An image of Team GO Rocket Leaders.

How to Beat Cliff in Pokémon GO

Have you defeated Cliff in Pokémon GO yet?

Team GO Rocket are the antagonists of Pokémon GO, and Cliff is one of their top executives. He is not only hard to find, but he might also even be harder to defeat. Since the Team GO Rocket Leaders were added to the game, players have struggled to beat them. Cliff is one of the strongest Leaders, so you will need a very good team of Pokémon to beat him.

Defeating Team GO Rocket Leaders will allow you to catch their Shadow Pokémon, so this gives players more incentive to battle them.

If you haven’t found or beaten this Team GO Rocket Leader yet, check out our quick guide on how to beat Cliff in Pokémon GO.


An image of Cliff in Pokémon GO.

There are three Team GO Rocket Leaders in the game: Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra. You will have to find and defeat all three before you can get to the Big Boss Giovanni. Beating the three Leaders can also help you with Research tasks from time to time.

After you defeat each Leader, you will have a chance to encounter a Shadow Pokémon to try and catch it. Before that, however, you will need to collect Mysterious Components from a bunch of Team GO Rocket Grunts. You will need those items to eventually form the item that located the Team GO Rocket Leaders on your map.

How to Find Him

An image of finding Cliff in Pokémon GO.

To find the Team GO Rocket Leaders, you need a Rocket Radar. Before that, you have to defeat six Team GO Rocket Grunts and get one Mysterious Component from each. You will then combine the six Mysterious Components to create a Rocket Radar.

Equip the Rocket Radar to find Team GO Rocket Hideouts on your map. There are three Leaders, so you have a one-in-three chance to find Cliff on the first Hideout you check. 

After you have created a Rocket Radar once, you will be able to buy it from the PokéShop in-game for 200 PokéCoins each. Don’t worry. You won’t lose your Rocket Radar even if you lose to a Team GO Rocket Leader.

How to Beat Cliff

An image of battling Cliff in Pokémon GO.

Cliff has a versatile team of Pokémon, so do not just focus on one type. However, for this Season, his first Pokémon will always be a Seedot, so you can rely on that information. His current team is composed of Seedot and then six possible choices for his second and third Pokémon.

For his second Pokémon, he will send out either a Hariyama, Kingler, or Poliwrath. The third Pokémon will be either Sharpedo, Torterra, or Tyranitar. These options rotate randomly, so you should be ready for any of them. You need to have Pokémon ready to counter all of those types, so you need a versatile team yourself.

Each Team GO Rocket Leader will have two shields to counter your two first Charge moves, so you need really strong first two Pokémons. Bring your strongest Pokémon but make sure they are not weak against Cliff’s team.

Here are Cliff’s possible Pokémons and how to beat each of them.


An image of Seedot in Pokémon GO.

Seedot is a Grass-type Pokémon, so it is weak to Fire, Flying, and Ice-types. This Generation 3 Pokémon is in its basic form. It evolves into Nuzleaf, which can then evolve into Shiftry using Candy or Rare Candy.

Known as the Acorn Pokémon, Seedot has a maximum Combat Power of 676, which is pretty strong for a basic form Pokémon. It is also very effective against Water, Ground, and Electric-type Pokémon.

It can have Bullet Seed and Grass Knot, which are good Grass-type moves, so try not to use any Water or Ground-type Pokémon against it. You will do well with a Flareon, Crobat, Infernape, or Darmanitan. Moves like Fire Spin, Blast Burn, Peck, and Sky Attack will deal massive damage against Seedot.


An image of Hariyama in Pokémon GO.

The evolution form of Makuhita, Hariyama, is a Generation 3 Pokémon known for its physical abilities. It can be powerful with its maximum Combat Power of 3198.

Hariyama is a Fighting-type Pokémon, so it will be weak against Fairy, Flying, and Psychic-types. Be careful not to use any Normal, Rock, or Dark-types because Hariyama will be very effective against them.

Try using Clefable, Rayquaza, or Togekiss if you have them. Air Slash, Aerial Ace, Psychic, and Confusion will be super strong against a Fighting-type Pokémon like Hariyama.


An image of Kingler in Pokémon GO.

Kingler, the first evolution form of Krabby, is a Water-type Pokémon. Water types are extremely vulnerable against Electric and Grass-type Pokémon, so make sure to have those ready.

Electivire, Venasaur, and Roserade are some of the more common Pokémon you can have. Make sure they have powerful moves like Thunder Shock, Razor Leaf, Solar Beam, or Frenzy Plant. You can take down Kingler very quickly with this strategy.


An image of Poliwrath in Pokémon GO.

Poliwrath is both a Water and Fighting-type Pokémon. You will notice that these are the same types as the last two Pokémon as well. This means that for Cliff’s second Pokémon, you will only need counters for Water and Fighting-types.

If you have any of the Pokémon to counter Hariyama or Kingler, you should be fine. Electric, Flying, and Grass-type moves will beat Poliwrath fairly quickly.


An image of Sharpedo.

Sharpedo is a Generation 3 Water and Dark-type Pokémon. Carvanha evolves into Sharpedo, which can eventually evolve into Mega Sharpedo. It is weak against Electric, Grass, and Fighting Pokémon.

If you have Venusaur, Electivire, Machamp, or Roserade, you should be fine. Prioritize Electric and Grass-type moves to deal a lot of damage on Sharpedo. Get these Pokémon, and you are halfway towards beating Cliff in Pokémon.


An image of Torterra.

Torterra is both a Grass and Ground-type Pokémon. It’s weak against Fire, Flying, and Ice-types, so try to have at least one of those on your team. Glaceon, Heatran, Altaria,  and Weavile are all good options. If you have Legendary Pokémon like Articuno and Ho-Oh, they will be super strong too.

Moves like Blizzard, Ice Shard, Avalanche, Incinerate, and Fire Spin will be highly effective against a Torterra.


An image of Tyranitar.

Tyranitar is both Rock and Dark-type. If you already brought a Fighting or Fairy Pokémon to counter Sharpedo, you can use that same one against Tyranitar. Machamp, Lucario, and Blaziken are all effective against it.

Counter is arguably the best move to use against Dark-types, so try to have it. If you don’t have that, you can look for Dynamic Punch or Close Combat too.

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