Trainers were frustrated by the use of Elite Raids.

Pokémon GO players have taken to social media in droves to complain about the choice of Elite Raids for the return of Mega Rayquaza. This powerful Pokémon is one of the most popular in the game, and had not been seen in the game since Pokémon GO Fest 2023.

Initially, when a Mega Rayquaza Raid Day was announced, it was believed it would reflect other recent Raid Days. Groudon, Kyogre and Heracross have all been the focus of Raid Days recently. For these Pokémon, standard Mega Raids were used.

Using Elite Raids was an "awful idea" say Pokémon GO Trainers

But, for Mega Rayquaza, Mega Raids were used in Pokémon GO. This means there were a few key differences. Firstly, Elite Raids are harder. That means more Trainers are needed to win the Raid, which hurts smaller groups.

Secondly, Elite Raids are in person only. That means you can't use a Remote Raid Pass to join raids all over the world. That means you can't do as many Raids, and smaller groups and rural players can't call in help from afar to take the Raid down.

Additionally, not all Gyms spawn Elite Raids. Other Raid Days spawn a Mega Raid, at every Gym, every 30 mins. That allows players to rip through Raids doing potentially 10+ in an hour, for three hours. More Raids means more Mega Energy, more XP and Stardust, more chances for a Shiny and more chances to get good IVs.

Some Trainers don't have an 'Elite Raid' Gym nearby. Additionally, with Elite Raids spawning in four waves, each eligible Gym only spawns one Raid per day. Again, this limits the amount of Raids players can do, especially rural players.

Reddit full of frustrated Trainers

The front page of the r/pokemongo Reddit was covered in threads with hundreds of upvotes slamming the decision.

Now, Niantic do have a duty to keep the game balanced. At least until Mega Mewtwo, Mega Rayquaza is the best Pokémon in the game by some distance. A comparison to the likes of Mega Heracross is moot, when the value of the Pokémon is so different. The use of Elite Raids is clearly designed to keep Pokémon GO balanced and not oversaturated with the very best Pokémon.

Additionally, Mega Rayquaza was avaliable in standard Mega Raids last summer.

However, Pokémon GO needs to be accessible for all Trainers no matter where they live. A one day event that Trainers struggle to access and make the most of is not ideal. A review of where Elite Raids can spawn, or an increase in the amount of days they appear, could help improve the experience for Trainers.

The swathe of complaints needs addressing by Niantic before a future Mega Raid event. Pokémon GO is an incredibly fun game designed to get Trainers outside. If events are not fun and accessible, that won't happen.

Did you do any Elite Raids in Pokémon GO today? Let us know.