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Pokemon Go Challengers Teams: Where do you find challengers and what Pokemon do they have?

It's time to battle!

The Pokemon Go World Championships 2022 have arrived, bringing with them event-themed wild Pokemon, Raid Bosses, Field Research, and powerful new trainers to battle called Challengers.

With rosters stuffed full of strong Pokemon, defeating these Pokemon Go Challengers’ teams is easier said than done, but with a little strategy and preparation, even the toughest foe can be overcome.

They’re supposed to be fellow budding trainers ready to take on the Pokemon Go World Championships - even though some of them use legendary Pokemon - so it’s up to you to show them who’s boss.

Here’s everything you need to know to be the very best, including where to find these new Challenger battles as well as what lies in wait on each Challenger’s team. But since you’re not just doing it for the exposure, we’ve also listed all of the awesome rewards you can snag for coming out victorious.

To make sure you’re up to the task, you can also get some useful items by entering Pokemon Go codes that have been distributed on Twitch during the Championship streams.

Where to find Challengers in Pokemon Go:

To find Challengers in Pokemon Go, walk to your nearest Pokestop and one should appear on the map. You can either tap on them in the world before they disappear or spin the Pokestop they’re guarding.

A Challenger on the World Map in Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go Challengers appear at Pokestops all across the world

They function similarly to Team Go Rocket, so all you need to do is tap on “battle” when they appear on your screen. You can then choose your own team, but without a cheatsheet, you will be going in blind.

When Pokemon Go Challengers appear at Pokestops seems to be random with no particular cooldown. I had one show up almost instantly, then none for a while through about 10 Pokestops, then two popped up nearly back-to-back.

This is unfortunate if you live in a rural area with only a few stops, but if you’re persistent they will definitely appear to battle.

However, you don’t need to beat the Challenger for the battle to count towards your Field Research progress. If you want to, you can battle, surrender, then re-battle the same Challenger five times to easily complete the quest!

Pokemon Go Challengers Teams:

When you take on a Pokemon Go Challenger, you’re tasked with picking your own roster without knowing what your opponent will choose.

An Aerodactyl battling a Challenger's Greedent in Pokemon Go
Make sure your best Pokemon are healthy and ready for battle

Here’s a rundown of the different Pokemon each challenger’s team can include, as well as how to beat them easily.

This data comes from the dedicated Pokemaniacs and dataminers at Pokemon Go subreddit The Silph Road.

Novice Challenger:
  • Sableye (Dark/Ghost - use Fairy type) or Trevenant (Ghost/Grass - use Fire or Ice)
  • Alolan Ninetales (Ice/Fairy - use Steel or Fire) or Azumarill (Water/Fairy - use Electric or Poison)
  • Obstagoon (Dark/Normal - use Fighting) or Galarian Stunfisk - (Ground/Steel - use Fighting or Fire)
Eager Challenger:
  • Medicham (Fighting/Psychic - use Fairy or Ghost) or Nidoqueen (Ground/Poison - use Ground or Water)
  • Sableye (Dark/Ghost - use Fairy type) or Lickitung (Normal - use Fighting)
  • Swampert (Water/Ground - use Grass) or Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric)
Eccentric Challenger:
  • Sirfetch’d (Fighting - use Fairy or Psychic) or Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric) or Sableye (Dark/Ghost - use Fairy type)
  • Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric) or Lickitung (Normal - use Fighting)
  • Talonflame (Fire/Flying - use Water or Electric) or Registeel (Steel - use Fighting)
Ambitious Challenger:
  • Araquanid (Water/Bug - Use Electric) or Swampert (Water/Ground - use Grass) or Obstagoon (Dark/Normal - use Fighting) or Trevenant (Ghost/Grass - use Fire or Ice)
  • Registeel (Steel - use Fighting) or Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric) or Nidoqueen (Ground/Poison - use Ground or Water) or Alolan Ninetales (Ice/Fairy - use Steel or Fire)
  • Talonflame (Fire/Flying - use Water or Electric) or Sableye (Dark/Ghost - use Fairy type) or Greedent (Normal - use Fighting) or Swampert (Water/Ground - use Grass)
Confident Challenger:
  • Diggersby (Normal/Ground - use Fighting or Water) or Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric) or Swampert (Water/Ground - use Grass) or Scrafty (Dark/Fighting - use Fairy or Fighting)
  • Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric) or Mandibuzz (Dark/Flying - use Electric or Fairy) or Trevenant (Ghost/Grass - use Fire or Ice) or Nidoqueen (Ground/Poison - use Ground or Water)
  • Cresselia (Psychic - use Bug or Ghost) or Deoxys Defence (Psychic - use Bug or Ghost) or Lickitung (Normal - use Fighting)
Slick Challenger:
  • Azumarill (Water/Fairy - use Electric or Poison) or Walrein (Ice/Water - use Fighting or Electric)
  • Medicham (Fighting/Psychic - use Fairy or Ghost) or Sableye (Dark/Ghost - use Fairy type)
  • Registeel (Steel - use Fighting) or Trevenant (Ghost/Grass - use Fire or Ice)

Pokemon Go Challenger Rewards:

Battling Pokemon is a lot of fun, but it’s even more fun with a choice reward at the end of the fight.

Every time you beat a Pokemon Go Challenger, you get some Stardust as a guaranteed reward.

This is in addition to the Limited Time Field Research rewards, which are as follows:

  • Battle 1 Challenger - 10 Pokeballs
  • Battle 2 Challengers - 1 Fast TM
  • Battle 3 Challengers - 10 Great Balls
  • Battle 4 Challengers - 1 Fast TM
  • Battle 5 Challengers - 10 Ultra Balls
  • Complete all stages - Rare Pokemon appears (World Championship 2022 Pikachu), 2 Elite TMs (1 Charged and 1 Fast)

About the Author

James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

James suffers so you don't have to. Whether it's raging so hard at Sekiro that he bit his own hand, or confronting a 20-year fear of zombies to complete Resident Evil 2 eight times, he creates guides and reviews for the biggest blockbuster games. He has a Masters Degree in Journalism and a BA in Linguistics that he never got a chance to flex until Wordle came along.

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