Sunday, September 27, 2020

Pokemon Go Raid Etiquette and Tips

Pokemon Go Raid Etiquette and Tips

So you've probably been to a Pokemon Go raid by now where you've gotten booted out, or maybe you didn't get an invite.  Or worst of the worst - everyone ditched you right before the raid began and you thought you had 10 guys to raid with and you find yourself in a raid battle by yourself.  Now before you go thinking these people you're raiding with are jerks, here are some tips to mitigate these problems.  And remember that these passes are precious and in the end it's everyone for themselves, don't hate on your friend because they were uncomfortable with the amount of people and dropped out at the 20 second mark.  So here are some of the common issues in Pokemon Go and ways to avoid them.



First of all let's run through the game mechanics of a Pokemon Go raid.  A raid sits in a gym for 45 minutes, during those 45 minutes you can start a raid whenever you like.  Once you win that raid, you can no longer raid with that same account.  Anyone within a certain distance of that raid can access it and begin the countdown.  Once the countdown begins everyone has roughly 100 -110 seconds to join the raid.  I have not seen anyone join after the 10 second mark, but the reason here is there is a lag.  The lag is between the time you enter a raid and the time your friend sees that you entered.  This lag goes two ways.  If you join a raid and then leave, there is also a lag.  

Back to the essentials of Pokemon Go raids.  The countdown begins.  Each person who joined the raid without an invite can send 5 friend invites to the raid.  Supposedly there is also a possibility of sending the five invites, waiting for someone to join, and then jumping out of the raid, re-entering and sending five more.  I am not sure if this is always the case now as it also seems Niantic has limited entrance of people within distance of the gym to within the first 60 seconds.  Once those invites are sent, someone must remain in the countdown screen or else people trying to enter the gym will receive the dreaded raid expired message.

When you enter a raid you are prompted to either use a premium raid pass, a free pass, or a remote pass.  When you agree, you will not be charged for the raid unless you actually enter the raid battle screen at the end of the countdown.  Once you enter the raid battle and a pass is used that pass will remain valid for that raid in that gym until one of two things happen - 1-You beat the raid boss, 2 - the 45 minute gym timer on the outside of a gym runs out.  So here are a couple scenarios of Pokemon Go raids.

Scenario 1 - Your friend invites you and three others to a raid.  The raid has 35 minutes left in the gym.  You enter the battle thinking you have five, but it turns out one friend backed out because the final player entry did not register on their screen due to the lag.  What should you do?  Well in this case, if you can win with four, you win with four.  If you can't, however, the hope is that you have each others contacts and can message and coordinate a backing out of the raid to start again.  Why?  Because four people have already spent money on this raid and it would be best if they could win the raid and get a return on their investment.  Only one person needs to then join to return the team to five.  After that the team still has 30 minutes to beat the raid boss.  I have had friends refuse to try again because they already just burned one raid pass.  This is not the case.

Scenario 2 - Your friend invites you to a raid that has 5 minutes left in the gym.  You join with others, you fight, the boss is tough, and after your first 6 pokemon get knocked out, you are kicked out of the gym and you find yourself in your walking map screen, unable to get back into the raid.  Why did you get knocked out?  This seems to be a problem with the Niantic priority gym mechanics.  The outside timer on the raid gym seems to take precendence over the inside raid battle timer.  In other words.  Your friend invited you to a raid with five minutes left.  2 minutes later you entered the battle (outside timer at 3 minutes)  4 minutes later your pokemon got knocked out, the game then thinks because the outside timer has expired, that so has the raid and will not allow you to reenter the battle.

In order to properly avoid these situations here are some tips and raid etiquette.  I've done and had all of these done to me at some point.  It happens.  That's why there's etiquette.


  1. Plan for a raid - This is probably the best advice to follow here.  Pokemon Go raids show up on your raid screen an hour in advance.  AN HOUR!  That is more than enough time to say hey!  It's 235 now and a raid will be starting at 330, who wants to raid?  I get that's not always possible, but don't be the guy who says hey guys I have 10 minutes left on a raid here.  Who wants to join?  Not enough time. No one wants to join.
  2. You find yourself in a raid by yourself - This has happened more times that I would ever want to me.  There is usually a rule of drop out at the 20 second mark.  This is because rarely do new people arrive on the raid screen after this point and because there is a serious lag between the time you drop out and the time it registers for others.  In other words you may drop out at 20 seconds and it won't register your player being gone on another person's screen until the 10 second mark.  This is why it is important to make a plan.  4 people at 20 seconds or no go.  5 people or we all drop out at 20 seconds.  If you don't see 5, drop out.  You can coordinate again after but stick to your plan.
  3. You get booted out of a raid #1 -  This has happened to me on a few occasions and I'll run through the scenarios here and how to avoid them.  The biggest reason this happens is because the time runs out on the outside raid timer.  This is niantic's fault, but it is up to whoever the raid inviter is to communicate how much time is left in a raid.  I find a picture with the time left in the gym is more than adequate or a start time.  It is still up to the inviter, however, to ensure that the raid countdown does not start too late.  If a raid is going to be in a gym for less than 10 minutes and you know it is a powerful boss who will knock out the first set of pokemon, do not do a raid.  3 star and 1 star, go ahead and start whenever, but 5 star raids a good rule of thumb is if you can't start a raid before the 10 minutes left in a gym mark, DO NOT DO THAT RAID.  There will be a million others.  Don't get married to a mistake.  If this does happen.  Niantic is now demanding photos of this happening and fortunately enough for them, there won't be any evidence of you getting booted out.  If this starts to happen, let your friend know you got booted out.  In these instances almost always the original people who entered the battle without an invite can keep fighting, sometimes there is even a glitch where they gain an immortal pokemon.  Take photos of it, record your screen.  Get something evidentiary that you can share with your friends who got booted who can then appeal to Niantic support.
  4. You get booted out of a raid #2 - Another reason this has happened to me is when I am on the metro.  I have found that if I find a raid I want, and I start it, and then I get moved to a new location, when the raid starts I will get booted out, but everyone I have invited to the raid gets to stay in and fight.  This can be a good thing.  It can also be a bad thing if you needed to be in the raid for your team to win.
  5. You get booted out of a raid #3 - Sometimes I have just oddly been kicked out of a raid.  No pokemon fainting, nothing.  It is like the app just dies and there is no way to get back in.  If this happens, there is a possibility to get back in after your team beats the raid boss.  Wait until they win, and then restart the app a few times and each time check the raid again.  I have only been able to get back in once, and that was when I was the inviter and kept clicking on the gym.  When you are an invitee that option to find the faraway gym may just never come back.
  6. You think you already used a raid pass so you won't try it again - This goes back to the countdown scenario if your inviter has been on top of timing, there will still be lots of time left in the gym raid and you will use the same pass you already used over and over again until the timer on the raid in the gym runs out or you beat the boss.  You will also lose a pass, if you are an inviter and you lose and your friend does not reinvite.  This is sometimes inevitable as sometimes you just can't get enough people to join the raid.
  7. Watch for your raid effectiveness - There is a timer during your raid battle that counts down like a clock.  There is a very clear indicator of halfway point in the raid time.  There is also a very clear indicator of halfway health on the raid boss.  It is when the raid boss's health turns from green to yellow.  If that halfway timer is reached and your boss's health bar isn't yellow.  You are behind and you need to stop throwing pokemon at it.  Give up, try and get more people to raid.  Or even better, since now we have megas.  Go mega up the right pokemon.
  8. Trade your heavy hitters - I raid with my daughter.  She has a much lower level account.  Lower level account doesn't mean it can't be a very useful account in raids, however.  What it means is that she is not as likely to catch high level pokemon in the wild.  So how can you make these accounts effective if you raid with your children?  Trade your heavy hitters to them.  For example, have them sit in on a raid with articuno.  At the end they catch Articuno.  Now it's not a new pokemon for them and you can trade for low star dust cost.  Trade 10 of your articuno that are just sitting in your inventory.  Now guess who has a stacked line up?
  9. Help each other - Raids are expensive.  It's just a dollar, yeah, but over time that adds up.  Don't be the person that only raids when you can use your one free pass.  On the other side of it, realize that when you went to raid with your one free pass and all these people joined in, now it's their turn to raid with their one free pass.  Help each other out.
  10. Be on top of it - Be ready to call it off or say go.  Sometimes everyone you wanted to invite don't make it in.  Sometimes you forget to send it, sometimes it's niantic's fault.  Sometimes the person wasn't watching their phone or they suddenly realized they needed new raid passes and their storage was full.  If you are the inviter and you are missing someone go ahead and tell everyone to quit the raid so you can invite again.  On the other hand, if the raid timer is starting to get low be ok with making the call to do the raid without the person.  You don't want a situation where you could have won the raid, but you called it off for one person and then the timer ran out.
  11. Have fun - Don't be the guy that deletes friends because of a glitch in the game.  Stuff happens and in Pokemon Go that seems to be a pretty common theme.  Expect to be booted out sometime.  Expect to lose your pass sometime.  Expect to lose battles.  Expect the Go Battle League to be completely fixed against you.  But hey, the game is still fun, or else we wouldn't keep playing it.  Don't feel too bad if you were the one that invited too late, or if you got left out and didn't get invited.  It happens.  It happens to all of us. We're all still happy you're there playing with us so have fun and at the end of the day, don't stress it.