Pokemon Go Brings Back Team Rocket, Adds Free Gift as Apology

After a two week absence, Team Rocket has returned to Pokemon Go. Earlier this month, Niantic quietly removed Team Go Rocket encounters from Pokemon Go as the encounters apparently caused the game to crash in certain situations. While Niantic only acknowledged the problem via their official support Twitter account and through the game's FAQ page, the problem had attracted notice from many players, especially those who faced a situation where they needed Team Go Rocket encounters to level up. Last night, Pokemon Go told fans that the issue was fixed and that Team Rocket would start appearing in the game once more.

As an additional apology, Pokemon Go also added a free gift box containing 30 Poke Balls and a Super Rocket Radar. This box will be available through April 29th and can be obtained via the in-game shop. Additionally, Giovanni will use Shadow Zapdos from June 1 to June 17 to make up for the time that this powerful Pokemon was unavailable for players to battle and capture.

Considering that the Team Rocket crash issue was pretty rare, it seemed like an extreme reaction to totally remove the villainous team from the game without any formal notice. However, providing players with an extended window to get Shadow Zapdos and adding some free items seems like appropriate compensation, given that the problem was solved in just a few weeks. However, players have noted that Pokemon Go gave out even more free items as compensation for similar bugs, so not everyone is thrilled with the free item giveaway.


Pokemon Go is currently hosting a Sustainability Week event, in which players "clean up" trashy Pokemon while learning about sustainability. The game will also be hosting its first Friendship Day event this weekend before it launches into a New Pokemon Snap crossover at the end of the month. You can keep up on all the Pokemon Go news by following our coverage at this link.