All About Pokemon Gyms
If you’re level 5 or above, you may have noticed a new feature in the game where you can battle for possession of Pokemon gyms. This adds a fun element to the game when playing with friends on the same team or an exciting challenge if you’re trying to take them down on your own. Below you can find an overview of how gyms work as well as a few quick tips for taking them over from other teams.
How Gyms Work
Pokemon Go gyms are where you can battle against other players with your Pokemon. Each gym is owned by a team (Valor, Instinct, or Mystic) and can change teams depending on who successfully “beats” the gym. Gyms can change teams in a matter of minutes or, if the team holding it is extremely strong, over a few days. Each gym also has a certain level depending on how much members of the team holding it “train.” (See section on Training below)
How To Battle A Gym
Once logged in and near a gym, simply click on the gym icon like you would a PokeStop. From there, you’ll see a screen that shows the Pokemon that are currently at that gym. If the gym is owned by the team that you are on (i.e. the gym is Red and you are Team Valor), you can only train (see section on Training below). However, if the gym is owned by a different team than yours, then you can battle it with up to 6 of your Pokemon.
Choose the six Pokemon that you think will do best against the gym’s current Pokemon. This is where CP and special attacks come in handy. You may have a Pokemon with a higher CP than the gym’s Pokemon but if it makes more sense to use a type advantage, you may want to go with a lower CP Pokemon that has a type advantage or a special attack that is super effective. Each trainer has their own battle style and you should play around with configurations to learn what works best for you.
PokeTip: What works best for a gym at one time may not work at a different gym or the next time you visit the same gym.
Battle the gym by clicking on the screen off your device to attack. If you want to try to dodge the other Pokemon’s attack, swipe to the left or right. I’ve had limited success with swiping but it seems to work very well for some trainers. As you attack, you’ll see a bar increasing underneath your Pokemon’s HP bar. This is your Pokemon’s special attack bar and once it hits a certain level (indicated by the size of the bar, you can use your Pokemon’s special attack by tapping and holding down on the screen.
If you are successful, a “Victory” message will flash on the screen and the Gym’s Pokemon will faint. Successfully defeating every opponent in a gym battle session will decrease the gym prestige. At the point when a gym’s prestige reaches zero, you can claim the gym and take control of it for your team.
How To Train
Training is similar to battling a gym but can also take a lot more time and tapping. Once you arrive at a gym and it is controlled by the team you are on, you can choose to “train.” Training is essentially battling a gym but with only one Pokemon instead of six and the result of gaining a victory over the other Pokemon is that the gym gains “Prestige XP.”
Prestige XP is what determines the level of a gym. o put it simply, the more prestige, the higher the level of the gym. Once you beat the gym, the screen will show you how much XP you earned and how much prestige the gym has earned from you “training.”
PokeTip: Even though this is considered training your Pokemon, their CP, HP, or Attacks will not increase because of gym battles.
If you succeed in increasing the prestige of the gym enough to reach another level, you may be able to add a Pokemon of your own to the gym for other trainers to battle and train against as well. This can be seen with an icon in the lower left corner of the screen when you click on a gym held by your team. On occasion, you may find a gym that has an empty slot when you first click on it and you’ll be able to add your own without adding to that gym’s prestige. However, it’s considered good form to help level that gym as well.
Battling an opposing team’s gym can be a lot easier than increasing the prestige of a friendly gym simply because you can use more Pokemon (6 vs 1). However, both are much easier when doing so with other trainers on your team battling/training at the same than trying on your own.
Make sure to have a steady supply of revives and potions when you’re battling and training. Battling can make your Pokemon faint if they lose and training can reduce them all the way down to 1 HP.
When you have a Pokemon in a gym, make sure to claim your rewards in the Store! There is a shield icon in the top right corner when you go to the PokeStore and it will reward you based on the number of Pokemon you have in gyms. Be careful though! You can only claim this reward once every 24 hours.