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!
Update: Pokémon Go has made another change to Gyms. Now all Pokémon, even the ones under 3000 CP, lose motivation much faster. It once again makes Gyms harder to hold and easier to take down.
- Joining and defending Gyms
- Motivation, feeding, and Gym bonuses
- Attacking Gyms
- Earning Gym badges
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, 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 on Gyms have a "motivation" meter that looks like a heart.
- 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.
- Pokémon also lose roughly 33% 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 — 3 battles if they're not fed.
- You can increase a Pokémon 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, even after it's full, until its been fed 10 Berries. You can feed up to 10 Pokémon up to 10 Berries each within a 30 minute period of time.
- 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 feed berries remotely to any Gym with one of your Pokémon on it.
- You can attack any rival Gym 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 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 1 coin per 10 minutes when they're in a Gym.
- You can only collect on the coins when your Pokémon gets kicked out of the Gym.
- 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.
- A day starts at midnight, so you can get 50 coins at 11:59pm and another 50 at 12:00am.
- 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 on a Gym for long periods of time (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 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 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 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:
- 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.
- Tap on the Gym.
- Tap the Add button.
- Choose the Pokémon you want to add.
- 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.
How many Pokémon can you put on a Gym?
Six (6) is the current maximum, which is down from ten (10) in the old system. To make up for it, 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.
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 is the current limit. 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.
How are Gyms ordered? Which Pokémon sits on top?
There isn't a real "top" on Gyms anymore. (Though the last Pokémon added will be the one animated on top of the Gym in the map view.) Inside the Gym, bokémon all just gather around on the arena floor. When you attack a Gym, though, it's first in, first to defend.
How do you get coins for defending a Gym?
Every ten minutes you have a Pokémon on a Gym, that Pokémon will earn a coin. 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. And what's more, the daily bonus limit is 50 coins as well. So, if more than one Pokémon gets returned to you on any given day, any coins above 50 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.
How do you tell how many 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.
- Tap the menu button. (Looks like a Poké Ball).
- Tap news, top right. (Looks like a megahorn.)
- 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.
What's the new heart-shaped meter, "motivation", and feeding?
The 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?
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.
That means you want to be more careful about the Pokémon you put in Gyms. If you want to intimidate, or you're happy to keep feeding berries, then go ahead and place your 3000 CP Blissey in there.
If you don't want to feed berries, maybe a 900 CP Chansey would be a much better choice.
How fast do motivation and CP drain from battle?
You knock 33% of total motivation off a Pokémon if you defeat it in battle. So, if you fight a fully motivated Pokémon, it'll take you 3 fights. Under 33% motivation, a single 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 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.
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 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.
- 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.)
- Tap on the Gym.
- Tap the Pokémon you want to feed.
- 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.
- 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!)
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.
- 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.
- 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. You can only feed 10 Berries to up to 10 Pokémon in any 30 minute period. That means, whether you feed 10 Pokémon 1 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 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, up to the 10 Berry limit. If you've already hit that, you can no longer feed a Golden Razz.
Can you feed a Pokémon remotely or do you have to physically go to the Gym?
You can now feed Berries remotely to any Gym that has one of your Pokémon on it.
- Tap the Menu button, bottom middle. (Looks like a a Poké Ball.)
- Tap the Pokemon button, bottom left. (Looks like a Pikachu.)
- Tap on a Pokémon that's defending a Gym.
- Tap on the Pokémon you want to feed.
- 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.
Is there any way to defend Gyms longer?
Gyms: How to defend them longer
Sure, under the new Gym system, 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:
If you want to optimize for intimidation, especially if you don't mind feeding Golden Razz Berry remotely, than 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.
- Blissey: Dazzling Gleam
- Snorlax: Zen Headbutt
- Chansey: Dazzling Gleam
- Slaking: Play Rough
Then you want to interleave 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.
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.
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.
- Approach a Gym until you're within range. It has to be controlled by a team other than your own.
- Tap on the Gym.
- Tap the Battle button.
- Tap a Pokémon to swap it out for a different Pokémon. (One better suited to counter the rival Pokémon)
- Tap on Go Battle.
- Tap to attack with a Quick Move.
- Touch and hold to attack with a Charge Move. (When the charge meter is full.)
- Swipe left or right to dodge an attack.
- Tap the Quit button, middle right, to abandon the fight. (Looks like a runner.)
- 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?
Sometimes. 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.
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?
The new 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 feeding berries.
It typically 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.
- Attacker 1 enters the Gym and battles defender 1.
- When attacker 1 defeats defender 1, attacker 2 enters and starts battling defender 1.
- When attacker 1 defeats defender 2, and attacker 2 defeats defender 1, attacker 3 enters and starts battling defender 1.
- When attacker 1 defeats defender 6, they can either stop or jump in and help attacker 3 with defender 4. Either way, by the time attacker 3 is done, the Gym should be done too.
If you have more than 3 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 usually 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.
- Attack the first defender.
- Drop out.
- Attack the first defender a second time.
- Drop out.
- Attack the first defender a third time.
- Drop out.
- 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.
- 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.
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, taking possession, and placing a Pokémon on 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 grow and grow.
How do you get bronze, silver, and gold Gym badges?
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 gold medal.
Here are the points you need for each stage of 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: 1 point for every 100 CP (10 for 1000 CP, 20 for 2000 CP).
- Losing to a Pokémon on a rival Gym: 5 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: 1 point per minute (60 an hour, 1,440 a day).
- Winning a Battle Raid at a Gym: 1,000
So, if you defeat 6 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: 1 bonus item.
- Silver: 2 bonus items.
- Gold: 3 bonus items.
What about team control, streaks, and other bonuses — do they stack?
They do! The most I've gotten is 28 items from a gold badge Gym, with team control, on 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 on the Gym, you can hedge against not enough Raid Battles spawing: Two Raid Battles plus a day of possession will also net you silver.
Getting a gold Gym badge takes 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 - 1 Battle for every day of Gym possession.
It took me roughly 2 weeks to get my first gold Gym badge that way, and that with a high level of possession and one or two Raid Battles a day.
Any Pokémon Go Gym questions?
If you have any questions about the new Pokémon Go Gym system, drop them in the comments below!