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 January 2020.
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 – so one month an age ago featured Raikou as a potential reward and a range of other electric Pokemon. January 2020’s set of field research missions will culminate in a research breakthrough that’ll give Pokemon trainers a chance to catch a Lapras with the Ice Shard and Ice Beam moves – and you’ll also have a chance to catch a shiny Lapras in for the bargain.
Research Breakthroughs in Pokemon Go: earning January’s big reward: Shiny Lapras
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 or Unova 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:
The January 2020 reward isn’t anything all-new and all that exciting in a sense. Lapras has been available to catch for a while, as has its shiny form. However, it’s a powerful Pokemon that’s useful for battles against other players, gyms and Team Rocket, and this is a chance to catch it with a great ice-focused move set guaranteed. There’s also the chance to nail a shiny Lapras, which is always welcome. As well as the Lapras 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 or Unova Stone evolution item.
January 2020 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 January 2020 – 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 Research Missions & Rewards list
|Battle in a Gym||Mankey (shiny chance)|
|Battle in a Gym 5 times||Machop (shiny chance)|
|Win a Gym Battle||Bulbasaur (shiny chance)
Charmander (shiny chance)
Squirtle (shiny chance)
|Win 3 Gym Battles||Jynx|
|Use a Super-Effective Charge Attack 7 Times||Electabuzz|
|Battle in a Raid||Swinub (shiny chance)|
|Win a Level 3 or Higher Raid||Omanyte (shiny chance)
Kabuto (shiny chance)
|Win 5 Raids||Aerodactyl (shiny chance)|
|Defeat a Team Rocket Grunt||Sneasel (shiny chance)|
|Battle another Trainer 3 Times||Shellder (shiny chance)|
Catch Field Research Missions & Rewards list
|Catch 10 Pokemon||Magikarp (shiny chance)|
|Catch 5 Fire-type Pokemon||Snorunt (shiny chance)|
|Catch 3 Normal, Water or Ice-type Pokemon||Dewgong|
|Catch a Dragon-type Pokemon||Dratini (shiny chance)|
|Catch 5 Pokemon with Weather Boost||Vulpix
Poliwag (shiny chance)
Pokeball & Throw Field Research Missions & Rewards list
|Make 5 Great Curveball Throws in a row||Spinda (shiny chance)|
|Make 5 Nice Throws||Voltorb|
|Make 3 Great Throws||Gastly (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)|
Management & Evolution Field Research Missions & Rewards list
|Evolve a Pokemon||Eevee (shiny chance)
|Power up a Pokemon 5 times||Bulbasaur (shiny chance)
Charmander (shiny chance)
Squirtle (shiny chance)
|Earn 5 Hearts with your buddy||Stantler (shiny chance)|
|Take a snapshot of your buddy||Snover (shiny chance)|
|Send 10 Gifts to Friends||Clamperl (shiny chance)|
|Trade a Pokemon||Glalie (shiny chance)|
|Transfer 3 Pokemon||Lotad (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
- January 2020: Labras (with Ice Shard & Ice Beam)
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.