How to Catch Legendaries in Pokemon GO

From the word “GO!” Legendary Pokemon remain the most popular creatures to catch in the game. Trainers want Legendaries for their unique abilities and powerful moves. In Pokemon GO, these elusive Pokemon aren’t always found on the street while strolling, though.

How to Catch Legendaries in Pokemon GO

There are a few different ways to obtain Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon GO. Not all of them are found using the same method, however. Read on to find out all the ways to capture your Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon GO, including catching them from quests and Team Go Rocket.

How to Catch Legendaries Without Raids

There are a few Legendary Pokemon you can catch without Legendary Raid participation. For Legendaries that you can catch without raids, you can play Special Research Quests, fight Giovanni of Team Go Rocket, or occasionally find a Legendary or two in the wild.

How to Catch Legendaries From Special Research Quests

Some Pokemon are found in Special Research Quests. Six of them are available for players to catch this way, including:

  • Mew
  • Celebi
  • Jirachi
  • Meltan
  • Genesect
  • Regigigas

Mew was the first Legendary players could catch via a quest called “A Mythical Discovery.” Time hasn’t changed acquisition methods for this character, though. There are no other ways to catch Mew, and you still have to play the same quest to catch this particular Pokemon.

Celebi is currently available by playing through the Special Research Quest called “A Ripple In Time.”

Jirachi’s Special Research Quest is called “Pokemon GO: A Thousand Year Slumber.” The quest was originally available in Pokemon GO Fest 2019. Today, anyone who beats this quest will be able to catch Jirachi.

While Meltan and Melmetal are Mythical Pokemon, they may be found by completing the Special Research Quest called “Let’s GO, Meltan.”

You could catch Genesect if you participated in the ticketed Special Research Quest called “Pokemon GO: A Drive to Investigate.” While the tickets haven’t been available for nearly two years, you can still beat the quest if you didn’t do so before.

“Pokemon GO: A Colossal Discovery” was the only way to get Regigigas. Similar to Genesect’s quest, the tickets are long gone. If you had one from before, you could still complete the quest and catch Regigigas today.

All Special Research Quests consist of lengthy and particular tasks and errands. They might take longer to complete, but the reward of catching a Legendary Pokemon, or in Meltan’s case, Mythical Pokemon, is worth it.

Special Research Quests can be tedious, so you should take your time and complete them properly. Make sure you follow all the instructions to save time.

How to Catch Legendaries From Team Go Rocket

In Pokemon GO, the classic Team Rocket is absent. Team Go Rocket is present in the game in their stead. You can eventually capture a Shadow Legendary Pokemon by fighting their members often. If you’re after Legendaries, Giovanni, the leader of Team Go Rocket, is who you need to fight to obtain them.

The process for getting Giovanni’s Shadow Legendaries is as follows:


  1. Play through the “A Troubling Situation” Special Research Quest.
  2. Unlock the latest Giovanni Special Research Quest, which changes once in a while.
  3. Beat the three Team Go Rocket leaders Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra once in the fourth step of your current Giovanni quest.
  4. Obtain a Super Rocket Radar.

With a Super Rocket Radar, you can locate Giovanni himself. However, it doesn’t bring you straight to Giovanni, as a few Grunts are disguising themselves as Giovanni to throw you off.

Finding Giovanni With a Super Rocket Radar

  1. Launch Pokemon GO.
  2. Go to the main menu.
  3. Open your Bag.
  4. Scroll down to look for your Super Rocket Radar.
  5. Equip it to look for Team Go Rocket members.
  6. Fight through the Grunts disguising themselves.
  7. Eventually, you’ll find the real Giovanni’s PokeStop.
  8. Fight and defeat him.

Giovanni’s Shadow Legendary Pokemon and second party member change every month, like his latest Special Research Quest. Due to this unique circumstance, we cannot advise you to bring a particular Pokemon team. You’ll have to check the game’s updates, which tell you his latest lineup.

After you find out what Pokemon he’ll throw against you, it’s time to formulate your team to counter his. The best advice is to bring along Pokemon that counter his first two. By doing so, you can save your Shadow Legendary counter for the last ready to fight.

With your prepared Shadow Legendary counter ready, you’ll find it easier to catch the Legendary. You have limited time to catch every Shadow Legendary Giovanni brings out. This is because every so often, he swaps out one Legendary for another.

How Often Can You Fight Giovanni in Pokemon GO?

Every first day of the month at midnight, all players will receive a new Giovanni Special Research Quest. The Special Research Quest will stay with you even after the month ends, but once you beat it, you skip straight to the current quest of the month. Any quests in between won’t be available.

As long as you have a Super Rocket Radar, you can use it to fight Giovanni. You can save them up since you obtain them from other quests, too. If you find a Pokemon you want to catch more of, you can use them to ensure you catch it.

How to Get Shiny Legendaries

Shiny Pokemon only occur a small percentage out of many of the same species. This rule applies to Legendary Pokemon as well. You’re not guaranteed to get a Shiny Legendary Pokemon if you encounter one. The chances of getting a Shiny Legendary are one in 20 Pokemon.

That might sound reasonable, as it’s a 5% chance. However, not all Legendaries have Shiny forms released. Some of the Legendary Pokemon that have Shiny forms are:

  • Mewtwo
  • Ho-Oh
  • Giratina
  • Groudon
  • Entei
  • Regirock
  • Zapdos
  • Registeel
  • Rayquaza
  • Raikou

Many more are available as well. With luck, perhaps your next Legendary catch will be a Shiny Pokemon. Their distinctive forms are easy to identify, making it all the more essential to catch them.

Additional FAQs

What is a legendary Pokemon?

Legendary Pokemon are strong creatures that you need to catch. You can’t find them in the wild except for some exceptions and only in special battles. Breeding them is also impossible.

What increases the chances of catching a legendary Pokemon?

Catching a Legendary Pokemon is hard enough, but here are a few tips to boost your chances:

• Getting a Gold Medal

• Throw a Golden Razz Berry in battle

• Use your Ultra Balls or the Premiere Balls

• Use a curveball when throwing your Pokeballs

• Make sure your throw is Excellent

What are the legendary birds in Pokemon GO?

Usually, the term “Legendary Birds” refers to Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. They’re the first Legendary trio from Generation 1, and as their name suggests, they’re birds. Today, the term can also encompass other Birds that appeared in later generations.

Can you find legendary Pokemon in the wild in Pokemon GO?

You can, but only a few of them like Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie. You can only find these three in specific regions of the real world. Others have been found in the wild during special events.

Finally, a Shiny Legendary

Locating Legendaries might be a difficult task, but catching them can be brutal. Legendaries can easily wipe out weaker parties. Just remember, to catch them, you need strong Pokemon of your own.

How many Legendary Pokemon have you caught? Who’s your favorite Legendary Pokemon? Tell us in the comments section below.

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