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Pokemon Go GymSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

While many aspects of Pokémon Go are fairly straight forward, such as finding and catching Pokémon and spinning Pokéstops for items, the Gym system is a little complicated and has changed quite a bit since Pokémon Go first launched. Every aspect from how you join Gyms to how you defend Gyms, how you attack Gyms, to how you get Stardust, Poké Coins, items, and — yes! — Candy can be confusing to keep track of. Fortunately, we've done the research and tested out every aspect of Pokémon Go Gyms. Here's what you need to know!

Pokémon Go Raid Battle Guide: Everything you need to know!

TL;DR: The current Gym system in bullet points

  • You can join any empty Gym at any time.
  • You can only join a maximum of 20 Gyms at any one time.
  • Gyms have 6 slots.
  • Gyms can only have one of each species of Pokémon on them at any given time. So, if you add a Blissey, no one else can add a Blissey to the same Gym.
  • Gym order is based on order joined. First in, first to battle, potentially first out.
  • There's no more prestiging (training). If a Gym is empty or belongs to your team, and one of the 6 slots is open, you can join it. If there's no slot, you can't.
  • Pokémon in Gyms have a Motivation meter that looks like a heart.
  • Pokémon lose Motivation the moment they're put in Gyms but the rate at which Motivation decays scales along with the Pokémon's max CP ranging from 1-10% with higher CP Pokémon decaying faster than lower.
  • Pokémon also lose roughly 28% Motivation for their first two losses.
  • The third loss in a row kicks a Pokémon out of the Gym.
  • You can increase a Pokémon from the same team's Motivation, including your own, by feeding it a Pinap, Nanab, or Razz Berry, or fill it up completely by feeding it a new Golden Razz Berry.
  • You can keep feeding normal Berries, even after it's full, until its been fed 10 Berries. You can feed up to 10 Pokémon up to 10 Berries each within 30 minutes.
  • There is no limit to the number of Golden Razz Berries you can feed a Pokémon in a Gym.
  • When you feed a Pokémon a berry, including your own, you get 20 Stardust, 20 XP, and, occasionally, a Candy of that Pokémon's type.
  • You can feed berries remotely to any Gym with one of your Pokémon on it.
  • You can attack any rival Gym within range at any time.
  • You still get a Battle Team of 6 Pokémon to attack with.
  • You can save your favorite Battle Teams for easy access at any time.
  • When you defeat a rival Pokémon, it loses Motivation and CP.
  • When its Motivation and CP get reduced to zero, and you defeat it, it gets kicked out of the Gym.
  • If you kick all the Pokémon out of a Gym, you can take over the Gym for your team.
  • Pokémon accumulate one Poké Coin per 10 minutes when they're in a Gym.
  • You can only collect Poké Coins when your Pokémon gets kicked out of a Gym.
  • You can only collect a maximum of 50 Poké Coins a day no matter how many Poké Coins your Pokémon have accumulated or how many are kicked out of a Gym on any given day.
  • A day starts at midnight, so you can get 50 coins at 11:59 pm, and another 50 at midnight.
  • You can spin the Photo Disc on a Gym once every 5 minutes to receive items, just like a PokéStop.
  • You get 2-4 items per spin, with a bonus item when you spin a Gym controlled by your team.
  • Spinning Gyms counts towards your daily streak bonuses.
  • The first time you spin a Gym on any given day, you also get your free Raid Pass for the day.
  • Pokémon Go Plus can spin Gyms just like it can PokéStops.
  • You get a Gym badge for every Gym you interact with.
  • It takes 500 points to get a bronze badge, 4,000 to get a silver badge, and 30,000 to get gold.
  • The most efficient way to get Gym points is to be in a Gym for long periods (1440 a day) and/or fight in a lot of Raids at the Gym (1000 per Raid).
  • You can see all your Gyms on the Map view.
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What happened to the old Gyms?

The old Gyms were temporarily disabled on June 19, 2017, and over the next few hours, all the Pokémon on them were sent home, at full health.

Following that, Pokémon Go pushed an app update for iOS and Android, and, on June 22, 2017, the new system went live.

So, if you're playing now, you're playing with the new Gyms.

What do Gyms look like?

Pokemon Go Gyms screenshotsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Gyms look like domed arenas perched on top of towers. They start rather short but, when enough Pokémon are added to them, they grow and become much more substantial. The arena rises higher and flags showing the symbol of the controlling team drop down to fill the space. An empty Gym will be white and silver, but once a team has taken over a Gym, the colors will change to yellow, blue, or red to reflect Team Instinct, Mystic, or Valor respectively.

How do you put your Pokémon in a Gym to claim or help defend it?

Pokemon Go adding Pokemon to GymsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

The method for getting into a Gym hasn't changed. If a Gym is empty, or controlled by your team but still has a slot open:

  1. Approach a Gym until you're within range. It has to be either empty or controlled by your team, with at least one slot available for you to join it.
  2. Tap on the Gym.
  3. Tap the Add button.
  4. Choose the Pokémon you want to add.
  5. Tap Yes to confirm you want to leave your Pokémon at the Gym.

Your Pokémon will remain on the Gym until it loses all it's motivation and gets defeated. At that point, it'll make its way back to you, hopefully with a chuck of Poké Coins for your efforts.

How many Pokémon can you put in a Gym?

Pokemon Go full GymsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Six is the current maximum number of Pokémon that can be in a gym at a time. Once a Gym has six Pokémon, the button to add another simply disappears. You can also only place one of your own Pokémon into a single Gym at a time, and you cannot place any Pokémon species in a Gym that is already in that Gym (so if there is a Blissey in the Gym already, you cannot add another Blissey.)

Can you still prestige to add more slots to a Gym your team controls?

No. RIP prestige. Now Gyms have six slots and six slots only, never less, never more. If a slot is available, you can take it. If not, you have to wait until one becomes available or defeat a rival team's Gym and open up a bunch more slots that way. Sadly, this means that players who didn't earn the Ace Trainer Medal in Pokémon Go's early days no longer can.

Is there a limit to the number of Gyms you can be on at one time?

Twenty is the current limit. Keep in mind, though, that the current Gym system doesn't seem built to favor keeping a large number of Gyms. As you'll see below, Gyms now take a lot of effort to maintain. So, unless you have 20 Gyms clustered around an area you're in or pass by multiple times a day, you might find quality now beats quantity.

You can't add Pokémon to a Gym if it's under attack?

Pokemon Go Gym under attackSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Nope. Unlike the old system where slots disappeared when Pokémon were kicked off, the new Gyms have six permanent slots. If you could add Pokémon when a Gym was under attack, a small team could always keep it full, and it would never be defeated.

So, when a Gym is under attack, those slots are locked out for upwards of 10 minutes, giving attackers a fair amount of time to win. If they lose interest and go away without winning the Gym, and the time passes, you can add Pokémon again.

Gyms can only have one of each Pokémon species in them?

Pokemon Go full GymsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Correct. So also, RIP Blissey wall. Now, it's first come, first gets to place whatever Pokémon you like on a Gym. After that, everyone who follows has to place a different Pokémon. So, if the first person places a Blissey, the next won't even get shown Blissey as an option when selecting Pokémon for the Gym.

How are Gyms ordered? Which Pokémon sits on top?

There isn't a real "top" on Gyms anymore. Inside the Gym, Pokémon all just gather around on the arena floor. When you attack a Gym, though, it's first in, first to defend.

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How do you get coins for defending a Gym?

Pokemon Go Gyms collect coinsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Every ten minutes you have a Pokémon in a Gym, that Pokémon will earn a Poké Coin up to 50 Poké Coins per day. So, if you five Pokémon in Gyms for 60 minutes, you'll earn 30 Poké Coins. In 100 minutes, 50 Poké Coins, and 120 minutes, still 50 Poké Coins. 8 days... still 50 Poké Coins!

Wow, one Poké Coin every ten minutes! That's amazing. Is... is there a catch?

A huge one, yes.

You only get the Poké Coins when your Pokémon has been kicked off the gym and returned to you.

$#!+, seriously?

Seriously. And what's more, the daily bonus limit of 50 Poké Coins doesn't stack. So, if your Pokémon is in a Gym for more than one day, the potential 50 Poké Coins from previous days is lost. That means, even if you're able to defend a Gym longer than 100 minutes, there isn't a whole lot of reason to waste your Berries doing so.

How do you tell how many Poké Coins you received when your Pokémon returns?

You can see it in the notification when your Pokémon is kicked out of the Gym, or see it in News at any time.

  1. Tap the menu button. (Looks like a Poké Ball).
  2. Tap news, top right. (Looks like a mega horn.)
  3. Tap on the Notifications tab, top left. (If you're not already on it.)

What about Stardust? How do you get Stardust from gyms?

Nope. Now you get Stardust and experience, and sometimes even Candy... from feeding friendly Pokémon on Gyms.

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What's the heart-shaped meter, Motivation, and feeding?

Pokemon Go Motivation meters in GymsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

The heart-shaped meter is what shows the current Motivation level of a Pokémon in a Gym. Motivation is your Pokémon's willingness to stay in the Gym and keep fighting. When you first place your Pokémon in a Gym, it immediately loses some Motivation. It will then keep losing Motivation (and, thus CP) over time down to 20%.

It will also lose Motivation very fast if it battles and is defeated by a rival Pokémon. Until it is attacked by a rival Pokémon, however, a Pokémon's Motivation cannot fall below 20%. Once your Pokémon loses all its Motivation by being defeated in battle, it'll leave the Gym and return to your collection.

Wait, your Pokémon loses Motivation the moment you place it on a Gym?

They do. When initially placed in a Gym, a Pokémon will be at 92% Motivation so always make sure to give your Pokémon a Berry when you first place them into a Gym.

How fast do Motivation and CP drain over time?

Motivation decays at a rate that is tied directly to your Pokémon's max CP. Pokémon with a very low max CP will decay very slowly, near 1% per hour. Pokémon with very high max CP decay much faster, up to 10% per hour. That's not to say you shouldn't put really strong Pokémon in Gyms. Weaker Pokémon can be knocked out easily enough after all. But it does mean you will likely spend more Berries keeping your high CP Pokémon's Motivation up than you would for something with a lower CP.

How fast do Motivation and CP drain from battle?

You knock 28% of total motivation off a Pokémon if you defeat it in battle the first or second time. The third defeat without a Berry will knock it out of the Gym. If a Pokémon's Motivation has already decayed considerably, you could knock it out in a single battle.

How do you regain Motivation and CP in Pokémon Go?

You can feed any Pokémon on the same team, including your own, a berry to regain motivation and CP. Nanab Berry, Pinab Berry, and Razz Berry all return the same amount of motivation and CP, while a Golden Razz Berry returns full motivation and CP. So, yeah, finally a use for Nanab Berries!

The amount of motivation returned by Berries decelerates rapidly, though. It gets reduced the faster, and more frequently, you feed the Pokémon, and you can only feed a limit of 10 berries to 10 Pokémon every 30 minutes. The exception is Golden Razz. They return 100% motivation every single time you feed one.

If you are in range of a friendly Gym, you can feed any Pokémon within that Gym, even if you aren't holding one of the spots. On the other hand, if you have a Pokémon at a Gym, you can feed it and any other in that Gym remotely from either your Gym Badges or the Pokémon's profile.

How do you know when you need to feed a Pokémon?

Pokemon Go Gym feed notificationsSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

You get a pop-up notification when your Pokémon has lost significant Motivation.

  • (Pokémon name) needs attention

If you miss it, you can also check your Journal, though different wording is used there:

  • (Pokémon name) needs a treat

Then you can decide if you want to feed your Pokémon a Berry.

How do you feed a berry to a same-team Pokémon on a Gym?

Pokemon Go Gym Berry DonphanSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

You'll be doing this a lot. A lot. So it's good that it's simple.

  1. Approach a Gym until you're within range. It has to be a Gym currently controlled by your own team (if you're Valor/Red, it has to be Valor/Red.)
  2. Tap on the Gym.
  3. Tap the Pokémon you want to feed.
  4. Tap on the (Golden) Razz Berry button at the bottom left to change the type of berry, then tap on the Berry you want to switch to.
  5. Tap on the Berry to feed it to the Pokémon.

Since Razz Berries, Pinap Berries, and Nanab Berries all provide the same amount of motivation, Nanab — having no other real benefit in the game — should be your go-to. (Would that Pokémon Go defaulted to it!) Golden Razz Berries fill 100% of motivation.

Remember, you can feed your Pokémon who are defending a Gym you have a Pokémon in long-distance, no matter where you are, by visiting the Gym Badge or your defending Pokémon's page.

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Why would you feed a Berry to any Pokémon other than your own?

Pokemon Go feeding friendly Gym medalSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

While you could always starve your teammates Pokémon in the hopes of making them more likely to get kicked off by an attacking team (or shaver/cycler), there are some benefits to feeding as many Pokémon in Gyms controlled by your team as possible. That is, in addition to keeping the Gym strong against would-be attackers.

  • 20 stardust for every Pokémon you feed.
  • 20 XP for every Pokémon you feed.
  • Pokémon candy — but only occasionally — of the type you're feeding.
  • 10 points towards your Gym badge.
  • One point towards the new Berry Master medal.

That all makes for a reasonably decent incentive to keep feeding any friendly Pokémon, you find on Gyms. Especially Nanab Berries which have little other use.

Can you keep feeding Berries to Pokémon forever?

Pokemon Go Blissey full GymSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

Not exactly. You can only feed 10 standard Berries to up to 10 Pokémon in any 30 minutes. That means, whether you feed 10 Pokémon one Berry each, or 10 Pokémon 10 Berries each, you still have to wait 30 minutes before you can feed another Pokémon a Berry.

Also, feeding works with diminishing returns, basically having its effects halves each time. That's probably so you can't sit there, feed your Pokémon over and over again, and effectively stop attackers from kicking your Pokémon out of the Gym.

But a Golden Razz Berry will fill up your Pokémon's motivation completely?

Correct. If you manage to get a Golden Razz Berry by defeating a Raid Boss, you can use it to catch a very hard to catch Pokémon, or you can feed it to a Pokémon on a Gym to fully restore its Motivation. While this can be a way to hold onto a Gym currently under attack, it is quite costly and your rivals can stagger their attacks if there are three or more of them, preventing even a Golden Razz from keeping your hold on a Gym.

What about Silver Pinap Berries?

While I personally would consider it a waste, you can also give a Pokémon in a Gym a Silver Pinap Berry. Silver Pinap Berries are special Berries you only get as rewards for Research and Special Research. If fed to a Pokémon in a Gym, it restores twice the motivation of a Razz, Pinap, or Nanab Berry.

Can you feed a Pokémon remotely, or do you have to physically go to the Gym?

Pokemon Go remote Berry feeding in GymsSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

You can now feed Berries remotely to any Gym that has one of your Pokémon on it.

  1. Tap the Menu button, bottom middle. (Looks like a Poké Ball.)
  2. Tap the Pokemon button, bottom left. (Looks like a Pikachu.)
  3. Tap on a Pokémon that's defending a Gym.
  4. Tap on the Pokémon you want to feed.
  5. Tap on the **Berry* to feed the Pokémon.

You can swap Pokémon and berry types until you run out of Berries or reach the 10 Berries for up to 10 Pokémon limit. This can also be accessed from the Gym Badge screen but as your badges are sorted by activity, it is usually easier to go by the Pokémon's page.

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Is there any way to defend Gyms longer?

While there are some small things you can do, such as picking out the best possible defense team and coordinating with other players to keep Pokémon fed, ultimately, Gyms just aren't set up to be held for long. Sure, anyone can take down any Gym they want. So, the trick becomes making them not want to take down your Gym.

Ideally, you want to work as a team and stack a Gym with the best mix of ultra-tanks and counter-counters as possible. You want to anchor your Gyms with the Pokémon that are the toughest to take down. Some of the best tanks in the game are:

  1. Blissey
  2. Snorlax
  3. Chansey
  4. Slaking

If you want to optimize for intimidation, especially if you don't mind feeding Golden Razz Berry remotely, then you can go for higher CP and not worry about it. Especially with Slaking. That'll keep the Gym big and tall, further encouraging would-be attackers to keep stepping.

If you want to optimize for longevity, especially if you're low on Golden Razz Berry, you can stick to between 1200 and 1800 CP and hope for the best.

You can also anticipate counters. All of the best defenders have one thing in common — and one weakness in common. They're all Normal-type and so are all vulnerable to Fighting-types.

To help compensate for that, you want to make sure your Pokémon have Psychic-type moves to at least damage the Fighting-types that'll be thrown against them.

  1. Blissey: Dazzling Gleam
  2. Snorlax: Zen Headbutt
  3. Chansey: Dazzling Gleam
  4. Slaking: Play Rough

Then you want to interweave them with Pokémon that do even more damage to the counters — or the generalists that less tactical players will throw at them. That'll either beat down the attackers or force compromises in the attack teams and/or switching between rounds.

  1. Dragonite
  2. Metagross
  3. Gyarados
  4. Steelix

If you're working with a team and go to the trouble of stacking a Gym for maximum effect, keep in touch with that team while you're defending. Whether you're using Facebook Messenger, Discord, iMessage, Whatsapp, or something else, coordinate slot filling and Berry feeding to really maximize your defense.

For more specifics, check out our guide for the best move sets and the top 20 Defense Pokémon

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How do you attack a rival Gym?

The attacking process in Gyms is pretty straight forward.

Pokemon Go Attacking Gyms 1. Approach a Gym until you're within range. It has to be controlled by a team other than your own. 2. Tap on the Gym. 3. Tap the Battle button. 4. Tap a Pokémon to swap it out for a different Pokémon. (One better suited to counter the rival Pokémon) Pokemon Go Attacking Gyms 2 5. Tap on Go Battle. 6. FIGHT! 7. Tap to attack with a Quick Move. 8. Touch and hold to attack with a Charge Move. (When the charge meter is full.) 9. Swipe left or right to dodge an attack. 10. Tap the Quit button, middle right, to abandon the fight. (Looks like a runner.) 11. Tap the Swap button, bottom right, to switch Pokémon during a fight. (Looks like up and down arrows.)

The battle continues until your six Pokémon lose all their CP, or you run out of time and lose, or all the defending Pokémon lose all their CP, are defeated, and then lose some Motivation.

Stop. A rival Pokémon doesn't get kicked off the Gym each time you win a round of battles? How do you kick them off?

Pokemon Go Gym reduce Motivation battlesSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Sometimes. If a defender's motivation is already empty, you can kick it off after one battle. If its motivation is full, though, you have to first empty it, then you can kick it off.

If no one is feeding it while you attack, a Pokémon with full motivation takes three battles to kick from a Gym.

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How do you take over a rival Gym in Pokémon Go?

Pokemon Go Gym TakeoverSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Once every rival Pokémon in a rival Gym has had their motivation drained, defeating them all will send them back to their trainers and set the Gym back to neutral. Then you have to add a Pokémon of your own to claim it for your team. Fortunately, after many complaints, Niantic added a buffer period after a Gym is defeated in which only the battle winners can put a Pokémon in the Gym. Sorry, no more sniping Gyms while the battle winners wait for the screen to reload.

But people can be feeding a defender Berries to raise its Motivation while you attack, right?

Totally, though with diminishing returns. Each Berry will only restore roughly half of what the previous one did, and there's a 10 Berry limit per Pokémon. While, a Golden Razz Berry can be used to fully restore a Pokémon at any time, no matter what, most players don't want to waste many Golden Razz Berries on holding a Gym that is actively being attacked.

So, Pokémon Go is heavily pushing team-based Gym battles?

Absolutely. Social co-op is Pokémon Go's manta. And when you attack in a group, you do damage and kick Pokémon off faster, and can then repopulate a Gym faster, making it easier to defend.

Are there any ways to take a Gym down faster?

Pokemon Go Gym BattlesSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

The current Gym system is very different from the old one. Thanks to CP decay, almost anyone can destroy almost any Gym in a short amount of time. Still, you can destroy them even faster if you want to, even if defenders are being fed Berries.

It takes three rounds to take down a fully motivated Gym in Pokémon Go. If there's only one defender, that's three battles total. If it's a full six defenders, that's 18 battles. If you attack in groups, usually, you all go together, and it still takes three rounds or up to 18 battles for everyone.

If you attack in waves, though, you can get that down to one round each.

  1. Attacker one enters the Gym and battles defender one.
  2. When attacker one defeats defender one, attacker two enters and starts battling defender one.
  3. When attacker one defeats defender two, and attacker two defeats defender one, attacker three enters and starts battling defender one.
  4. When attacker one defeats defender six, they can either stop or jump in and help attacker three with defender four. Either way, by the time attacker three is done, the Gym should be done too.

This can be tricky to time, even resulting in players getting errored out of the battle entirely. Still, if it's timed right, you can avoid the risk of defenders being fed too many Berries and needing more than the three losses to be kicked.

If you have more than three people, you can team up for the waves. Two people can do the first wave, for example. You only ever need three waves, though, because that's how many battles you need to take down the Gym.

You can also focus on taking out one Pokémon at a time, making it less likely other defenders will get notifications and start feeding Berries as well.

  1. Attack the first defender.
  2. Drop out.
  3. Attack the first defender a second time.
  4. Drop out.
  5. Attack the first defender a third time.
  6. Drop out.
  7. Make sure the first defender is gone. If not (if someone is remotely feeding it), attack it again. If so, move on to the second defender.
  8. Repeat until all defenders are defeated, and the Gym is empty.

Combine the two methods, and you can wipe out any Gym quickly and effectively.

You will also get a bonus for attacking a Gym with friends. The higher the friendship level, the better the bonus.

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How do you get the basic Gym Badge in Pokémon Go?

The first time you interact with a Gym, be it by spinning the Photo Disc on top, battling, placing a Pokémon in the Gym, or beating a Raid Boss that's taken over the Gym, you'll see a badge appear, and it'll be added to your collection.

You can get a Gym badge for every Gym you interact with, so prepare for the number of badges you have to multiply.

How do you get bronze, silver, and gold Gym badges?

Pokemon Go Gym BadgesSource: iMore/ Rene Ritchie

Every time you interact with a Gym, you get points for that Gym. Get enough points, and you earn a bronze, followed by silver, followed by a gold medal.

Here are the points you need for each stage of the Gym badge:

  • Basic: 0
  • Bronze: 500
  • Silver: 4,000
  • Gold: 30,000

How do you get badge points in Pokémon Go?

You accumulate badge points for major interactions at Gyms. Spinning the Photo Disc, for example, doesn't give you any badge points. Winning a Battle Raid, on the other hand, gives you a lot.

  • Defeating a Pokémon on a rival Gym: one point for every 100 CP (10 for 1000 CP, 20 for 2000 CP).
  • Losing to a Pokémon on a rival Gym: five points.
  • Placing a Pokémon on a friendly Gym: 100 points.
  • Feeding a Berry to a Pokémon on a friendly Gym: 10 points (100 for 10 Berries, 600 for 60 Berries).
  • Staying on a Gym: one point per minute (60 an hour, 1,440 a day).
  • Winning a Battle Raid at a Gym: 1,000

So, if you defeat six Pokémon of 2000 CP each on a Gym, place your Pokémon on it, feed it a Berry, hold the Gym for 24 hours, and win a Raid Battle there at some point during that period, you'd get: 60 + 100 + 10 + 1440 + 1000 = 2610 badge points.

Do you get any rewards for having bronze, silver, or gold Gym badges?

You do! You get bonus items when you spin the Photo Disc on the Gym.

  • Bronze: one bonus item.
  • Silver: two bonus items.
  • Gold: three bonus items.

What about team control, streaks, and other bonuses — do they stack?

Pokemon Go 7 day streak Gold GymSource: iMore/Rene Ritchie

They do! The most I've gotten is 28 items from a gold badge Gym, with team control, on a 7-day streak, but some people have claimed to get 30 or more.

So, what's the best way to get Gym badges?

Getting a bronze Gym badge is easy and can be done in a few minutes: Win a Raid Battle at the Gym.

Getting a silver Gym badge takes a bit longer. The fastest way is to win three Raid Battles at the Gym. At some Gyms, you can do that in a day. If you can keep a Pokémon in the Gym, you can hedge against not enough Raid Battles spawning: Two Raid Battles plus a day of possession will also net you silver.

Getting a gold Gym badge takes a lot more time. Based on the above numbers, the quickest path to Gym gold is clear:

  • If the Gym is low-turnover or tends to favor your team, get a Pokémon on there and keep it there. (Take back the Gym and/or keep placing as needed.)
  • Fight as many Raid Battles at the Gym as you possibly can.

Using that method, you'll need to win 30 Raid Battles - one Battle for every day of Gym possession.

It took me roughly two weeks to get my first gold Gym badge that way, and that was with a high level of possession and one or two Raid Battles a day.

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Is there anything else I can do at a Gym?

There are two other activities you can perform at a Gym: Spinning a PokéStop, and Raid Battles.


Now, Gyms are also usable as PokéStops. They work exactly like regular PokéStops, though you tend to get fewer items per spin. Access the PokéStop on a Gym by first opening the Gym, then tapping the icon in the bottom right-hand corner to move up to the PokéStop and spin like normal.

Raid Battles

Raid Battles are detailed in other guides, but their effect on how Gyms work is thus: you'll occasionally see an "egg" above a Gym with a timer, which indicates a Raid will appear when the timer runs out. While the egg is above the Gym and the Raid has not yet started, you can continue using the Gym as normal.

When the Raid begins, you'll see the Raid Pokémon above the Gym, and it will appear when you open the Gym. While the Raid is open, you can still use the Gym as a PokéStop, but you cannot add Pokémon to the Gym, battle the Gym, or otherwise interact with it as a Gym. You can participate in the Raid battle, but even once you finish the Raid, you'll have to wait for the Raid to conclude before the Gym will return to normal.

EX Raid Battles

In addition to normal Raid Battles, some select Gyms also host EX Raid Battles. EX Raids are unique from other Raids in that you can only participate if you have an invitation. Invitations can be gained by battling normal Raids at EX Raid Gyms and can be shared between friends. Not all Gyms host EX Raids but luckily, some ambitious players have developed Maps that list all Gyms and specify which are EX Raid Gyms. You can read more about that in our guide on Pokémon Go Maps and Trackers.

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What does Pokémon Go have to say about the Gym system?

Pokemon Go RaidsSource: Niantic

So much! Here's the official overview from Pokémon Go:

The biggest update to Pokémon GO is nearly here! Very soon, Trainers around the world will be able to participate in a revamped Gym gameplay experience, including the opportunity to join together with others to battle against powerful Pokémon in the new Raid Battle feature!

New Gym Features and Updates: Starting soon, Gyms are undergoing a major facelift. You'll soon be able to spin the Photo Disc at Gyms to acquire items just as you do at PokéStops—but that's only the beginning. More updates to Gym battles are also just around the corner. Gyms are no longer based on Prestige and training. Instead, they now feature six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team's Pokémon. Each Pokémon assigned to these slots must be unique. For example, only one Blissey can be assigned to a Gym at a time. Also, opposing teams will battle the Pokémon in the order they were assigned to the Gym.

At the heart of the update is a new motivation system that will significantly change how you interact with Gyms. When a Pokémon is assigned to a Gym, a motivation meter will be displayed. Pokémon assigned to defend a Gym lose motivation over time and as they are defeated in battle. As a Pokémon loses motivation, its CP will temporarily decrease, making it easier for opposing teams to defeat. To help keep the Pokémon motivated and in tip-top shape for their next battle, Trainers can treat their team's Pokémon to some Berries, which restore their motivation. If a Pokémon loses all motivation, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer the next time it loses a battle, so you'll want to keep your team's Pokémon motivated by giving them Berries frequently!

Gym Badges: Now, you'll be able to earn Gym Badges when interacting with the many Gyms around the world. Gym Badges serve as mementos of your Pokémon GO adventures and reflect your contribution to a Gym's success.

You'll be able to level up your Badges by battling, giving Berries to the Pokémon in the Gym and spinning the Gym's Photo Disc. You can earn the opportunity to receive bonus items and increased rewards from Gyms by raising the level of your Gym Badge.

To put these exciting changes in motion, we'll be temporarily disabling all Gyms. Once the update has been rolled out to players around the world, Gyms will return. The Raid Battle feature will then be rolled out slowly over the next few weeks, starting as a beta, with raids visible only to a subset of players at certain Gym locations. Over a few days, we'll invite more players to participate and enable raids at more Gyms around the world. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on when you'll be able to start battling in raids. We can't wait to see you outside battling at your local Gyms!

Any Pokémon Go Gym questions?

If you have any questions about the new Pokémon Go Gym system, drop them in the comments below!

Pokemon Go


Pokemon Go Banner Source: Niantic

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