Team GO Rocket has started appearing at PokéStops and it's up to you to stop them from continuing on with their nefarious ways. Now when players login to Pokémon GO to catch their favorite Pokémon, they'll need to prepare for trouble.. and make it double, as Team GO Rocket seems to be using some sort of trickery to enslave Pokémon and turn them into Shadow Pokémon.
Shadow Pokémon look mostly the same as normal Pokémon but they're surrounded by a dark cloud of smoke and seem to have some strange behavioral traits that make them more violent. When players encounter Team GO Rocket at any given PokéStop, if they're able to defeat them then they can catch those Pokémon and proceed to bring them back to a normal state through a means called purification.
It doesn't seem like Team GO Rocket will show up at every single PokéStop, so players will need to keep an eye out for discolored PokéStops when they're out and about during walks. These particular PokéStops have been singled out by Professor Willow and will alert players to the strange happenings.
After you encounter the two troublemakers you can then enter the battle and reap the rewards if you end up the victor. Your rewards will be the Shadow Pokémon that you catch, and if purify them then you can use them as you would any other Pokémon. You will also need to purify them if you want to trade them away to other players, so there's more incentive to purify them beyond normalizing them.
In addition to these bonuses a purified Pokémon is also likely to become stronger than the a normal version of the same Pokémon who didn't need the purification. This is because those Pokémon feel a stronger bond with the trainer for being saved, so purification is definitely something you'll want to do if you catch any of the Shadow Pokémon following your battles with Team GO Rocket.
Alongside the arrival of Team GO Rocket and the Shadow Pokémon, specific Pokémon will have had their habitats disrupted. Players will have the chance to encounter Shiny Pokémon like a Shiny Ekans or Shiny Koffing either in the wild, in raids, or from eggs they find for a limited time. The event goes from July 25 to August 1, so there is about a week to stumble upon as many Shiny Pokémon as you can.
There is also a higher chance hatching various Pokémon from eggs during this event, including Machop, Meowth, Gastly, Grimer, Zubat, Cubone and more, so if you have an excess of eggs in your inventory you'll want to get out there and start walking to hatch as many as you can between now and the time that the event ends next week.
If all the excitement from Pokémon GO isn't enough for you, Pokémon Masters has just gone up for pre-registration on Google Play earlier this week, and the game is due to launch at the end of August so it won't be long before players are able to embark on a new adventure. Pokémon Masters has also released in a preview early access state in Singapore, and will be launching as a preview for Canada in the near future as well.