What are EX Raids in Pokemon GO and how can players obtain EX Raid Passes?

Pokemon GO has different ways to raid, from standard raids to Mega Raids. However, a previous method also existed known as EX Raids, though they haven’t been active in recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


EX Raids, also known as Exclusive Raids, are exactly as the moniker might imply: Raids that are invitation-only. They are completely identical to standard raids, but trainers cannot enter them freely without an invitation via an EX Raid Pass.

At the moment, only Pokemon GO trainers who have previously obtained an EX Raid Pass can undergo EX Raids, as the feature has been halted for quite some time. However, Niantic may eventually reinstate EX Raids, and players will want to be ready if this is the case.

How to obtain EX Raid passes in Pokemon GO if the feature returns

Mewtwo is one of the featured boss Pokemon in EX Raids (Image via Niantic)
Mewtwo is one of the featured boss Pokemon in EX Raids (Image via Niantic)

Unfortunately, Pokemon GO trainers cannot receive EX Raid Passes at the moment. However, this may change if the feature is reintroduced in the future. While there is currently no indication as to whether or not Niantic plans to bring back EX Raids, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the eventuality that they do come back. To that end, Pokemon GO trainers should be aware of how to acquire EX Raid Passes.

How to receive an EX Raid invitation:

  1. When EX Raids were active, Pokemon GO trainers would receive EX Raid Passes by participating in standard raids. Specifically, you’ll want to participate in many different raids at many different gyms, as any of these gyms could potentially host an EX Raid. Your chances to receive an EX Raid Pass will increase based on how frequently you raid, as well as how many gyms you raid and how quickly you overtake raid bosses.
  2. By defeating a raid boss at a gym that will host an EX Raid in the future, you may potentially receive an invitation to the EX Raid. If you are chosen for the raid, you’ll receive a journal entry providing your EX Raid Pass as well as a notification detailing when and where the raid will take place.
  3. When you receive an EX Raid Pass, it is possible to bring along one Ultra or Best Friend with you to the raid when it begins. Your friend will not need a pass of their own.


Sadly, there is a possibility that EX Raids may not return to Pokemon GO. Even before the pandemic began, many players were dissatisfied with the feature and had spoken at length in favor of its removal. Niantic may take this into account and keep EX Raids off the table for the foreseeable future or maybe even permanently. However, if they do return, it’s wise for trainers to be prepared.

Stock up on raid passes just in case, and keep an eye open for announcements via Niantic’s official social media channels and blog posts. While there haven’t been any indications about the return of EX Raids, Pokemon GO is always evolving and making adjustments. Niantic tends to keep quiet about their developments until they’re absolutely certain about announcing them, so trainers may have to be patient for any future confirmation.

Edited by Siddharth Satish

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