Niantic has been teasing us with promises of legendary Pokémon since before the game even went live.
Now, a year after the game's initial launch, we'll finally be able to capture legendary Pokémon such as Mew, Mewtwo, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Lugia, and others.
How To Unlock Legendary Pokémon
Once they are unlocked, capturing legendary Pokémon will be a fairly simple, but time-consuming, task. High-level trainers will have the opportunity to take part in legendary raids which have the chance of dropping a legendary Pokémon upon their defeat. A recent trailer showed that these special raids would be by invitation only, but we have no details regarding how the invitations are handed out. Given the hype that surrounds legendary Pokémon, it would be a shame if these raids were restricted to high-level players since obtaining legendary Pokémon was a right of passage in the main games.
Of course, this all assumes that these legendary Pokémon are even unlocked. Our ability to capture these fan-favorites depends upon the skill and battle prowess of the trainers will who gather at Chicago's Grant Park to celebrate Pokémon Go's one-year anniversary. According to Niantic, these legendary creatures will only be unlocked if the trainers in Chicago are able to defeat them when they spawn at the anniversary event.
As Trainers around the world go out and explore their neighborhoods in search of Pokémon and Raid Battles, they can keep an eye out for unique Legendary Eggs appearing at Gyms. If Trainers and their team are able to successfully defeat a Legendary Raid Boss, they'll have the opportunity to catch a Legendary Pokémon of their own!
What If Trainers Fail?
While there's no doubt that there are some who would find it being forced to wait another year due to the failure of these trainers, we don't expect it to happen. Most of the people going to this event are going to be high-level trainers so they'll probably have little trouble in subduing which ever legendary Pokémon appears.
One other thing to note about legendary Pokémon is that, while they'll certainly be a big help in raids and collecting gym badges, they cannot be used to defend gyms. Presumably, this is for balance purposes though, to be honest, Pokémon Go's gym system has been plagued by balance issues since launch.