Raid Battles in Pokemon Go are highly cooperative, and it’s practically a requirement to play them with at least a few other players. But it’s not always clear how many other Pokemon Go gamers are planning to participate in a Raid Battle. So is there any way to find this out before spending your Raid Pass?
Unfortunately, no. There is not currently any way to see how many people are planning to participate in a Raid Battle before you spend your Raid Pass. The only real solution is to join a local Pokemon Go Facebook group where players make plans for Raid Battles, but one may or may not exist for your area depending on how populated it is.
In the game, what will happen is that you click on the raid and hit “battle,” at which point your Raid Pass is used. Only now can you see how many other people are sitting in the lobby waiting for the raid. You may spend the Raid Pass and then be lucky enough to find that a bunch of other players are ready to play alongside you, but you might also spend the pass and then enter a completely empty lobby.
This is an especially big issue because once you see that there’s no interest in a particular Raid Battle, it’s too late to get your Raid Pass back. The pass has now be used on that Raid Battle. If it’s a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Raid Battle, you theoretically could beat it on your own, but if it’s Tier 3 or Tier 4, going solo really won’t be possible.
Over this past week, the ability to search for a group of Raid Battle participants before spending your pass has become the number one most requested feature in Pokemon Go. At the very least, players would like the ability to get their Raid Pass back if they back out due to lack of interest before the battle begins.
This issue could also be mitigated if there were an in-game chat, which players could use in order to make plans for Raid Battles. Ingress, the previous augmented-reality mobile game developed by Niantic, did have a chat system, so it’s possible that this is something the company will add into Pokemon Go at a later date.