Pokémon GO Special Research and Awards

Special Research is a story driven quest with as final award a (usually) mythical Pokémon.  Apart from special events, this  Pokémon can only be caught by completing all stages of the quest.

Quest one and two have eight stages, with three tasks to complete.  Quest three (only available during the Halloween 2018 event) has three stages.

Special Research Rules

  • In general, there is no time limit to start or complete any of the quests.  However, quests linked to an event, must be started during the event.
  • All quests are the same for all players.
  • To get started on the second quest (A Ripple in Time) you must have completed stage three of the first quest (A Mythical Discovery).
  • To get started on stage two of the third quest (A spooky Message) you must have caught both Mew and Celebi.

Awards for Completing Special Research

When you complete all 8 stages of the Special Research, you are awarded with an encounter with a mythical Pokémon. The following table documents the currently available reward Pokémon.

NumberQuestReward Pokémon
1A Mythical DiscoveryMew
2A Ripple in TimeCelebi
3A Spooky MessageSpiritomb

A Mythical Discovery

The reward for the quest “A Mythical Discovery” is the mythical Pokémon Mew.

Unfortunately, in the current meta game, Mew is a Pokédex entry without much use. Its base stats are ‘meh’. As a Psychic type it is vulnerable to Bug, Dark and Ghost attacks. It can learn a number of charged moves (Blizzard, Earthquake, Psychic, Focus Blast, Thunder, Fire Blast, Hyper Beam and Solar Beam) but the fast move is limited to Pound.

Nevertheless, finishing all 8 stages of the quest will give you a Pokémon that is not available by any other means.

StageTaskReward
1Spin 5 PokéStops500 XP
Catch 10 Pokémon500 XP
Transfer 5 Pokémon500 XP
After completion of Stage 1: 10 Great Balls, 1 Incubator, 3 Lure Modules
2Earn 2 Candy walking your buddy1000 XP
Make 10 Great Throws1000 XP
Hatch 3 Eggs1000 XP
After completion of Stage 2: 2,000 Stardust, 3 Incense, 20 Great Balls
3Reach Trainer Level 151500 XP
Battle in 2 Raids1500 XP
Battle in a Gym 2 times 1500 XP
After completion of Stage 3: 1 Fast TM, 1 Charge TM, 2 Star Pieces
4Earn the Kanto Silver Medal2000 XP
Evolve 20 Pokémon2000 XP
Earn 5 Candy walking your buddy2000 XP
After completion of Stage 4: 1 Premium Raid Pass, 1 Lucky Egg, 15 Revives
5Catch a Ditto2500 XP
Catch 10 Ghost-Type Pokémon2500 XP
Perform 20 Great Throws2500 XP
After completion of Stage 5: 1 Premium Raid Pass, 1 Lucky Egg, 15 Revives
6Reach Trainer Level 253000 XP
Evolve a Magikarp3000 XP
Perform 10 Raids3000 XP
After completion of Stage 6: 6,000 Stardust, 5 Rare Candy, 3 Incense
7Catch 50 Pokémon using a Berry3500 XP
Earn a Kanto Gold Medal3500 XP
Perform an excellent Curve Throw3500 XP
After completion of Stage 7: 8,000 Stardust, 5 Great Balls, Mew
8Catch Mew4000 XP
After completion of Stage 8: 10,000 Stardust, 1 Super Incubator, 20 Mew Candy

A Ripple in Time

The reward for the quest “A Mythical Discovery” is the mythical Pokémon Celebi.

StageTaskReward
1Power up Pokémon 5 times1000 XP
Battle in a Raid1000 XP
Battle in a Gym 5 times1000 XP
After completion of Stage 1: 10 Pokéballs, 1 Fast TM, 1 Super Incubator
2Make 3 new friends1500 XP
Evolve a Grass-type Pokémon1500 XP
Catch a Pokémon 3 days in a row1500 XP
After completion of Stage 2: 1,500 Stardust, 1 Sunstone, 1 Premium Raid Pass
3Reach level 252000 XP
Use a Sun Stone to evolve Gloom or Sunkern2000 XP
Hatch 9 eggs2000 XP
After completion of Stage 3: Eevee, King's Rock, Premium Raid Pass
4Walk 10 km with Eevee as your buddy to earn Candy2500 XP
Evolve Eevee into Espeon during the day2500 XP
Send 20 gifts to friends2500 XP
After completion of Stage 4: Eevee, 2,500 Stardust, 1 Metal Coat
5Walk 10 km with Eevee as your buddy to earn Candy3000 XP
Evolve Eevee into Umbreon at night3000 XP
Trade 1 Pokémon3000 XP
After completion of Stage 5: 1 Star Piece, 15 Pinap Berries, 1 Upgrade
6Visit PokéStops 7 days in a row3500 XP
Use 25 Pinap Berries while catching Pokémon3500 XP
Use items to evolve Pokémon 2 times3500 XP
After completion of Stage 6: 3,500 Stardust, 1 Dragon Scale, 5 Silver Pinap
7Catch 40 Grass- or Psychic-type Pokémon4000 XP
Earn a gold Johto medal4000 XP
Make an excellent Curve Ball Throw4000 XP
After completion of Stage 7: 8,000 Stardust, 5 Great Balls, Celebi encounter
8Catch Celebi
After completion of Stage 8: 5,500 Stardust, 1 Super Incubator, 20 Celebi Candy

A Spooky Message

This is the first quest that does not give you a mythical Pokémon.  The reward is Spiritomb.

This is also the first time-limited award: you have to start it during the 2018 Halloween event, although you can finish it afterwards. Catching these Dark and Ghost Pokémon might take a lot longer though!

If you lack Pokéballs or want to save the for “Catch 108 Pokémon” in stage 2 , you don’t really need to capture the Pokémon for the Stage 1 “Use 108 berries to catch Pokémon”.  Just throw a berry and run away counts for completion of the task!

StageTaskReward
1Catch 10 Ghost-type PokémonDuskull encounter
Land 8 Great throws1080 XP
Use 108 berries to catch a PokémonLickitung encounter
After completion of Stage 1: 10 Pokéballs, 1080 Stardust, 8 Silver Pinaps
2Catch 10 Dark-type PokémonMisdreavus encounter
Spin 8 Pokéstops you haven't visited before1080 XP
Catch 108 Pokémon
After completion of Stage 2: 10 Pokéballs, 1080 Stardust, 8 Silver Pinaps, encounter Spiritomb
3Catch Spiritomb3 X 1000 XP
After completion of Stage 3: 18 Spiritomb candies, 1080 Stardust

For those wondering what the link is with the number 108:

Spiritomb is associated with 108, because of the Buddhist New Year’s Eve tradition that helped inspire it. From Bulbapedia:

Spiritomb is based on a Jibakurei, a spirit bound to a single place. It is also based on a Buddhist tradition performed on New Year’s Eve in Japan. A bell is rung 108 times to chase away the 108 temptations in order to achieve Nirvana.

So Spiritomb was given Pokémon #108 in the Sinnoh Pokédex,  it got a weight of 108 kg, announced in its lore that it is a collection of 108 spirits and gave it Defense and Special  Defense stats of 108 each.

Lickitung is number 108 in the Kanto dex, hence the reward.

Now have fun and go out and catch those rewards!