Moltres has arrived! How to battle Legendary Pokémon in Pokémon GO

Ever since Pokemon Go‘s launch this time last year, rumours about Legendary Pokemon joining the app’s roster have been circulating and now, Moltres has arrived.

In a tweet, Pokemon GO‘s official handle wrote: “The Legendary Pokemon Moltres has been spotted in Pokemon GO! Gather your friends and find a Legendary Raid Battle near you!”

blog post in July, from developers Niantic, confirmed these rare and powerful Legendary Pokemon were “coming soon”, with the first expected to appear at the first Pokemon Go Fest in Grant Park, Chicago. Pokemon Go Fest was a ticketed event set up to celebrate the app’s first birthday (which took place on 6 July). However, the festival did not quite go to plan.

The event went so badly, due to servers not being able to keep up with demand, Niantic was forced to issue refunds. A small number of attendees have even launched a class-action lawsuit against the developer.

The idea was that during a series of challenges, players in Grant Park would be able to unlock perks for Pokemon GO players by catching certain types of Pokemon with each Pokemon type being linked to a different reward. Reward examples given by Niantic before the event included Stardust bonuses or treats that would see the distance needed to walk to hatch eggs or catch certain creatures being reduced.

Servers issues, like those which plagued the app in the early days, meant that the challenges could not be completed in certain cases because attendees could not access the app. Others complained of catches not being stored. More recently, Niantic was forced to cancel similar events heading to Europe, as part of its so-called European Safari Zone, while the firm resolved some of the issues.

Despite the problems, Legendary Pokemon have started appearing in Gyms and can be caught as part of Legendary Raid Battles.

Before the event, datamines gave clues to which Legendary Pokemon would be appearing, and a promotional video released as part of the Pokemon GO fest announcement showed Mew and Mewtwo, Articuno, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-oh and Celebi among the creatures entering the game.

Legendary Raids are higher level versions of the already difficult Raid Battles. Like with existing Raid Battles, you’ll need a Legendary Raid ticket to start a Legendary Raid and these will be earned by taking part in normal battles, or spinning Pokestops at Gyms where Raid Battles are about to start.

Raid Battles formed part of a significant update, made by Niantic on 19 June, which saw a complete redesign of the app’s Gyms.Raid Battles add a co-operative mode to the game which involves players fighting an extremely powerful Pokemon also known as a Raid Boss found in certain gyms. Raid Battle countdowns can be seen above Gyms are you’re walking around.

Prior to battling the Raid Boss, all assigned Pokemon will be returned to their trainers, at which point a very large golden egg will appear atop of the gym. These raids will be shown in a “Nearby” menu (much like Pokemon currently are), and will appear under a dedicated Raid tab. Here, you’ll see the number of players currently in a Raid or the amount of time you’ll have to wait for other players to join the Raid.

Images: Niantic

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