Pokemon Go’s Gym Update Looks to Be the Biggest One Yet

Gym badges, raids, the gym rework and more!

Gym badges, raids, the gym rework and more!

Niantic has unveiled Pokemon Go‘s upcoming Gym Update, and it looks like a doozy. It includes a rework of the Gym system, the introduction of Raids, the addition of Gym Badges, and more. Let’s dive in first with the new Gym mechanics.


Gyms will no longer revolve around the previous training and prestige mechanics, but instead around a new motivation system. Indicated by a little heart, each Pokemon in the gym now has an individual motivation meter. As the Pokemon is battled against, it loses motivation and its CP drops. When the meter is completely empty and the Pokemon loses one more battle, it will leave the gym and return home to its trainer, so its previously held spot will open up.

In order to keep your Pokemon’s motivation up, you have to re-visit the gym and feed your buddy berries to keep its spirits strong. You can also feed berries to your teammates’ Pokemon. Gyms also hold up to 6 Pokemon now, but the new motivation system will likely see to gyms trading hands more often than before.

There will also now be a one-per-gym limit on Pokemon species — so if there’s already a Mantine in the gym, you can’t add your own Mantine to the line-up.

Grow strong, my good boy.

Gyms now also double as Pokestops, so you can get items from them like you would any other landmark. The Gym Update also adds in Gym Badges, which are extra collectibles you can get by participating and defending in battles at different Gyms. Doing so for the first time will earn you the badge, and repeated battles at the same gym will level up your Gym Badge — which in turn will help you earn more items and rewards from that respective Gym. 

The badge screen doubles as a list of gyms you’ve been to, and shows where your Pokemon are posted, which you can see below:

Gyms are now also host to the new Raid system. These raids take place at individual gyms, where eggs will randomly appear atop the gym. These eggs will have displayed timers that count down — and once they hit zero, the raid boss Pokemon is revealed. These Pokemon are ridiculously strong, and take over the Gym for themselves, kicking out anyone in the Gym already.

You probably won’t be able to beat one on your own, but thankfully, you can take on a raid boss with up to 20 people — and it’s not limited by teams, either. When in battle, you have five minutes to beat the boss, or you’ll be kicked out and forced to try again. Raids happen regularly, and a new section of the tracker helps you keep track of what raids are happening where.

Raid Boss Tyranitar sure is excited for the update!

Beating these incredibly strong foes earns you incredible rewards too. Not only will you be able to capture a powerful Pokemon by beating them, you’ll also be able to earn a boatload of items, including some that can only be earned via raids. Among them are Golden Razz Berries, which will greatly increase the chances to catch wild Pokemon or completely fill up a motivation bar.

TMs will also make their debut in Pokemon Go as Raid rewards, and allow players to permanently change one of the two moves their chosen Pokemon has, depending on the type of TM chosen. The other mentioned exclusive item is a Rare Candy — which when used on a Pokemon, gives you an undisclosed amount of its specific candy type.

The new raid subsection on the tracker also appears to show difficulty ratings.

In order to participate in these raids however, you need raid passes. You can earn one of these per day by visiting gyms, and you can only hold on to one at a time — so you need to be choosy about what raids you take part in. As another option, you can buy premium passes from the in-game store.

It’s not mentioned in the press release, but some fans are speculating that Raids will be how Legendary Pokemon are going to finally make their way into the game — so you might want to have a few Premium passes on hand just in case.

Until all these changes go live, Gyms have been temporarily disabled, but they’ll be back up once the update drops, starting as a slow beta rollout before going live globally.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news about this update, and other Pokemon Go guides that will help you tackle these changes once it launches. 

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