Pokemon GO Thanksgiving 2021: Hoopa Unbound rules, catch, and release!

Pokemon GO has a set of events and in-game happenings going on during the long weekend of Thanksgiving, 2021. This series of events includes no less than one of the most powerful Pokemon in the Pokemon universe: Hoopa Unbound! We'll also have some raid hour action, Cresselia, lots of blue-colored Pokemon (like Squirtle with sun glasses from the Squirtle Squad) and a few bonus gift package balloons from Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran has officially made his transition from normal massively-successful musical artist to digital gaming universe performer courtesy of Niantic's own Pokemon GO. His appearance in the game isn't quite the same as artists that have appeared in games like Fortnite or Roblox. Instead, you'll hear the song Overpass Graffiti playing in the game at night from November 22nd until November 30.

You'll also be able to watch Ed Sheeran play several songs from his new album by tapping the link in the News section of the Pokemon GO game UX. Until then, we'll see a set of bonus gift balloons floating around (tap them for free stuff), and some special hoodies in the in-game shop.

Raid Bosses

Back in mid-November we started seeing Mega Lopunny in Mega Raids across the planet! This Thanksgiving Weekend will be the perfect opportunity for you and yours to find a spot where you can all gang up and have a fighting chance at actually defeating this big-time monster. Mega Lopunny will leave the raid circuit again starting on December 1, 2021.

You'll also see Cresselia in raid battles until December 1. Both Cresselia and Mega Lopunny have the potential to be Shiny Pokemon. Cresselia caught during this period of battle will know the move Grass Knot! On Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 6:00 PM Local Time there'll be a Cresselia Raid Hour.

Starting November 26, there'll be a Raid Hour event every evening starting at 6PM local time. November 26 will feature Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. November 27 will feature Heatran. November 28 will have a Raid Hour with Regirock, Regice, and Registeel. The November 29 Raid Hour event will include Virizion, Terrakion, and Cobalion.

Spotlight Hours and Bonuses

On the same days as the special Raid Hour events listed above, Pokemon GO will feature one Spotlight Hour per day, at an odd time. Generally we see a Spotlight Hour at 6PM, but because we're having Raid Hour events then, we're getting Spotlight Hours at noon until 1PM, local time.

The Spotlight Hour events will include potentially Shiny Pokemon each day, and each event will feature a Pokemon you'll probably already have captured 10-billion of before now, save the last. On November 26 we'll see a Spotlight Hour for Rattata, November 27 will have an event for Sableye. There'll be a Pikachu Raid Hour on November 28, and November 29 will feature a Raid Hour with Bedlum!

From November 26 at 10AM local time until November 29 at 8PM local time, we'll see two all-encompassing bonuses. One bonus delivers 2x Transfer Candy, the other gives you 2x Catch XP. As such, you'll want to go ahead and catch and release Pokemon like you've never done before!

Hoopa Unbound

Back when we ran through the release of Furfrou, we saw the dawn of functionality for a new mechanic in Pokemon GO. That mechanic was the form change, or just "Forms" if you wish. Changing forms in Pokemon GO is similar to evolution – but a form change can be changed back, while an evolution is forever.

After you complete the season-long Misunderstood Mischief Special Research story, you'll have access to the new Mischief Unbound Special Research. You will have until Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 9:59 AM local time to complete the research you've been working on for weeks – Misunderstood Mischief. If you do, you gain access to Mischief Unbound for free.

If you do not complete Misunderstood Mischief by December 1, you will need to purchase access to Mischief Unbound in the in-game shop for $4.99 USD. But here's the catch – if that wasn't enough of a catch already – you'll need to purchase that ticket by December 1.

So if you're at a point where you're progressing through Misunderstood Mischief, but you know there's no way you'll get through the whole thing by December 1, you'll be able to purchase access to Mischief Unbound. But you'll still need to complete Misunderstood Mischief in order to complete Mischief Unbound.

In other words – Misunderstood Mischief will sill be accessible after the cut-off date of December 1. It's just that if you want to have access to Mischief Unbound, you'll either need to complete Misunderstood Mischief OR purchase access to Mischief Unbound before December 1, 2021.

Once you complete both Misunderstood Mischief and Mischief Unbound, you'll be able to allow Hoopa (Confined) to change form to Hoopa (Unbound)! This form change requires 50 Hoopa Candy and 10,000 Stardust (Bound to Unbound), or 10 Hoopa Candy and 2,000 Stardust (Unbound to Bound).

Completing Mischief Unbound also gives you a special fancy Hoopa T-Shirt. You could also just buy said shirt from the shop after the event ends – up to you!