Pokemon Go Gym Guide

The way that Gyms work in Pokemon GO has changed, so you need to check out this guide to see what's what!

Anyone who has been playing Pokemon GO for any amount of time will already be aware that gyms play a big part in the game. And in a recent update, the entire gym system has had an overhaul and. As such, lots of new features have been added.

This guide will give you a concise explanation of what you can do in gyms at the moment. It isn't just for new players, but also existing ones who need to know what's new.

New look gyms

What are Gyms in Pokemon GO?

Gyms are points of interest where trainers can battle against other trainers in order to control the gym for their team. Each gym can have six Pokemon assigned to defend it and there can only be one of any kind of Pokemon in the gym -- for example, you won't find a gym made of all Dragonites and Snorlax.

Pokemon in a gym gain a stat called Motivation. This controls the Pokemon's desire to stay in the gym. When an opponent battles in the gym, it is this stat that they are trying to reduce. Once a Pokemon has lost all its motivation, it will leave the gym and return to its owner.

You can now spin the photo disc of a gym, just like any normal pokestop, to get pokeballs, potions, and more.

You can attack gyms controlled by opposing teams

Gym Battles

When you approach a gym to battle, tap it and it will take you into the gym and you can see all the Pokemon already in the gym ready to defend it. You will need to choose six Pokemon to take into battle and will only face one of any kind of Pokemon. Make sure you take a look at what is already in there and select a team made up of Pokemon that will do strong attacks against all/most of the defenders.

If you already have experience with battling a gym, then you will be pleased to know that the actual battle mechanics have not changed. You still tap to attack, tap and hold for charge attack, and swipe to dodge.

Let's get ready to rumble! 

If you find a gym that is already controlled by your team, you should give the defending Pokemon a berry. By giving friendly Pokemon a treat, you are able to restore some of their motivation, therefore, making it harder for an opponent to defeat them. Any berry can be used and will give the same amount of motivation increase -- apart from the new Golden Razz Berry, which will fully restore a Pokemon's motivation.

Once all Pokemon in a gym have been fully defeated, you can take control of it for your team. Likewise, any gym that isn't currently controlled by any team can be taken by assigning one of your Pokemon to defend it.

Now then, you don't have to go this alone. You can join forces with other players to take down the gym. It doesn't necessarily have to be with someone from your own team, either! Of course, if you do co-operate with someone on an opposing team, you will have to fight it out amoungst yourselves to determined who is going to ultimately take the gym.

Pokemon GO Gym Badges

The more you use a particular gym, the more you will be recognized as being part of the gym. Whether you are defending it, giving treats to occupying Pokemon, or even constantly attacking it, you can now earn yourself a Gym Badge.

Basic Gym Badge

There are four tiers of gym badge: Basic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. You can level your gym badge as you continue to interact with a gym. At the moment, given the information on the Silph Road sub-Reddit, you will get the following XP values for performing certain actions in the gym:

  • Battling at Gyms: The XP you get for defeating Pokemon in a gym is worked out by the CP of Pokemon defeated divided by 100. For example, if you defeat a Gengar with 2023 CP, then you will get 20 Badge XP.

  • Adding Pokemon to the Gym: Everytime you add a Pokemon to a gym, you will get 100 Badge XP.

  • Defending a Gym: You will get 1 Badge XP for every minute you have your Pokemon in a gym.

  • Giving Treats: When you give a friendly Pokemon a berry, you will get 10 Badge XP, as well as 20 Stardust.

  • Winning a Raid Battle in a Gym: Each time you win a Raid Battle in a particular gym, you will get 1000 Badge XP (check out our guide on Raid Battles for more information on how they work).

Depending on your Gym Badge level, you will get bonus items when spinning the gym (as you would with a Pokestop), so it will all add up in the end!


There we have it! All the things you need to know about how gyms will work in Pokemon GO for the foreseeable future. What do you think about the new changes? Do you like the addition of Gym Badges? Let us know your thoughts below.

Make sure you check out our other Pokemon GO guides and keep checking back to GameSkinny for all your Pokemon GO news and developments! 


It all started with an Atari ST and here I am, all these years later, still loving video games! Indie games are where my heart is and where it'll stay. The world of indie video games is ever evolving and such an interesting arena to be a part of!

Published Sep. 15th 2017

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