Pokémon Go Gyms: How to defend, attack, earn coins, get stardust

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 Badges

Pokemon Go Gym Badges (Image credit: 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 Gym

Pokemon Go 7 day streak Gold Gym (Image credit: 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.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.