How Often Do Pokémon Go Raids Change? (Pokémon Go Raid Cycles)

I’m a sucker for Raid Hour. I have a reminder set and receive push notifications from Pokémon Go whenever there’s one near me ⏰.

More than the opportunity to capture Legendary Pokémon, I enjoy meeting other players and hearing about their experiences with the game.

Furthermore, they provide the perfect opportunity to trade and catch up on the latest from Niantic. Once, I met someone who had trouble figuring out how Pokémon Go Raid cycles work.

I was happy to help, and our conversation went something like this…

What time do Pokémon Raids start?

This depends on the Raid 🧐.

Mega Raids

Can you provide information on the frequency of changes in Pokémon Go raids?
Mega Raids. Image source: Pinterest

Mega Raids occur during Raid Hours every Wednesday from 6 PM to 7 PM. These Raids happen when Mega Pokémon take over a Gym.

They have a high difficulty, and winning earns you Mega Energy that you can use to Mega Evolve your Pokémon.

Primal Raid

How often are the Pokémon available in raids updated in Pokémon Go?
Primal Raid. Image source: Pinterest

Primal Raids usually happen between 6 PM and 7 PM. These are special Raids featuring Bosses who’ve undergone Primal Reversion.

When you defeat them, you earn Primal Energy, which is necessary for Kyogre and Groudon to become Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon. You can also capture the standard form of the Raid Boss.

Elite Raid

Is there a regular schedule for changing Pokémon Go raid encounters?
Elite Raid. Image source: Pinterest

Elite Raids typically start at 11 AM, 2 PM, or 5 PM. Here, you’ll face powerful and rare Pokémon. An Elite Raid appears 24 hours before the Pokémon occupies the Gym, giving you time to assemble a team and devise your strategy.

Defeating the Pokémon gives you a chance to capture it.

EX Raids

How frequently do Pokémon Go raids undergo changes?
EX Raids. Image source: Pinterest

EX Raids don’t have a fixed starting time. These invite-only Raids require a special pass to attend and typically last 45 minutes. An EX Raid egg appears an hour before it starts, giving you ample time to prepare.

Do Pokémon Raids happen at night?


Yes. Raids typically start at 8 AM and end at 9 PM. Although, Niantic has taken steps to reduce the number of Raids after 7 PM.

They do this to keep younger players from going out at night, especially during winter. Furthermore, these Raids are capped at 45 minutes to an hour, ensuring players aren’t out for long.

How long are Pokémon Raids?

As mentioned, Niantic capped all Raids at 45 minutes. As such, an egg may appear at 5 PM and hatch at 6 PM. Once the Boss hatches, you’ll have 30 to 45 minutes to beat it. To access these Raids, you’ll need a pass.

Here’s a table summarizing how to get each 👇:


How to get it

Free Pass

Spin the Photo Disc at any gym.

Premium pass

At the in-game shop for 100 Pokecoins.

Also offered in Limited-time boxes.

Remote Pass

At the in-game shop, at 100 Coins for one and 250 for 3.

EX pass

Received after completing a Normal, Rare, or Legendary Raid Battle at an EX-eligible Gym.

What time do Raid Bosses switch out?

Pokémon Go Raid Cycles
Raid Bosses switch out. Image source: Pinterest

Niantic doesn’t release the exact time Raid Bosses switch out 🤷. However, most Pokémon Go players agree that Bosses appear from 8 AM to 9 PM.

You’ll have 45 minutes to beat these Bosses during the Raid. Once the time lapses, wait for the next Raid.

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