Here's how to purify in Pokemon Go.

Pokemon GO Purification Guide: Purify Those Pokemon!

Here's how to purify in Pokemon Go.
This article is over 4 years old and may contain outdated information

Pokemon GO‘s latest major update introduced Shadow Pokemon, Purified Pokemon, and Team Go Rocket, as well as the ability to purify Shadow Pokemon to turn them into productive members of Poke-society (see: your team).

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The introduction is a nod to the GameCube spinoff games, Pokemon Coliseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. However, there’s a bit more to Shadow Pokemon and purifying them in Pokemon GO, though.

We’ve detailed which Pokemon are Shadow Pokemon, how to get them, and why you should care about purifying them.

What Are Shadow Pokemon?

Shadow Pokemon are ‘mon that have been corrupted by darkness, which means they have been corrupted by Team GO Rocket. Shadow Pokemon have different movesets and primarily rely on Frustration.

As you’d expect, Shadow Pokemon look different from their regular counterparts, with sinister red eyes and a shadowy aura.

Obtaining Shadow Pokemon is tied to the recently-introduced Team GO Rocket. Periodically, Team Rocket will invade PokeStops at random.

Reddit user meier-anderson discovered these invasions last roughly 30 minutes. If you notice one happening, it’s best to jump on it right away.

When a PokeStop is invaded, you’ll see it take on a darker appearance, and the icon jerks around. Although invasions are random, Niantic has apparently increased their frequency since the mechanic first went live.

Once you challenge Team Rocket and defeat the Grunt’s team of Shadow Pokemon, they’ll leave one behind. You can then capture it in the same way you would for a Raid capture.

From there, you can choose to keep it as a Shadow ‘mon or work to Purify it.

Have Nanab Berries handy when you encounter a Shadow Pokemon to make capture easier.

How to Purify Shadow Pokemon

Purifying Shadow Pokemon is a lot easier than in the spin-off games where they first appeared.

  1. Open your storage
  2. Choose the Shadow Pokemon you want
  3. Then choose Purify

Shadow ‘mon have a purple flame next to their icons. You can find the Purify option near the Power-Up and Evolve options.

Also, you don’t actually have to Purify. If you use Shadow Charmander to turn into Shadow Charmeleon, that’s certainly possible to do.

But if you do choose to Purify, it costs a set amount of Stardust and Candy that’s related to the specific Shadow Pokemon. This is where Purifying early comes in handy since it requires more Candy to Purify evolved Pokemon.

Purified Pokemon have a blue star next to their icon in your storage.

Why Purify Shadow Pokemon?

There are a lot of reasons why you’d want to Purify your Shadow Pokemon, and Reddit user ControvT compiled a list of them.

  • IV levels in each stat will increase by 2, which is handy if you’re trying to get a perfect Pokemon
  • Level increases, up to level 25
  • Learns Return, a 3-bar Normal-type move
  • Candy cost for strengthening or evolving the Pokemon decreases by 10%
  • Stardust cost for strengthening or teaching a secondary move decreases by 20%

Another reason to Purify is thanks to an update introduced on July 25. Along with decreasing Shadow Pokemon capture rates as mentioned, the update makes it impossible to trade Shadow Pokemon.

Purified Pokemon can be traded, though. Given the IV improvements Purifying offers, it means your chances of getting a perfect ‘mon ultimately improve when you Purify, i.e. a 13/13/13 Shadow Pokemon would be perfect after Purification.

Which Shadow Pokemon are Available?

For now, a handful of Gen I Pokemon are the only ones available as Shadow Pokemon in the game, with one Gen III ‘mon making an appearance as well.

  • Bulbasaur
  • Charmander
  • Squirtle
  • Ratatta
  • Zubat
  • Snorlax
  • Dratini
  • Mudkip
Datamined/Rumored Shadow Pokemon

Over on Reddit, u/martycochrane presented a huge list, found via datamining, of Pokemon that could be appearing in the future as Shadow Pokemon.

These cover all the Generations currently represented in Pokemon GO, but it’s not certain if the entries mean evolved Shadow Pokemon will be capturable or if these are just assets tied to evolved forms of base Shadow Pokemon you catch.

As always with information found from datamining, there’s no guarantee any or all of this is true, especially since it seems slightly odd we’d get Shadow Mudkip, but no Shadow Treecko or Shadow Torchic.

Here’s the list:

  • Weedle
  • Kakuna
  • Beedrill
  • Ekans
  • Arbok
  • Sandshrew
  • Sandslash
  • Nidoran Female
  • Nidorina
  • Nidoqueen
  • Nidoran Male
  • Nidorino
  • Nidoking
  • Vulpix
  • Ninetales
  • Oddish
  • Gloom
  • Vileplume
  • Venonat
  • Venomoth
  • Meowth
  • Persian
  • Psyduck
  • Golduck
  • Growlithe
  • Arcanine
  • Poliwag
  • Poliwhirl
  • Poliwrath
  • Abra
  • Kadabra
  • Alakazam
  • Machop
  • Machoke
  • Machamp
  • Bellsprout
  • Weepinbell
  • Victreebell
  • Magnemite
  • Magneton
  • Grimer
  • Muk
  • Drowzee
  • Hypno
  • Exeggcute
  • Exeggutor
  • Cubone
  • Marowak
  • Hitmonlee
  • Hitmonchan
  • Koffing
  • Weezing
  • Scyther
  • Electabuzz
  • Magmar
  • Magikarp
  • Gyarados
  • Lapras
  • Porygon
  • Omanyte
  • Omastar
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Mareep
  • Flaffy
  • Ampharos
  • Bellossom
  • Politoed
  • Misdreavus
  • Wobbuffet
  • Gligar
  • Scizor
  • Shuckle
  • Sneasel
  • Houndour
  • Houndoom
  • Porygon2
  • Larvitar
  • Pupitar
  • Tyranitar
  • Seedot
  • Nuzleaf
  • Shiftry
  • Ralts
  • Kirlia
  • Gardevoir
  • Mawile
  • Carvanha
  • Sharpedo
  • Trapinch
  • Vibrava
  • Flygon
  • Cacnea
  • Cacturne
  • Absol
  • Bagon
  • Shelgon
  • Salamence
  • Beldum
  • Metang
  • Metagross
  • Turtwig
  • Grotle
  • Torterra
  • Chimchar
  • Monferno
  • Infernape
  • Mismagnius
  • Stunky
  • Skunktank
  • Weavile
  • Magnezone
  • Electivire
  • Magmortar
  • Gliscor
  • Porygon-Z
  • Gallade

We’ll update if these datamined ‘mon do end up coming to the game. Meanwhile, check out our other Pokemon GO guides for help catching and raising your Pokemon horde.

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Josh Broadwell
Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.