In the games
Team Galactic appears only in the Sinnoh game trio of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum; however, unlike their Generation III counterparts of Team Magma and Team Aqua, their impact on the storyline is not affected on which of the primary pair is being played until the end (varying in the Pokémon they summon), though their role does expand in the third version.
In Diamond and Pearl
Team Galactic first appears in Jubilife City, harassing Professor Rowan and his assistant, and trying to get them to give over Rowan's research, with the player returning from Oreburgh Cityjust in time to help. After this, the player's next encounter with the organization in the Valley Windworks, where Mars heads up a scheme to steal energy for use in their activities.
After she has been defeated in the Valley Windworks, Team Galactic's building in Eterna Cityremains as a stronghold on the western side of the region. Jupiter runs the show here, possibly using the area as a base closer to the central media in Jubilife so as to reduce travel time for new commercials for Team Galactic, though this is unknown.
Team Galactic's leader, Cyrus, is first encountered shortly after this, as the player travels through the south cave of Mt. Coronet for the first time, though he does not give his name, and it is not implied at all that he is in any way involved with the group. After this, Team Galactic remains low on the radar for a while, not appearing again until Veilstone City, where their base is set up. After the player beats Maylene, Rowan's assistant will ask for his or her help in defeating two Team Galactic Grunts (the same as those in Jubilife City), who have stolen her or his Pokédex and refuse to return it. Eventually, after Crasher Wake is defeated, a single Grunt loitering near the entrance to the Great Marsh will claim to have a bomb but run away when he is overheard. The player must chase him all the way to the entrance to Lake Valor , where he will finally battle, and will run off scared due to his defeat. In Celestic Town, the player defeats a Grunt who plans on wrecking the place, and is then confronted by Cyrus, who reveals that he is the leader of Team Galactic before issuing a threat and leaving. Team Galactic will then vanish from the radar until after the player has met with his or her rival, Rowan, and Rowan's assistant in the Canalave Library after Byron has been defeated, where it will be found that they are responsible for a huge explosion at Lake Valor, originally mistaken for a tremor. After Saturn is defeated here and Mars at Lake Verity, Team Galactic will block the player's way to Lake Acuity from its lakefront until Candice has been bested, and Jupiter will have defeated the rival before the player has arrived.
From here, Team Galactic's final push remains, with a showdown occurring in their Veilstone Headquarters after an initial infiltration, and then a trek to the highest part of Mt. Coronet to stop Cyrus from summoning Dialga or Palkia to destroy and remake the universe. Here the rival teams up with the player to defeat Mars and Jupiter together, while Cyrus and the legendary Pokémon remain as a final challenge. After the Pokémon is either defeated or captured, Cyrus will tell the player he is not finished and will try once again to remake the universe for himself, but will not be seen again afterward, with the assets of Team Galactic left to Saturn.
Several events change from Diamond and Pearl to Platinum, most significantly the fact that Cyrus appears at the beginning of the game at Lake Verity and again in Eterna City, and the addition of Charon to the cast of Team Galactic, introducing him at the same time as Mars. Looker, an international police officer, will tail Team Galactic throughout the game, but will not arrive in time to stop them at any point, as the player will have already defeated them.
Aside from this, not too many alterations are made. However, Cyrus will appear and battle with the player in Celestic Town, while Charon will assist with the penultimate stage of the Red Chain experiment. It is also stated that the plaques on the Eterna City statue of Dialga and Palkia in Diamond and Pearl have been removed by vandals, later revealed to be Team Galactic itself, for research by Cyrus. Through this the full text of the plaques can be discovered in the Team Galactic HQ later in the games.
Instead of only Dialga or Palkia being summoned at the Spear Pillar, Cyrus creates a duplicate of the Red Chain to harness both of their powers, knowing the instability it would cause in the universe. The plot extends past the Spear Pillar, with Giratina drawing Cyrus into the Distortion World to prevent the destruction of spacetime, and Cynthia and the player following after to make sure that the hole ripped in the fabric of spacetime by Giratina is closed so as to not destroy the world.
After Giratina is defeated or captured, Cyrus chooses to stay in the Distortion World, leaving Team Galactic's assets in Saturn's hands, as in the end of Diamond and Pearl. However, when the player journeys to the Battle Zone after becoming the Champion, Charon is revealed to still be plotting, with a plan to ransom money from the citizens of Sinnoh by threatening to cause Stark Mountain to erupt. Mars and Jupiter join him in this venture in hopes of finding Cyrus, but decide to quit when defeated by the player once more, and Charon goes alone into Stark Mountain's deepest cave. It is here where he is finally arrested by Looker, restoring Sinnoh's safety.
In the anime
Team Galactic made a second appearance in Journey to the Unown!, this time in an expanded role. Saturn brought two grunts with him to the Solaceon Ruins, using threeplates to obtain a strange cube inside. After thanking the Team Rocket trio who followed them inside, Saturn escaped using his Bronzor, leaving the ruins in chaos due to the enraged Unown.Unlike their predecessors Team Rocket, Team Magma, and Team Aqua, Team Galactic did not appear in the earliest segments of the Diamond & Pearl series. The group finally appeared in A Secret Sphere of Influence!, with Saturn and several Grunts appearing in a short cameo at the end of the episode. They had assigned theTeam Rocket trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth to steal the Adamant Orb from the Eterna Historical Museum.
In Enter Galactic!, Ash and his friends encountered the organization for the first time. Saturn again lead the mission, exposing the strange cube found in the ruins to the Veilstone meteorites and transforming it into the Spear Key. Team Galactic attempted to steal the meteorites as well, but after a brief battle between Saturn's Toxicroak and Brock's Croagunk, as well as many Golbat and Ash's Pikachu and Paul's Electabuzz, the team was forced to retreat.
Team Galactic made their biggest push yet in Losing Its Lustrous and Double Team Turnover!, when the other two Commanders, Marsand Jupiter, as well as leader Cyrus made their debuts. Cyrus appeared to be a rich businessman who was responsible for constructing most of the buildings in the Sinnoh region, while Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were carrying out yet another Team Galactic plot, this time to steal both the Adamant Orb as well as the Lustrous Orb from the Celestic Town Historical Research Center. Ash and Dawn revealed to Cyrus their encounters with Mesprit and Azelf at Lake Verity and Lake Valor, respectively, unknowing of his obsession with the lake guardians and the other legendary Pokémon of Sinnoh. The Galactic plot was successful, and the two Orbs were stolen, though Cyrus never revealed himself to be behind it all. It was also revealed that some of Veilstone's meteorites had been sent to the Fuego Ironworks as part of the Red Chain project.
In Steeling Peace of Mind! and Saving the World From Ruins!, yet another plot was carried out by the group. Mars led a group of grunts to Iron Island, where a shrine to Dialga and Palkia was located. Using it and the Spear Key, an electromagnetic beam that disturbed the Steel types that inhabit the island was blasted at Mt. Coronet. Ash and his friends, as well as Riley, his Lucario, andBarry, were able to destroy the machine that Mars was using, though Team Galactic's scan of Mt. Coronet remained at 60%. Charonalso debuted in the latter of the two episodes; however, it was only in a cameo, and he did not have a speaking role.
In Frozen on Their Tracks!, they were apparently behind disrupting the alignment of railroad tracks leading to Lake Acuity; this caused a slight delay in the trip Ash and his friends were taking to the lake, as well as raising Looker's suspicions.
Team Galactic made another appearance in Gateway to Ruin!, where they searched inside of Mt. Coronet's caves for ruins that would lead them to the Spear Pillar. Saturn and Charon led this venture, and Looker as well became involved. Charon and Saturn were forced to leave empty-handed, as the ruins they had found were not the ones leading to the Spear Pillar.
Team Galactic's plans finally came to a head in Unlocking the Red Chain of Events!, where Jupiter and Charon completed the Red Chain that would be instrumental in taking control of Dialga and Palkia. Pokémon Hunter J was then hired by Cyrus to capture the lake guardians, and although she was successful in handing them over to Team Galactic, her ship was destroyed by Future Sight immediately after, leaving her fate unknown.
Now with the power of the lake guardians and the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs, Cyrus, Saturn, Mars, and Charon entered the Spear Pillar, with Cyrus finally realizing his dream, taking control of Dialga and Palkia with the Red Chain. With Jupiter staying behind as a guard, Ash, Dawn, Brock, Cynthia, and Looker easily caught up to the group, arresting her and advancing into the Spear Pillar themselves.
Dialga and Palkia's power opened a portal to another world, which would expand outward and consume the old one. Cyrus then revealed to Saturn and Mars that he had no intention of bringing them with him to this new world. After Dialga and Palkia were freed, the portal began to close and a desperate Cyrus jumped into the portal and never was seen again. Just in time, Ash, Dawn, and Brock helped the lake guardians to calm the two legendary dragons and save Sinnoh, while Mars and Saturn were arrested by Looker and Charon nowhere to be found. With the Adamant and Lustrous Orbs recovered, three of the Commanders arrested, Charon gone, and Cyrus missing, Team Galactic was finished and their plans to destroy Sinnoh were finally brought to an end.
- Team Galactic make their first appearance in Brian and the Eeveelution Family play Jumanji.