If you want to be the very best, you’ll need to stay on top of the Pokemon Go Research Quests – constantly changing missions and activities that players can pick up and complete for bonuses and rewards. Here’s all the current missions for August 2019.
Pokemon Go’s research quests are split into two categories: Field Research tasks and Research Breakthroughs.
Field Research tasks (or quests if you prefer) are picked up from Pokestops and are essentially random, though quests and rewards change from month to month. Completing these can lead to Research Breakthroughs which provide further unique rewards that also rotate over time. Special Research is less random – it’s a series of missions set for you by Professor Willow which push towards giving you access to potential catch especially rare, mythical Pokemon. Let’s go over how each works in detail…
Pokemon Go Research: How Field Research Tasks work and how to get their rewards
Field Research missions are essentially missions that you collect when you spin PokeStops. Each PokeStop gets one specific field research mission assigned to it each day, and though you can complete a quest more than once per day you’ll only ever pick up the same mission from any given PokeStop.
You can complete as many field research quests as you, and the rewards for any given quest will vary a little depending on the quest you get. Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim to complete at least one quest per day in order to work towards your research breakthrough, however – but more on that in a moment.
Quests range across all aspects of Pokemon Go and in a sense exist to get players to experience all aspects of the game. Field research quests might ask you to battle in a raid, battle in a gym, hatch Pokemon eggs, catch certain Pokemon types or even spin Pokestops – and these are just a few examples. Sometimes a task will reward you with the items, but other times you’ll be rewarded with a rare Pokemon encounter – field research tasks are the only way to encounter and catch Spinda, for instance – the encounter with a Spinda you need to catch one only comes as the result of a Pokeball-throwing related field research mission. As an aside, these encounters are really useful since Pokemon encountered in this way can’t flee.
The quests and rewards on offer rotate in a monthly manner for the most part, meaning at the end of one month Niantic will retire quests and rewards and replace them with new ones. Sometimes they’ll keep a quest but replace its reward – it really varies from month to month, and often there’s a theme to a month – like how August 2018 featured Raikou as a potential reward and a range of other electric Pokemon. December 2019 is once again part of a double-month event dedicated to legendary Pokemon – giving you a chance to catch the likes of Kyogre, Groudon or the original three legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres. All have appeared as field research rewards before, but it’s another opportunity to catch their shiny forms.
Research Breakthroughs in Pokemon Go: earning December’s big reward: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Kyogre and Groudon shiny forms
As you can see in the field mission screen inside Pokemon Go, there are a series of stamps adding up to seven stamps. You can only earn one stamp per day even if you complete multiple missions – so basically, this series of stamps is designed to last a week. When you reach the seventh stamped day you’ll unlock a Research Breakthrough, represented on the screen by the big wrapped-up parcel from Professor Willow.
Exactly what will be inside these packages varies from month to month alongside the other research bonuses and rewards including the potential for a Sinnoh Stone evolution item to drop. The biggest thing, however, is that every month this features a Pokemon encounter. These are usually with high-end, rare Pokemon – often even legendary Pokemon – some of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Go. That means you’ll have an unlimited amount of tries to catch them since Pokemon encountered in this way can’t run away. So long as you have patience and Pokeballs, you can keep trying until they’re caught. This is a great place to practice how to make excellent throws and curveball throws in Pokemon Go, too.
Pokemon caught this way will also have naturally high stats – the same sort of stats that you might find on Pokemon encountered as part of raid battles. All in all, this is a great way to catch rare Pokemon. Here’s how past months have gone:
For December 2019 there’s a repeated reward as all of the Pokemon have appeared as a research bonus before – but this is a new chance to catch a shiny form of legendary creatures. That means that you can catch a regular Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Kyogre or Groudon, but if you’re really lucky you’ll have the shiny version of one of these critters spawn. As well as the legendary encounter, each research breakthrough will net you 2000 Stardust, 3000 XP, and a random smattering of other items, including a chance at a Sinnoh Stone evolution item.
December Field Research List: rewards and missions for current field research tasks
As we previously explained, everything around the field research mission system is on rotation – every month brings around a different set of events with different goals, and we’re going to keep this page current with whatever the current mission set is. Here’s the quests that you’ll find in your Field Research list during August 2019 – but remember, these quests are rewarded at random from PokeStops, so which you see is entirely down to chance. Field research missions have an element of the random to their rewards – so there’s a chance that you’ll get more basic rewards like Pokeballs, Stardust and other items. Every quest has a Pokemon encounter it has a chance of rewarding you with, however, and this is a list of those missions and encounters:
Battle Field Missions & Rewards list
|Battle in a Gym||Mankey (shiny chance)
Makuhita (shiny chance)
|Battle in a Gym 5 times||Machop encounter (shiny chance)|
|Win a Gym Battle||Bulbasaur (shiny chance)
Charmander (shiny chance)
Squirtle (shiny chance)
|Win 3 Gym Battles||Jynx encounter|
|Use a Super-Effective Charge Attack 7 Times||Electabuzz encounter|
|Battle in a Raid||Spoink encounter (shiny chance)|
|Win a Level 3 or Higher Raid||Omanyte (shiny chance)
Kabuto (shiny chance)
|Win 5 Raids||Aerodactyl encounter (shiny chance)|
|Battle a Team Leader 2 Times||Natu encounter (shiny chance)|
|Battle another Trainer||Electrike encounter (shiny chance)|
Pokemon Go Catching Field Missions & Rewards list
|Catch 10 Pokemon||Magikarp (shiny chance)|
|Catch 15 Pokemon||Sandshrew (shiny chance)|
|Catch a Dragon-type Pokemon||Dratini (shiny chance)|
|Catch 3 different species of Dark-type Pokemon||Poochyena (shiny chance)|
|Catch 3 different species of Psychic-type Pokemon||Drowzee (shiny chance)|
|Catch 4 Grass or Ice-type Pokemon||Seel (shiny chance)|
|Catch 5 Fairy-type Pokemon||Marill|
|Catch 5 Normal-type Pokemon||Zigzagoon (shiny chance)|
|Catch 3 Fire, Water or Electric-type Pokemon||Doduo|
|Catch 5 Pokemon with Weather Boost||Vulpix
|Use 5 Berries while catching Pokemon||Snorunt (shiny chance)|
|Use 5 Razz Berries to help catch Pokemon||Swinub (shiny chance)|
|Use 10 Nanab Berries while catching Pokemon||Scyther (shiny chance)|
Pokeball & Throw Field Missions & Rewards list
|Make 5 Great Curveball Throws in a row||Spinda|
|Make 5 Nice Throws||Voltorb|
|Make 3 Great Throws||Gastly (shiny chance)
Buneary (shiny chance)
Lileep (shiny chance)
Anorith (all shiny chance)
|Make 3 Great Throws in a row||Onix encounter (shiny chance)|
|Make 3 Excellent Throws in a row||Larvitar encounter (shiny chance)|
Pokemon Management & Evolution Field Missions & Rewards list
|Evolve a Pokemon||Cubone (shiny chance)|
|Power up a Pokemon 5 times||Bulbasaur (shiny chance)
Charmander (shiny chance)
Squirtle (shiny chance)
|Earn 3 Candy walking with your Buddy||Ponyta (shiny chance)|
|Send 10 Gifts to Friends||Alolan Exeggutor|
|Take 5 Snapshots of Eevee||Gulpin|
|Trade a Pokemon||Bronzor (shiny chance)|
|Transfer 3 Pokemon||Sableye (shiny chance)|
Egg Hatching Field Missions & Rewards
|Hatch an Egg||Exeggcute (shiny chance)|
|Hatch 3 Eggs||Magmar|
|Hatch 5 Eggs||Chansey|
A Troubling Situation Research: Special Team Go Rocket Research Tasks
There’s a lot going on right now – so as well as the jump-start quests and the regular field missions, there’s also a new brand of Special Research: A Troubling Situation. This research is all dedicated to the mysterious appearance of Team Rocket in Pokemon Go, bringing with them Shadow Pokemon and Purified Pokemon.
Here’s the special Rocket-themed research:
A Troubling Situation Quest #1
- Evolve 2 Pokemon: Murkrow encounter
- Power up Pokemon 5 Times: Sabeleye encounter
- Strand Completion Reward: 2000 XP, 1000 Stardust
A Troubling Situation Quest #2
- Catch 2 Shadow: Ekans encounter
- Defeat 3 Team Rocket Grunts: Koffing encounter
- Strand Completion Reward: 2000 XP, 5 Golden Razz Berries, 2000 Stardust
A Troubling Situation Quest #3
- Purify 3 Shadow Pokemon: 3000 Stardust
- Purify a Fire-type, Water-type or Grass-type Pokemon: 3000 XP
- Strand Completion Reward: 5 Silver Pinap Berries, 2000 Stardust, 1 Rare Candy
A Troubling Situation Quest #4
- Free Completion: 2000 Stardust, 1000 XP
- Strand Completion Reward: 1 Fast TM, 1 Charged TM, 3 Rare Candy
Past Research Breakthrough Rewards
For posterity’s sake, here are the past field research breakthrough rewards as featured in Pokemon Go – just so you know what you’ve missed.
2018 Research Breakthrough rewards in Pokemon Go:
- April 2018: Moltres (fire-themed research)
- May 2018: Zapdos (electric-themed research)
- June 2018: Articuno (ice-themed research)
- July 2018: Snorlax (Kanto research)
- August 2018: Raikou (electric-themed research)
- September 2018:Entei (fire-themed research)
- October 2018: Suicune (water-themed research)
- November 2018: Shedinja (bug-themed research)
- December 2018: Best of 2018 (all previous Pokemon)
- January & February 2019: Legendary Birds
- March & April 2019: Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-oh, Regice, Registeel, Regirock
- May & June 2019: Ho-oh, Lugia, Latias, Latios
- July & August 2019: Kyogre, Groudon, Latias, Latios
- September & October 2019: Flower Crown Eevee
- November & December 2019: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Kyogre, Groudon
Special Research Quests & Tasks in Pokemon Go: a quick introduction
A little swipe across your field research menu will also take you to the Special Research Tasks. These work a little differently, and mercifully for my fingers (and your eyes) don’t require so much assistance or explanation on this page. Still, for avoidance of confusion, let’s talk about them a bit.
The Special Research Quests are essentially the closest thing Pokemon Go has to a ‘story mode’ – these are fixed quests with fixed objectives and, ultimately, fixed rewards. Each ‘stage’ of the Special Research Quests requires you to complete three missions each with a smaller individual reward in order to unlock the larger reward for that phase of the quest. Once you’ve done that, Professor Willow will then introduce the next phase to you.
The first Special Research Quest in the game is ‘A Mythical Discovery’, and it’s not much of a spoiler to say it leads to your ability to unlock mythical 151st Pokemon Mew in the game – and now, it can also unlock mythical creature Celebi. Getting there requires completion of a range of missions, however, doing everything from gym battles and raids to catching rarer, difficult-to-locate Pokemon like Ditto. Completing each phase of the mission will eventually deliver you to an encounter with the mythical Pokemon.