Pokémon GO – How to Battle Jessie and James

Battle Ash's greatest foes

by Kyle Hanson

Pokémon GO has been out for four years now and yet the main villains from the series’ anime adaptation have yet to truly arrive. Sure, Giovanni appeared a while back, along with some Team GO Rocket grunts, but what about the dynamic duo of Jessie and James? Well they’re finally here and you can do battle with them for a limited time (not yet specified by Niantic). But while they’re appearing in the game, the circumstances are a bit different than you might expect, as Niantic has adapted to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So here’s a quick rundown of how to battle Jessie and James in Pokémon GO.

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How to Battle Jessie and James in Pokémon GO

As has been the new manner by which players fight Team GO Rocket, Jessie and James will appear via a hot air balloon. Unlike those, they will have a unique balloon themed after their perpetual sidekick Meowth. Otherwise the mechanics remain seemingly the same. Jessie and James will appear on your screen as a giant Meowth balloon, and all you need to do is tap it to start the battle. Unfortunately the spawns seem random, though there does appear to be a correlation between the first time you start the game and a balloon appearing, so try to watch for them whenever you begin playing or restart the app completely.

Make sure you zoom your screen out all the way, since many of the balloons appear far away and won’t be readily apparent using the default view. You should see the shadow appear, if it’s sunny outside, so watch for that if you don’t want to zoom out all the time. Once you see the balloon or its shadow just tap to begin the fight. We’ve yet to encounter them in the game ourselves, so you’ll have to wait for a break down of how to beat Jessie and James, but this should get your started.

So that’s how to battle Jessie and James in Pokémon GO. Be sure to play often so you don’t miss out. They’ll only be availble for a limited time.

Jessie and James have arrived in Pokémon GO

- This article was updated on July 9th, 2020