One criticism levelled at Pokémon Go is that it rewards players who live in cities. For rural players, it can be hard or impossible to organise enough people to battle raid bosses. This means they don't get the chance to catch powerful and rare Pokémon, nor get the rewards for beating the raid boss.

Research offers great rewards for everyone, though, including Pokémon encounters, XP, Stardust, incubators and more. 

There are two types of research: Field and Special. Let's explore each in turn.

How do I do Field Research in Pokémon Go?

To get stared, tap the new binoculars icon near the bottom right corner, but it will be Professor Willow to begin with. You'll be taken to the Research screen which is divided into two tabs, one for each type.

Pokémon Go Research guide

Field Research needs to be gathered by spinning PokéStops. You can get one task per day from each PokéStop, and gyms don't count. There's no limit to how many you can complete, but you'll have to go to other PokéStops to get those tasks.

Pokémon Go Research guide

Tasks can vary from battling in a gym to catching a Pokémon of a certain type, and reward you with some berries or a Pokémon encounter.

That's pretty easy, but harder challenges yield better rewards. You might get some rare candy, otherwise only available to Trainers who successfully defeat a raid boss.

Similarly, win three raids, you're guaranteed a Technical Machine. Another of the tasks is to land three Great throws in a row, a challenge even for experienced players.

Pokémon Go Research guide

The system means you can take on the challenges you want to get the rewards you want.

That's right: you don't have to complete challenges in order, nor do you have to do every single one you receive from a PokéStop (unlike the frustrating egg-hatching system). A little bin icon at the top-right of each challenge is there so you can discard those you don't want.

Pokémon Go Research guide

You can have up to three Field Research tasks in the list, and progress through them at your own pace: there's no need to win those three gym battles on the same day. Equally, there's no limit to how many challenges you can complete each day.

Some quests have specific requirements, so you may have to reach a certain level in the game, or have a specific medal for that type of Pokémon.

How do I collect stamps and get a Research Breakthrough?

At the top of the Field Research screen is your Research Progress bar. This relates to Field Research and is nothing to do with Special Research: the interface is a little less confusing here.

So long as you complete one challenge on a particular day and tap on 'Claim Reward' you'll receive a stamp. Get seven stamps and you'll make a 'Research Breakthrough', which brings more rewards including Stardust, items (berries and more) and the appearance of a Pokémon which you have the chance to catch, and it could be a Legendary. Word has it that it's Moltres.

Unlike the daily and weekly bonus streaks, you don't have to collect a stamp every day. If you miss a day, your progress is not reset as it is with the catching and spinning PokéStops streaks.

The timer resets at midnight, so you can collect one stamp at 11.50pm and another at 00.01am the next day.

Pokémon Go Research guide

Once you've collected all seven stamps, you'll be able to tap Claim Reward! The first time you do this, you'll be awarded:

  • 3000XP
  • 2000 Stardust
  • Encounter with Moltres (100% catch rate)

Pokemon Go Research guide

Pokémon Go Research tips & tricks

Here are some tips for completing research tasks:

  • You can spin the same PokéStop and it will count towards 'Spin x PokéStops'
  • If you receive the same task from multiple PokéStops, completing it once lets you claim the reward on all.
  • You can't get research tasks from gyms
  • Only Field Research tasks award daily stamps, not Special Research
  • If you must battle in multiple raids, you can lose the fight (wait until time runs out) and then battle again to increment the number of battles
  • You can delay claiming a reward (field research) in order to get a stamp on a subsequent day
  • Tasks are not awarded if your bag is full 
  • If you have to land a 'nice' throw, a 'great' or 'excellent' throw will also count
  • Pokémon Go+ / Gotcha catches will count towards relevant catch tasks

Also check out these pro tips for using the search facility in your Pokémon box.

There are currently 16 types of Research which include:

  • Catching a Pokémon
  • Using a berry when catching
  • Spinning unique PokéStops
  • Hatching an egg
  • Favouriting a Pokémon
  • Transferring a Pokémon
  • Walking with your buddy and getting a buddy candy
  • Winning gym battles
  • Levelling up a badge
  • Completing raid battles
  • Evolving Pokémon
  • Landing Great throws
  • Levelling up your trainer

Reward for completing quests include:

  • XP
  • Rare candy
  • Stardust
  • Items (berries, potions, incubators)
  • Technical Machines
  • Pokémon encounter
  • More quests
  • Avatar clothing

How do I catch Mew in Pokémon Go?

On the other tab in the new section is Special Research. This is given by Professor Willow who, thus far, hasn't really been present in Pokémon Go aside from his very basic guide for beginners.

Special Research is more involved than Field Research, and works more like an interactive eight-part story.

Like Field Research, tasks will vary in difficulty. One of the aims behind Research is to help new players get to grips with all the features of the game. So initial Special Research tasks include transferring five Pokémon to the Professor, spinning five PokéStops and catching 10 Pokémon.

These quests all reward you with 500XP, but are grouped and must be completed before you can progress to the part 2. When you've claimed all three rewards, scroll down and collect the bonus for completing that part, which includes a three-use incubator:

Pokémon Go Research guide

Currently there are eight parts, and you have to make it through all before you get a chance to catch Mew. Don't worry: the catch rate for Mew is 100% (just like a shiny Lugia) so it won't run away.

A Mythical Discovery: tasks and rewards

Here are the tasks you need to complete in each stage on A Mythical Discovery:

Stage 1

  • Spin 5 PokéStops
  • Catch 10 Pokémon
  • Transfer 5 Pokémon

Rewards: 10x Great Balls, 1x incubator, 3x lure modules

Stage 2

  • Earn 2 candies walking your buddy
  • Make 10 Great throws
  • Hatch 3 eggs

Rewards: 2000 Stardust, 3x incense, 20x Great balls

Stage 3

  • Reach level 15
  • Battle in a gym 2 times
  • Battle in 2 raids

Rewards: 1x Fast Technical Machine, 1x Charged Technical Machine, 2x Star Pieces

Stage 4

  • Earn a Silver Kanto medal
  • Evolve 20 Pokémon
  • Earn 5 candies walking your buddy

Rewards: 4000 Stardust, 3x lure modules, 20x Great balls

Stage 5

  • Catch Ditto
  • Make 20 Great throws
  • Catch 10 Ghost-type Pokémon

Rewards: 1x Premium raid pass, 1x lucky egg, 15x revives

Stage 6

  • Reach level 25
  • Battle 10 raids
  • Evolve a Magikarp (400 candies required)

Rewards: 6000 Stardust, 5x rare candy, 3x incense

Stage 7

  • Catch 50 Pokémon using a berry
  • Make 1 Excellent curve throw
  • Earn a Gold Kanto medal

Rewards: 8000 Stardust, 5x Ultra balls

Stage 8

  •  Catch Mew

Rewards: 10000 Stardust, 1x Super Incubator, 20x Mew candy