Team Rainbow Rocket (in Japanese: レインボーロケット団 Rainbow Rocket-dan, literally Rainbow Rocket Gang), also called Team RR, are a major antagonistic faction in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, serving as the main antagonistic faction of the post game story "Episode RR". They are a reincarnation of Team Rocket, lead by and composed of the Pokémon franchise's past villains, who plot to take over different alternate universes using Ultra Wormhole technology.
Trying to Take Over Festival Plaza
In the prologue to "Episode RR", Team Rainbow Rocket's grunts invade Festival Plaza, hacking the virtual world and redesigning the castle to sport a more sinister design. After this happens, Sophocles rushes over to the player's house, and alerts them to the invasion that has taken place. When Sophocles and the player enter the castle, they encounter a group of grunts, one of which proclaiming the castle now belongs to them. Sophocles realizes that the Plaza has been patches so that nobody can use their Pokémon while inside, although, while looking for a new solution, one of the grunts accidentally lets it slip that the player can use other people's Pokémon while in the Battle Agency. Sophocles reactivates the Agency, and, while the player battles one of the grunts, he hacks into the Plaza and restores his admin privileges. Upon returning, the grunts attempt to assault the player and Sophocles, but the latter bans them from Festival Plaza immediately (although the castle keeps its new design).
Invasion of Aether Paradise
After the player returns to the real world, they watch a broadcast featuring Lusamine, Faba and Wicke, Lusamine elaborating on the events with Necrozma on Poni Island. During the broadcast Faba slips away and an Ultra Wormhole suddenly rips open in the sky. A Team Rainbow Rocket grunt assaults the cameraman, and a mysterious figure states that the Aether Foundation's studies and technology will prove a great use to Team Rainbow Rocket. Soon afterwards, Lillie arrives and the player travels with her to Aether Paradise.
Upon arriving at Aether Paradise, Wicke tells Lillie and the player that Team Rainbow Rocket has taken over and kidnapped Lusamine for unknown reasons, also recalling the similarly named Team Rocket from the Kanto region. After dealing with some grunts, Lillie and the player find that Lusamine's mansion has been transformed into Team Rainbow Rocket's Castle. Faba then arrives and, to a disgusted Lillie, reveals that he has betrayed the Aether Foundation to Team Rainbow Rocket solely to further his own career. Lillie and the player engage him and an Aether Foundation employee in battle, resulting in an unconcerned Faba walking away and letting the two into the castle.
Upon entering the castle, Lillie makes her way to Lusamine's room and says they need to use the teleporter hidden inside, although the door leading to it is locked. On their way out of the room, Lillie and the player are confronted by two grunts, only for Guzma to appear and help them fight the grunts off. The grunts run off, opening two doors on their way out, and Lillie stays behind while the player sets out to explore the first floor of the castle. Along the way, the player fights with more grunts and will eventually encounter Archie and Maxie, who occupy different ends of the castle. Both explain they came from worlds where they achieved their respective goals; Archie used Kyogre to expand the sea while Maxie used Groudon to expand his world's landmass, and have been transported to this world after having done so. The player ends up defeating them in battle, opening the doors to the second floor of the castle in the process, and returns to the hallway, where Guzma is easily holding back two grunts with his hands. The grunts reveal that, in order to activate the teleporter in Lusamine's room, they must travel to the seconds floor. Archie and Maxie then walk in and, after getting over their initial surprise and realizing they came from other worlds, they immediately begin arguing with each other, only to suddenly vanish out of thin air.
The player heads off to explore the second floor, fighting more grunts along the way. The player encounters Cyrus, who claims he was engulfed by a mysterious shadow during his moment of victor and ended up on their world, asks them if this is the world without spirit he dreamed of creating. Regardless of their answer, Cyrus senses a powerful spirit within them, therefore realizing he is not in the world he created, before taking interest in their Rotom Pokédex and concluding that even it has spirit in their world. Resolving that he must remove the spirit of the player's world to bring it to a perfect state, Cyrus fights them and ends up losing. After Rotom suggests that the source of the player's strength comes from their friendship with their Pokémon, Cyrus promises he will not remove the spirit from the player's world and instead decides to focus on returning to his perfect world. He then gives them a Galactic Key so that they can access the teleporter in Lusamine's room.
The player also encounters Lysandre, who claims he fell unconscious after activating the ultimate weapon to destroy all but Team Flare and ended up on their world. He then has two grunts set up two buttons before forcing the player to choose one; one will unleash the ultimate weapon on the world and the other will deactivate it. No matter their choice, the player picks the activating button and Lysandre battles them to stall for time. Lysandre ends up losing and allows the player to deactivate the weapon and unlock one of the two seals needed to access the teleporter. He then wonders if things would have gone differently on his world if there was a trainer like the player on his world, but he quickly rejects the thought.
With the key and seals unlocked, the player returns to Lusamine's room, where they meet Ghetsis. Ghetsis ponders why he has been summoned, and concludes that he is to travel between worlds and liberate all Pokémon from people so that he can consolidate power in himself and rule all of existence. He also plots to use Team Rainbow Rocket's leader to achieve his goals, remarking that it a person with an evil nature will be easier to manipulate than a "freak without a human heart". He fights the player to prevent them from reaching Rainbow Rocket's leader and interfering with his plans, battling them. Upon his defeat, he is unable to accept losing and strikes down Lillie, threatening to harm her if the player does not surrender their Pokémon. Regardless of their choice, Colress arrives, revealing himself as the one who has been sending the villainous leaders back to their world, and rescues Lillie. Ghetsis, recognizing Colress, demands to known why he is opposing his plans, leading to Colress declaring, no matter the universe he hails from, he hates Ghetsis all together and returns him to his world.
Lillie and the player then use the teleporter are are greeted by the mastermind behind the invasion, Giovanni, who reveals his plan to use the Aether Foundation's resources to create an army of Ultra Beasts to take over all worlds, also intending to brainwash Lusamine into serving him. The player then fights Giovanni and his team (which includes a Mewtwo) and wins. Giovanni gracefully retreats, but promises the player that they will meet again, and that Team Rainbow Rocket will never fail. Colress reverts the mansion to its normal appearance following this, and he, Guzma, Lusamine, Lillie and the player celebrate their victory over Team Rainbow Rocket afterwards. Faba then remerges and attempts to suck up to Lusamine, although he gives himself away as a traitor and abruptly leaves, soon being demoted to a lowly intern as punishment later on. Watching the Aether Foundation from afar, Giovanni wonders which world he will unleash his schemes on next, before teleporting away.
- Giovanni - The founder and leader of the group, as well as the previous leader of Team Rocket. He uses a Dugtrio, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhyperior, and (presumably because of his use of Ultra Wormholes) a Mewtwo, which can Mega Evolve into either Mega Mewtwo Y (in Ultra Sun) or Mega Mewtwo X (in Ultra Moon) in battle. Notably, he is the only one of the villainous team leaders who is presumably not from an alternate universe.
- Archie - The leader of Team Aqua. He comes from an alternate universe in which he succeeded in eliminating Team Magma and used Kyogre's powers to expand the world's sea. He uses a Mightyena, Crobat, Muk, Sharpedo and Kyogre in battle.
- Maxie - The leader of Team Magma. He comes from an alternate universe in which he succeeded in eliminating Team Aqua used Groudon's powers to expand the world's land mass. He uses a Mightyena, Crobat, Weezing, Camerupt and Groudon in battle.
- Cyrus - The leader of Team Galactic. He comes from a world in which he was successful in removing emotions and spirit from the world. He uses a Houndoom, Honchkrow, Crobat, Weavile and Dialga (in Ultra Sun) or Palkia (in Ultra Moon) in battle.
- Ghetsis - The leader of Team Plasma. He comes from a world in which he succeeded in separating people from their Pokémon and taking over Unova, and secretly plots to use Giovanni so he can liberate all Pokémon and take over all of existence. He uses a Cofagrigus, Bouffalant, Bisharp, Hydreigon and Zekrom (in Ultra Sun) or Reshiram (in Ultra Moon) in battle.
- Lysandre - The leader of Team Flare. He comes from a world in which he succeeded in destroying all but Team Flare using the ultimate weapon. He uses a Mienshao, Honchkrow, Pyroar, Gyarados, which can Mega Evolve into Mega Gyarados, and Xerneas (in Ultra Sun) or Yveltal (in Ultra Moon) in battle.
- All Rainbow Rocket Grunts that can be fought during "Episode RR" only use Pokémon from the Kanto region.
- Team Rainbow Rocket is the only major antagonistic organization from the games that has yet to make an appearance in the anime or manga series.