After the update rolled out worldwide, only those that are level 35 or above could participate – a requirement that has since been lowered to level 5 or above.
The Raid Battles take place at Gyms, a cooperative gameplay experience that will see you work with up to 20 other players to defeat powerful Pokémon that Niantic refer to as the Raid Boss. Before a Raid Battle starts, all Pokémon that are assigned to the Gym will return to their owners, and a large Egg will appear atop the Gym. When the countdown above the Egg reaches zero, the Raid Boss will be revealed to the world.
In order to battle the Raid Boss, players will need a Raid Pass. You will receive one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but players can only hold one at a time. You can also buy Premium Raid Passes from the in-game Shop.
If you successfully defeat the Raid Boss within the five-minute time limit, you will be given the chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon. Players will also receive a collection of rewards, including some new items obtained only by defeating a Raid Boss: Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and two types of Technical Machines—Fast and Charged.
A Rare Candy is a mysterious candy that, when used on a Pokémon, turns into that Pokémon’s Candy. Golden Razz Berries will greatly increase your chances of catching a Pokémon you encounter in the wild and can also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to fully recover its motivation meter. Technical Machines are items you can use to permanently teach a Pokémon a new Fast Attack or Charged Attack.