With Pokémon GO slowly closing in on 1,000 critters to catch, train, and trade, picking the best Pokémon for the job can be tricky. That's what our Pokémon GO best Pokémon tier list is here to help with. If you've been playing since the beginning, you'll have a keen eye for what's good and what's only worth its weight in candy and stardust. Otherwise, you'll probably need some sage advice.
Spending valuable resources on Pokémon that'll do nothing but get trounced in any meaningful content is a real waste. In this Pokémon GO best Pokémon tier list, we'll be running through each major addition with decent detail, but we'll also stuff a traditional tier list at the top for some at-a-glance references.
And while you're at it, go ahead and open up a few extra tabs for extra-curricular reading. Learning about the Team GO Rocket Leaders and the counters for its members like Arlo, Cliff, and Sierra can help bring some much-needed context to the words you're about to read. They're tough battles. And without the right Pokémon, you won't stand a chance.
Pokémon GO Best Pokémon Tier List (July 2022)
|S||Mewtwo, Machamp, Giratina|
|A||Tyranitar, Reshiram, Mamoswine, Moltres, Metagross, Rhyperior|
|B||Groudon, Lucario, Conkeldurr, Charizard, Zekrom|
|C||Landorus, Gengar, Alakazam, Excadrill, Entei|
The above Pokémon GO tier list shows a rough idea of which Pokémon you'll want to add to your collection above all others. This is a tiny fraction of the creatures available in the game, but whether down to their relative availability, strengths, or common use-cases, these earn the Pokémon GO best Pokémon title with ease.
Whether you're a veteran looking to run multiple teams for soloing select legendary Pokémon, or a beginner struggling to get started, working your way through the tier list will help bring some structure to your Pokémon GO travels.
Pokémon GO Best Pokémon for New Players
Since its debut back with the first Pokémon GO raid update, Mewtwo has been a staple pick in almost any team. Numerous reappearances saw the iconic legendary Pokémon learn all kinds of new moves that helped it slide in as a counter against just about any Pokémon out there, with its ridiculous strength making it a top-pick for even those it couldn't hit for super-effective damage.
Its various windows of availability and meta popularity mean that even when Mewtwo isn't obtainable through raids, it should be easy enough to find players willing to trade one or two for something special you may have in your collection. Once you have it, you'll be well on your way to raiding with the best.
One of the first proper raid hurdles Pokémon GO players face is amassing a team capable of soloing a three-star raid battle like Machamp. Once you're able to do that, you can quickly amass stacks of creatures often found on the Pokémon GO best Pokémon tier list. Machamp's brutally fast Counter/Dynamic Punch moveset still pops up as a prime counter to many Pokémon to this day.
Even when not doing super-effective damage, Machamp's rapid availability and high damage potential make it a go-to choice in virtually any fight aside from those against Psychic or Flying-type Pokémon. If you see one atop a three-star raid, do whatever you can to take it on. And if you can't solo it, use it as motivation to reach that pivotal point.
Though hardly the superpower it was back in the early days of Pokémon GO, this glass cannon can still pack a mean mental punch. With the right moveset, Alakazam can rip holes in plenty of raid bosses before it's ultimately decimated by a charged attack you failed to dodge. And, like Machamp, it can be a fairly common sight in three-star raids once there's a break in events. If anything, it's easier to get than Machamp and will be one of your prime counters against it.
Another glass cannon type, Gengar is fairly easy to obtain. Ghastly is a reliably common face at night and in specific biomes, and Gengar, when it shows up in raids, is pretty easy to take down so long as you can time your charged attack dodges. Like Machamp and Alakazam, it attacks hard and fast, reducing easier targets to mush.
If you're going up against a top-tier Psychic-type Pokémon like Mewtwo or Giratina, packing a few of these will instil some level of trust in the rest of your raid group. While they're tanking heavy hits and dealing chip damage, you'll be tossing powerful Shadow Balls at the sought-after target.
Having been around for years now, Moltres is a common sight in just about any fight that calls for a Fire-type Pokémon. Sometimes substituted for Entei when Flying-type attacks aren't needed, Moltres was recently used to take on giants like Dialga, Zamazenta, and especially Genesect.
Up until very recently, Moltres (and the other two birds in its pact) were available by taking on Giovanni. Before that, they were available in raids and even the weekly Research Breakthroughs. The former was the best source given the boosted strength of Shadow Moltres, but no matter how you get hold of this fiery chicken, it'll prove its worth.
Once a source of jubilation for those with a veritable army of Machamp in the old four-star raid days, Tyranitar is still a powerhouse worth seeking out at any opportunity. Whether it's decimating Psychic-type Pokémon like Mewtwo with a Bite/Crunch combo or wrecking recent raids with Smack Down and Stone Edge, this pseudo-legendary Pokémon has the brawn and bulk to take on anyone but Machamp, Lucario, and a few other hardcore Fighting-type powerhouses.
It's tricky to get a hold of whenever it's not part of the raid roster, but with Pupitar set to be a reward during the Season of Heritage, simply do what you can to evolve it.
Recently crashing through Pokémon Unite with excessive force, Mamoswine has been doing just that in Pokémon GO for years. Embraced when Rayquaza made its shiny debut, this monolithic Ice/Ground-type Pokémon went into mass circulation, with its base form Swinub spawning just about everywhere to give players ample means to take the great dragon down.
Even now, with Zekrom, Reshiram, and Kyurem hitting the raid spotlight, it got its very own Incense boost to ensure trainers had plenty of opportunities to add a prime counter to their arsenal. Powder Snow and Avalance were the go-to moves back in the day, but right now, it's a great Ground-type attacker that goes toe-to-toe with Team GO Rocket leaders.
Another one that's set to become more readily available in the coming months is Rampados. This funny-looking dino packs the same kind of punch as Tyranitar, even focusing on the same Rock-type moves when going up against Flying-type adversaries.
Its raw power helps it smash its way onto just about any counter list regardless of typing. So if you're ever given the chance to snag one of these, it's worth bringing home. It's a brittle beast, but it's one of the best additions to the game in recent years.
Seen by some as 'the new Mewtwo,' Giratina has shown up in the raid roster countless times since its debut not too long ago. Partially down to its two forms: Origin and Altered.
It's the former you really want to be on the lookout for. Having legs only causes this Pokémon to drop off the lists, so you want to look for the more serpent-like version if possible. That being said, its moveset doesn't really change in either scenario. If you can get one, be sure to do so. If that just so happens to be Giratina Origin Forme, even better.
Another mainstay on the counters list these days is Rhyperior. Though it's not quite as easy to get hold of these days, an event like Earth Day will make getting your own Rhyperior a breeze. It'll get you through most of the Team Rocket Leader battles as well as Giovanni himself, and its powerful Rock and Ground-type moves put a lot of raid Pokémon in their place as well.
Initially incredibly rare due to pseudo-legendary spawn rates, a well-timed Community Day even turned Metagross into a relatively uncommon Pokémon
A prime defender with plenty of beef behind its blows, this isn't going to help you solo raids within the time limit, but it will serve as a great counter against many Pokémon while being durable enough to withstand some serious blows. It's still a great raid monster to keep in your collection, but it's a particularly great Team GO Rocket Leader counter thanks to its survivability.
Eeveelutions will always have a special part to play in Pokémon GO. They're relatively common, don't take much candy to evolve, and you can mostly control the evolution you get—at least when it comes to Sylveon.
While Glaceon is still a must-have, when it comes to the emerging Dragon meta and the power of Dark-type Pokémon, Fairy-types like Syvleon can really help. If you have the time to get a bunch of these, you'll be all set to take on the game's various Dragon-type raids.
We'll keep adding to this list as time goes on, but for now, this Pokémon GO best Pokémon list should give you an idea of where to focus your efforts. It's a gargantuan game, and relying on random spawns out in the wild won't get you far these days.
Instead, use whatever means necessary to start taking on raid Pokémon. They're the best source of critters you'll commonly see topping the Pokémon GO best Pokémon tier list. For more on Niantic's video game adventures, check out what we know about Peridot. It could be just what you'll looking for if you're more into collecting than battling.