Pokemon Go has officially ended its EX Raid "test period," which means that even more players are getting EX raid invites than ever before.
EX Raids are a special kind of "exclusive" raid that players can only participate in if they've received a special raid invite. Right now, the EX Raids are the only way to get Mewtwo, which is the strongest attacker in Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go laid out some vague guidelines on how to qualify for an EX Raid pass, which basically came down to "do as many non-EX raids as you can" to improve your chances.
However, The Silph Road, a group of Pokemon Go "researchers," has found what they believe to be some common trends in the wave of invites that went out last week. This means there could be some information that could increase your odds of grabbing an EX Raid and finally encountering Mewtwo.
When Pokemon Go ended the EX Raid "test period" last month, they established some basic guidelines on how players might be able to get one. First and foremost, they noted that in order to get an EX Raid Pass, players will need to have previously completed a normal raid at the gym where an EX Raid will take place.
So which gyms should Pokemon Go players focus on? Well, Pokemon Go stated that EX Raids will appear mainly at parks and at sponsored gyms to minimize complaints about Pokemon Go players gathering and disrupting non-players.
Pokemon Go also suggested that players should focus their attention on certain gyms, as those with "high level" badges are more likely to get an EX raid invite. Players who participate in a lot of raids are also more likely to get an invite than those who only occasionally raid.
The Silph Road conducted a survey of about 250 players who received an EX Raid pass on Friday, the first passes sent out since Pokemon Go ended its "test period." While that's a relatively small number compared to the total number of EX Raid passes sent out last week, it's still enough to get an idea of what Pokemon Go is looking for when it sends out its raids.
Most importantly, it seems that the vast majority of players who received an EX Raid Pass participated in a normal raid at that location earlier in the week. Over 95% of players had battled at that gym in the past seven days and nearly 30% had battled at the gym just a day before they got their EX raid pass.
Therefore, it might benefit players to do their raiding at possible EX raids later in the week (like Wednesday or Thursday) as Pokemon Go seems to give more weight to players who have just done a raid at that location than those who haven't in a few days.
The Silph Road also noted that the majority of players did have either a Silver or Gold gym badge at the badge where their EX raid was to take place. However, a sizable minority of players only had a bronze badge, meaning that having a high level badge might not be as important as originally believed.
Finally, The Silph Road noted that many of the players surveyed weren't "avid" raiders - meaning that they weren't participating in tons of raids per day. The vast majority of players had completed (on average) less than one raid a day. So, while Pokemon Go recommended doing raids as often as possible, The Silph Road found that it might benefit you to raid in the right places than simply bouncing from raid to raid every day.
So, what's the best way of getting an EX Raid Invite? Your best bet is to find where previous EX Raids have taken place and focus your attention on those gyms. Hitting a raid at a sponsored gym at least once a week seems to be your best bet for getting one of those rare EX Raid invites.
Of course, Pokemon Go can always tweak their algorithm in the future, and the Silph Road's dataset is admittedly small, so their findings might not be 100% accurate. However, this information could still help give you an edge on grabbing an EX raid invite and finally getting to face Mewtwo in battle.