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How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go: Best counters

how to beat Arlo in Pokemon Go
(Image credit: Niantic)

Knowing how to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go is far from being the easiest task in the game. Arlo is one of the most challenging Team GO Rocket Leaders, and by defeating him, along with Sierra and Cliff, you will get one step closer to beating Giovanni, the game’s biggest boss. 

So whether you’re here because you’re facing Arlo for the first time, or if you're searching for tips for a rematch, we've got you covered. Below, we've prepared a guide on all the best Pokémon counters against Arlo’s line-up, including specific Pokémon suggestions, types, moves, and more. 

Make sure that you're prepared for a challenge though since Arlo is not your average Team Go Rocket Grunt. It's also worth noting that only Trainers of Level 8 or above can face Team Go Rocket Leaders, including Arlo.

WARNING: Please take extreme caution when playing Pokémon Go and be aware of your surroundings, especially if you're using the app next to open roads, bicycle paths, and steep drops.

Other Pokémon Go guides:

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go: Best counters quick guide

Arlo's possible Pokémon line-upRecommended Pokémon line-up
Venonat Fire-type: Reshiram/Charizard; Psychic-type: Mewtwo/Alakazam
CrobatPsychic-type: Mewtwo/Deoxys; Ice-type: Darmanitan/Mamoswine
UrsaringFighting-type: Blaziken/Machamp/Lucario/Hitmonchan
ManectricGround-type: Garchomp/Landorus/Groudon/Excadrill
ScizorFire-type: Reshiram/Charizard/Blaziken/Volcarona
MagnezoneGround-type: Garchomp/Landorus/Groudon/Excadrill
VileplumeFire-type: Reshiram/Charizard; Psychic-type: Mewtwo/Alakazam

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go: Finding Arlo

Locating Team GO Rocket Leaders

Every once in a while in Pokémon Go, you'll have the chance to battle Team Go Rocket Grunts, and whenever you defeat one, they will drop an item called the Mysterious Component. If you manage to collect six of these, you'll be able to combine them and craft a Rocket Radar. 

This handy item reveals the location of any Leader Hideouts that are in close proximity to you. Once you've equipped your Rocket Radar, tap the Rocket Radar button (located below the compass on the Map View) to view the Leader Hideout locations.

As shown in one of the screenshots below, the Leader Hideouts resemble regular PokéStops on the map. And once you're nearby, one of the Team Go Rocket Leaders will be standing right by the Leader Hideout.

Before you fight, keep in mind that Leaders are a lot tougher to beat than regular Team Go Rocket Grunts, so make sure that you line up your best Pokémon and that they're at full health before the fight. 

Once you've defeated a Leader, your Rocket Radar will disappear, so you will need to either purchase a new one from the Shop or locate and combine six more Mysterious Components in order to battle more Leaders. 

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - locating Team Go Rocket Leaders

(Image credit: Niantic)

Locating Arlo

Now that you've got your Rocket Radar, Arlo has a chance to appear on your map, along with Cliff and Sierra, the other two Team Rocket Go Leaders. The good news is that beating Arlo won't be the most challenging part of the game, especially when compared to a potential battle with the final boss of the game, Giovanni. 

Defeating Arlo is one of the main steps towards completing the "Looming in the Shadows" quest, which in the end leads you to Giovanni. Beating him should grant you 1000 XP.

To take a look at the Research tasks, first, tap the binoculars icon, select the "Special" tab and find the "Looming in the Shadows" research task.

Ready? Alright, now let's talk strategy. 

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - looming in the shadows

(Image credit: Niantic)

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go: Best counters complete guide

Best Arlo counters

Now that you've located Arlo, prepare for trouble, because this battle is among the hardest ones in the game. Beating this guy won't be easy, as not only will he have a strong Pokémon line-up, but he can also, similar to other trainers, use protect shields to absorb two of your charged attacks.

One thing to note, however, is that the game is regularly updated and Arlo's Pokémon line-up may change fairly frequently, but we've prepared a complete guide according to the latest info available. 

Similar to other Pokemon trainers, Arlo uses three Pokémon in his Trainer battle. However, his possible line-up includes up to seven different Pokémon, and only his first choice is the one that's predictable. However, by being aware of the remaining six Pokémon, you won't be taken by surprise. 

As of July 2021, Arlo's first choice for the fight will always be his Venonat, followed by one of these three Pokémon: Crobat, Ursaring, or Manectric. 

Arlo's third and final choice will be either a Scizor, Magnezone, or a Vileplume. 

Below, you'll find advice on all the best counters for all of Arlo's Pokémon as well as suggestions on moves and attacks. 

Best Venonat & Vileplume counters

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - Venonat & Vileplume counters

(Image credit: Niantic)

Since Venonat is a dual Bug/Poison-type Pokémon, the best way to beat it is to bring either a Fire, Psychic or Flying-type Pokémon. Our recommended line-up includes Reshiram, Charizard, Mewtwo and Alakazam. Venonat typically uses attacking moves such as Bug Bite and Signal Beam, which should prove to be ineffective against the above Pokemon. 

Vileplume will be one of the three Pokémon that Arlo may send out as his third choice. It is a dual Grass/Poison-type Pokémon that can demonstrate a really powerful offence, including attacks such as Razor Leaf and Solar Beam. The good news is that Vileplume is weak against the same Pokemon as Venonat, so that's one less thing to worry about. 

Best Pokémon choiceTypeMoveset
ReshiramDragon/FireFire Fang/Overheat
CharizardFire/FlyingFire Spin/Blast Burn
MewtwoPsychicConfusion/Psystrike
AlakazamPsychicConfusion/Psychic

Best Crobat counters

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - Crobat counters

(Image credit: Niantic)

Crobat is a dual Poison/Flying-type Pokémon and one of the three Pokemon that Arlo may pick as his second choice for the battle.

His best attacks are Air Slash and Sludge Bomb. The best way forward is to bring either a Rock, Ice, Psychic or Electric-type Pokémon to the battle. We recommend picking one of Mewtwo, Deoxys (both Psychic-type) or Darmanitan (Galarian Standard), Mamoswine (both Ice-type). And if you don't have any of those, no need to worry, feel free to pick the strongest Rock, Ice, Psychic or Electric-type Pokémon that you have. 

Best Pokémon choiceTypeMoveset
MewtwoPsychicConfusion/Psystrike
DeoxysPsychicZen Headbutt/Hyper Beam
Darmanitan - Galarian StandardIceIce Fang/Avalanche
MamoswineIce/GroundMud-Slap/Avalanche

Best Ursaring counters

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - Ursaring counters

(Image credit: Niantic)

Since Ursaring is a Normal-type Pokémon, the best way to beat it is to bring a Fighting-type such as Machamp, Lucario, Hitmonchan or Blaziken. Ursaring may be one of the three Pokémon that Arlo may bring to the table as his second choice for the battle. Careful - this Pokémon's moveset includes powerful attacks such as Counter and Hyper Beam.

Best Pokémon choiceTypeMoveset
MachampFighting Counter/Cross Chop
LucarioFighting/SteelCounter/Power-Up Punch
HitmonchanFighting Counter/Power-Up Punch
BlazikenFighting/FireCounter/Blaze Kick

Manectric & Magnezone counters

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - Manectric & Magnezone counters

(Image credit: Niantic)

The last of the second three potential Pokémon is Manectric, an Electric-type Pokémon that is prone to weakness against Ground moves. Therefore, for this battle, we're advising you to bring Garchomp, Landorus, Groudon, or Excadrill. Though no worries if you don't have those specific Pokémon, feel free to pick the strongest Ground-type Pokemon from your inventory, provided they have Ground-type moves for you to take advantage of. 

Similar to Manectric, Magnezone (Steel/Electric-type) is also weak against Ground-type Pokémon. Additionally, Fire and Fighting-type Pokémon will also be effective against Magnezone, though admittedly not as much as Ground-type. Magnezone may be one of the last three Pokémon that Arlo picks.

Best Pokémon choiceTypeMoveset
GarchompDragon/GroundDragon Tail/Outrage
LandorusGround/Flying Extrasensory/Earth Power
GroudonGroundDragon Tail/Earthquake
ExcadrillSteel/GroundMud-Slap/Earthquake

Scizor counters

How to beat Arlo in Pokémon Go - Scizor counters

(Image credit: Niantic)

Last but certainly not least is Scizor, a dual Bug/Steel Pokémon that Arlo may pick as his third choice for the battle. Scizor's best moves include Fury Cutter and Iron Head. He is particularly weak against Fire-type Pokémon, such as Reshiram, Charizard, Blaziken, and Volcarona. 

With any of these Pokémon in your line-up, using the moves we recommend, you should easily be able to beat Arlo and get one step closer to fighting Giovanni. 

Best Pokémon choiceTypeMoveset
ReshiramDragon/FireFire Fang/Overheat
CharizardFire/FlyingFire Spin/Blast Burn
BlazikenFire/Fighting Counter/Blast Burn
VolcaronaBug/FireBug Bite/Overheat
Denise Primbet

Denise is a news writer at Tom’s Guide covering all things tech, gaming software/hardware, streaming, and more. She regularly produces short-form news articles as well as long-form content, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not live-streaming horror games on Twitch, she can be found exploring East London while playing Pokemon Go. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen. You can reach her at denise.primbet@futurenet.com.