leave some fans confused as to what they are and how they work.
Niantic has been looking for ways to expand Team Go Rocket content over the last year or so, which also includes finding more uses for Shadow Pokémon.
Bringing the experimental Pokémon into a type of familiar setting like raids is a good twist, but the way it functions is a bit mysterious.
Related: What are Elite Raids and how do they work in Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go Shadow Raids: All features, spawns info, and Pokémon
Shadow Raids have not been officially announced by Niantic yet, but information about the mechanic has been found on the surface of recent updates via datamaines from the reputable PokéMiners group. So, while this information is accurate based on the coded bits already in Pokémon Go’s files, these types of updates tend to change a lot between versions if it ever releases—expect alterations heading into a potential launch.
Based on what we know so far, Shadow Raids will be their own instance of Raid Battles with five different levels. Obviously, this will likely be an exclusive raid featuring Shadow Pokémon, though just what kind of spawns or unique encounters will be included is not yet known.
The most controversial element of this otherwise well-received idea is the inclusion of a new type of raid ticket to go along with it. This means players will have to get a Shadow Raid Pass and likely won’t be able to use their regular Raid Passes.
Remote Raid Passes do seem to be compatible at this time despite other concerns around that mechanic being reworked. Additionally, players will earn bonus XP for completing these raids.
None of this information has been confirmed by Niantic, but considering how cohesive the details are, it is likely Shadow Raids will be implemented at some point in the near future.