Here’s The Best Way To Get An EX Raid Pass In ‘Pokémon GO’ Right Now
A Sprint Store (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
EX Raid Passes are going out much wider in Pokémon GO. What started at a few locations on the West Coast of the United States at Japan continues to reach into more Gyms across the country and world, giving more trainers a shot at capturing the elusive Mewtwo. For those that don't know, an EX Raid Pass gives you access to an EX Raid, an invitation-only event that lets you battle the most powerful creature currently in the game along with whoever has been lucky enough to grab a pass. But like everything else in this game, the mechanics behind it are pretty opaque. While things are still developing and EX passes are not live everywhere yet, there are some things you can do to increase your chances.
The number one thing that you can do is just go out and Raid. EX passes are awarded only to people who have completed a Raid at same gym at some point in the recent past, so you've got the best shot if you go wide and do a ton of Raids. Note that the Raid level does not matter: a Magikarp is just as good as a Raikou in this instance.
However, a little more guidance would probably be helpful. At first, there was evidence that the locations were handpicked, meaning that you had a much better chance if you went to meeting places in highly populated areas, particularly those located in areas designated as parks by Google Maps. Still not all that specific, but more helpful than just wandering around to every Raid you can think of. Now, however, a clear pattern seems to be emerging: large numbers of EX Raid Passes are being given out for the sponsored Pokéstops at Sprint stores, as well as other sponsored stops in other countries. I haven't heard of Raids being held at Starbucks yet, but I'll update if that seems to be a thing.
So right now, that's your best shot an an EX Raid Pass: go to your local Sprint store and do a Raid. Yes, it feels a bit slimy, and it doesn't really play with the "explore local points of interest" part of Niantic's mission. But capitalism is the most dangerous Pokémon of them all.
The reasons for this are pretty clear. We don't know how much Niantic gets from its sponsored Pokéstop promotions in total, but rumor has it that the sponsors are paying a slightly absurd amount of money for each "visit," something that rarely means anything more than someone walking by a store on the street. So if the sponsors are getting wise, it's up to Niantic to make the partnership worth it a little more. To that end, Sprint stores have started offering physical badges for players that venture in, which is a pretty clever way to make everyone involved happy. Putting high-value Pokémon at sponsor stops is another way to sweeten these deals, though it's a little less creative.
Still, we do want that Mewtwo. So onward.