How to you get on the new Pokémon Go Gyms? How do you defend them? Attack them? Get coins, stardust, and candy? Here's your guide!

Update: Pokémon Go has made big changes to the way damage and coins work, read more below!

There's a whole new Gym system for Pokémon Go and it changes everything: How you join Gyms, how you defend Gyms, how you attack Gyms, how you get stardust, coins, and — yes! — candy, and how you spin them for items — yes again! Basically, you're going to have to start your Gyms and Gym strategies over from scratch. Here's what you need to know!

TL;DR: The new 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 now have 6 slots instead of the old 10.
  • 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 no longer based on CP but on order joined. First in, first to battle.
  • There's no more prestiging. If a Gym is empty or belongs to your team, and one of the 6 slots is open, you can join it.
  • Gyms are short when they have 4 or less Pokémon on them. When they have 4 or more, they get tall.
  • Pokémon on Gyms have a "motivation" meter that looks like a heart.
  • Updated: Pokémon lose motivation the moment they're put on Gyms at the rate of 10% an hour if they're 3000 CP or above and 1% per hour if they're below 3000 CP.
  • Updated: Pokémon also lose roughly 30% motivation if they're beaten in battle by a Pokémon from a rival team.
  • If a Pokémon has no motivation and gets beaten in battle, it gets sent home — roughly 3 battles if they're not fed.
  • You can increase a Pokémon's from the same-team's motivation, including your own, by feeding it a Pinap, Nahab, or Razz Berry, or fill it up completely by feeding it a new Golden Razz Berry.
  • You can keep feeding Berries until a Pokémon is full or its been fed 10 Berries in a short period of time, then you have to wait.
  • When you feed a same-team Pokémon a berry, including your own, you get 20 stardust, 20 XP and, occasionally, a candy of that Pokémon's type.
  • You can attack any rival Gym at any time.
  • You still get a Battle Team of 6 Pokémon to attack with.
  • 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 6 Pokémon out of a Gym, you can take over the Gym for your team.
  • Updated: Pokémon accumulate 1 coin per 10 minutes when they're in a Gym.
  • Updated: You can only collect on the coins when your Pokémon gets kicked out of the Gym.
  • Updated: You can only collect a maximum of 50 coins a day no matter how many coins your Pokémon have accumulated or how many are kicked off a Gym on any given day.
  • 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.
  • When the Raid Battle system launches in July, items will include one Free Raid Pass a day.
  • Pokémon Go Plus can't yet spin Gym discs.
  • You get a Gym badge for every Gym you interact with.
  • You can see all your Gyms on the new Map view.

What did Pokémon Go have to say about the new Gym system?

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. In addition, 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!

What happened to the old Gyms?

The old Gyms were temporarily disabled on June 19, 2017 and over the course of 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 the new Gyms look like?

They look more like domed arenas perched on top of towers. They start off 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.

How do put your Pokémon onto a new Gym to claim or help defend it?

The method for getting onto 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 in order 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.

There are only six (6) slots on Gyms now total, not ten (10) slots like the old gyms?

Yup, only six (6) slots now, which feels like a bummer at first. Pokémon Go has converted some PokéStops into Gyms and added some new Gyms, so the net loss of total slots in your area will probably be less than it seems at first.

Also, with the new mechanics, having ten (10) slots might be too arduous. We'll have to play for a while and see.

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 go defeat a rival team's Gym and open up a bunch more slots that way.

Is there really a limit to the number of Gyms you can be on at one time now? 20 or something?

Right now, if you're already on 20 Gyms and you try to add yourself to a 21st, you get an error. Whether that's intentional or not, we'll have to wait and see.

Keep in mind, though, that the new Gym system doesn't seem built to favor keeping a large quantity of Gyms. As you'll see below, Gyms now take a lot more 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?

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?

Correct. So also RIP Blissey wall. Now, 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.

It may help with diversity, especially as people discover what works and doesn't under the new system. Still, Blissey and Snorlax are such tanks they aren't going anywhere — and old habits will die hard.

Since Gyms are only 6 slots now, and the new system will likely favor different Pokémon that the previous system, it shouldn't be an issue. Just get your favorites on early.

Are Gyms still stacked by CP, with highest on the top?

No, and there isn't even a real "top" any more. They all just gather around on the arena floor. When attack a Gym, though, it's first in, first to defend.

Is there still a Defenders Bonus? Do you still get coins for defending a Gym? [Updated]

Sort of. At launch, every hour any of your Pokémon were on Gyms, they earned a coin up to a maximum of 100 per day. Roughly a day after launch, though, Pokémon Go made a major change. Now:

  • Every ten minutes you have a Pokémon on a Gym, that Pokémon will earn a coin.
  • The daily maximum has been cut in half, down from 100 to just 50.

So, if you five Pokémon on Gyms for 60 minutes, you'll earn 30 coins. 100 minutes, 50 coins. 120 minutes, still 50 coins. 8 hours... still 50 coins!


Wow, 1 coin every ten minutes! That's amazing. Is... is there a catch?

A huge one, yes.

YOU ONLY GET THE COINS WHEN YOUR POKÉMON IS KICKED OFF THE GYM AND RETURNED TO YOU.

$#!+, seriously?

Seriously. And what's more, the daily bonus limit is 100 coins as well. So, if more than one Pokémon gets returned to you on any given day, any coins above 100 get lost.

That means, if you successfully defend a group of Gyms long enough to have multiple Pokémon earn 200 coins, 300 coins,, even 1000 coins, and a rival team raids, you lose all but 50 of those coins.

Yeah, screaming right along with you.

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

You have to catch the notification. It doesn't look like Pokémon Go shows the amount of coins earned anywhere else, including in the journal, on the Pokémon card, or on the Gym badge, sadly.

What about stardust? Do you still get stardust for defending a Gym?

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

What's the new heart-shaped meter, "motivation", and feeding?

The new heart-shaped meter is what shows the current "motivation" level. Motivation is your Pokémon's willingness to stay on the Gym.

When you first place your Pokémon, it immediately loses some motivation. It will then keep losing motivation (and CP) fairly quickly over time. It will also lose motivation if it battles and is defeated, and at a faster rate.

Once your Pokémon loses all its motivation, if it's defeated in battle again, it'll leave the Gym and return back to your collection.


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

Yeah, lame.

How fast do motivation and CP drain over time? [Updated]

Pokémon with a CP of 3000 or over lose 10% of their motivation (and CP) every hour. Pokémon with a CP under 3000 lose 1% of their motivation (and CP) every hour.

So, you really don't want to put your high CP Tyranitar, Dragonite, Gyarados, Rhydon, Snorlax, Blissey, or Vaporeon on Gyms any more.

Yeah, it's super frustrating for people who spent a lot of time building up their defenders. You can still use them for attacking, though, especially against Raid Bosses.

How fast do motivation and CP drain from battle? [Updated]

When the new system first launched, a solo player could kick a fully motivated Pokémon out of a Gym in 5 or 6 fights. That worked out to about a 16% motivation (and CP) loss per fight.

On June 25, 2017, Pokémon Go increased the damage rate so that it now only takes 3 or 4 fights for a solo player to kick a Pokémon out. That works out to about a 30% motivation (and CP) loss per fight.

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 the new Golden Razz Berry returns full motivation and CP.

So, yeah, finally a use for Nanab Berry!

The amount the the berries return isn't static, though. It gets reduced the faster and more frequently you feed the Pokémon, and there seems to be a limit of 10 berries before they stop working entirely.

That's likely to prevent someone from simply sitting at a Gym, feeding berries, and preventing anyone from defeating it, ever.

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

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 race over to the Gym and feed your Pokémon a Berry.


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

You'll be doing this a lot. A lot. So it's good that it's simple. Berries default to the new Golden Razz if you have any, then regular Razz.

  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 Berry, Pinab Berry, and Nanab Berry 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!)

And, yeah, swiping between Pokémon on a Gym right now feels all shades of broken, so you're better off tapping into and out of Pokémon to select them, if you want to feed more than one. Hopefully that gets fixed soon.

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

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 on Gyms controlled by your team as possible. That is, in addition to keeping the Gym strong against would-be attackers.

  1. 20 stardust for every Pokémon you feed.
  2. 20 XP for every Pokémon you feed.
  3. Pokémon candy — but only occasionally — of the type you're feeding.
  4. 10 points towards your Gym badge.
  5. 1 point towards the new Berry Master medal.

That all makes for a fairly decent incentive to keep feeding any friendly Pokémon you find on Gyms. Especially Nanab Berries!

Can you keep feeding Berries to Pokémon forever?

No, alas. Once the heart meter is full and they're maxed out on motivation, or they've been fed 10 Berries total — whichever comes first — you'll get a message advising you to share your Berry wealth with other Pokémon on your team.

It's unclear when and how exactly the 10 Berry limit resets, and whether or not it resets after an attack, but you can start feeding them again after a certain point.

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 either us 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.

And you can feed a Golden Razz Berry at any time, even if the Pokémon has already exceeded the normal 10 Berry limit.

That said, you're probably better off saving your Golden Razz Berries for catching Raid Bosses and the like, and let Nanab be your default feed Berry.

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

You have to physically go to the Gym. Which is fine if all your Gyms are close to you and close together. If your only local Gym is an hour's hike up the mountain, and Pokémon Go expects you to make that climb over and over again every day just to feed your Pokémon, you're likely not too happy right now.

How do you attack a rival Gym?

The attacking process in the new Gym system is almost identical to the process from the old system.

  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)
  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, faint, and you 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?

That's one of the biggest changes.

With the old system, if you came across a Gym with a single defender, beating that defender once would kick it off and let you claim the Gym. Now it all depends on the defender's motivation.

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

If no one is feeding it while you attack, it'll take you roughly six (6) battles to drain a rival Pokémon kick that lone Pokémon off the Gym. (Even if you defeat it super fast each time, you still have to defeat a fully motivated Pokémon six times.)

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

Once every rival Pokémon in a rival Gym have all had their motivation totally drained, defeating them all will send them back to their trainers and set the Gym back to neutral. Then you simply have to add a Pokémon of your own to claim it for your team.

But people can be feeding a defender Berries to re-motivate it 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, though it's unclear right now exactly how long that lasts.

Also, a Golden Razz Berry can be used to fully restore a Pokémon at any time, no matter what.

Ugh

Yeah.

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.

Any Pokémon Go Gym questions?

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