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A Gym (Japanese: ジム Gym) is a type of location in Pokémon GO.
In the Map View, Gyms are marked as color-coded towers with the Gym symbol above them. If the Gym belongs to a team, the top of the tower will swap between the Gym symbol and the Gym's newest added Pokémon.
A Gym claimed by Team Mystic, with a Pidgeot
as its strongest Pokémon
Gyms are fixed locations in the real world that players must physically visit to battle. Gyms are generally in public locations, including (but not limited to) public artwork/murals, libraries, famous landmarks, churches, police stations, fire stations, and public parks. While players must be physically close to Gyms to battle them, they generally do not need to enter the building to be close enough (if the Gym is a building).
Gyms are based on a selection of portals from the Niantic game Ingress. Until 2015, Ingress players could submit proposals for portals which subsequently had to be approved by Niantic. Gyms are less common than PokéStops, which were also created from Ingress portals. This distribution was slightly balanced, after some PokéStops were converted into Gyms on 19 June 2017.
If for some reason a physical location is unsuitable as a Gym, players may send a request to Niantic via the Pokémon GO website or Niantic Support official Twitter account to remove it from the game. This could be due to safety concerns or if there is an error related to the Gym (the landmark no longer exists, never existed in the first place, or has been converted to a different use such as a private residence).
Inspecting a Gym
Inspecting a level 4 Gym controlled by Team Valor (red)
If a Gym tower is visible in the Map View, it can still be inspected even if it is outside of range.
If the player is not on a team and below level 5, they will be advised to return at level 5.
If the player is not on a team and above level 5, they will be given the option to select a team. Once the player selects a team, it cannot be changed. This is the only way to select a team.
If the player is on a team, they can view the Gym screen. The Gym screen shows every defender; for each of the defending Pokémon (when selected), its name (or nickname if owned by the player), its appearance, its CP, its Motivation and its Trainer (avatar, Trainer level, and username) will be displayed. Additionally, the Gym's name is displayed, as well as a photo of the real world location.
Searching a Gym
Players may search Gyms to collect items and/or Eggs. To search a Gym, the player must tap on it, tap on PokéStop icon in bottom right corner, and then spin the Gym's Photo Disc while within range. This will cause 2 to 5 items and/or Eggs to appear in bubbles that emerge from the Photo Disc. While it is possible to tap the bubbles to collect their contents, they will be collected regardless. In addition, searching a Gym gives random amount of experience.
Once the player has searched a Gym's photo disc, it will turn purple for that player only for 5-10 minutes. The player cannot search a purple photo disc until it turns into Gym's color again.
The items that searching a Gym can yield are dependent on the player's level, with certain items not being unlocked until later levels. Searching a Gym will not yield Eggs if the player already has the maximum 9 Eggs. Player can get only 1 Raid Pass a day. Multiple of the same item can be obtained from a single search. Searching a Gym for the first time will yield a Gym Badge.
If a Gym tower is white, that Gym is currently not controlled by any team. If in range of the Gym, a player on a team can claim it for their team by placing one of their own Pokémon in it.
If a Gym tower is red, yellow, or blue, that Gym is currently controlled by the team of that color. Trainers on opposing teams will be prompted to challenge the Gym to lower opposing Pokémon's motivation. In the Map View, the newest defending Pokémon in the Gym will appear on top of the tower marking the Gym. Players often aim to reduce enemy Pokémon motivation to zero such that gyms become uncontrolled and they can place one of their Pokémon as the first defender and claim the gym for their team.
A Gym can house up to 6 defenders. If in range of the Gym and there is room for another defender, a player on the same team as the Gym can add one of their Pokémon to the Gym. Each player can only add one of their Pokémon to each Gym.
Only Pokémon with full HP can be deposited in a Gym as a defender. A Pokémon placed in a Gym cannot be removed until its motivation goes to zero, at which point the Pokémon will return to its trainer's collection, but with 0 HP. While in a Gym, Pokémon cannot be evolved, Powered Up, or used for battle at another gym.
When a Pokémon loses a battle, its motivation goes down, just like its CP. This makes the Pokémon weaker and easier to take down. When its CP reaches 0, the Pokémon returns to its trainer with restored CP and defender bonus. When in range, a player can also restore the motivation and the CP of every Pokémon in a Gym that is occupied by their Team. This will ocasionally reward them with the "Berry Master" Medal.
A Pokémon battle at a Gym
In Pokémon GO, battles can only be conducted at Gyms. Battles are not turn-based, and they are conducted between a player and a computer-controlled opponent. Battles are timed, limited to 100 seconds per defender. Defending Pokémon are battled in sequence, from the oldest defender to the newest.
Players can challenge opposing Gyms to decrease enemy Pokémon motivation. Player battles the Gym's Pokémon which are AI controlled. Defeating Pokémon at Gyms will yield a small reward of XP.
During battle, the player can forfeit or switch Pokémon by tapping the buttons at the bottom-right of the screen. Forfeiting counts as a loss, but the number of Pokémon defeated before forfeiting determines the change in their motivation.
During Gym battles, Pokémon take damage, which lowers their HP and may cause them to faint if their HP reaches 0. Battle-damaged Pokémon can have their HP and consciousness restored with healing items, such as Revives and Potions.
When battling a gym, the player selects a team of six Pokémon of their own to battle against the defending Pokémon. If all of the player's Pokémon faint or time runs out, they lose the Gym battle. If all of the Gym's defending Pokémon faint, the challenger wins the Gym battle. Each defending Pokémon defeated will award experience to the training player.
After defeating a Pokémon, you have 10 seconds to decide if you want to battle next defender. You can also leave it and battle will end. It won't be considered as a Player's defeat.
Players can work together to challenge, with the defending Pokémon's HP being shared between players. An icon with a number will appear on the left-hand side of the screen indicating the number of players currently fighting that Gym.
Battles are shown with the Gym's Pokémon at the middle of a circular arena with the attacking Pokémon at the circle's edge.
Each Pokémon has three stats which are relevant to Pokémon battles: its HP, its Attack, and its Defense. A Pokémon's Combat Power (CP) is derived from those three stats. A Pokémon loses HP when it is hit by attacks, and faints when its HP is depleted. Damage dealt by attacks is mostly determined by the user's Attack stat, the target's Defense stat, and the attack's power.
Additionally, Type effectiveness applies in Pokémon GO. Type effectiveness is derived from the type chart in the Generation VI games, but immunities are treated as resistances, super effective damage has a 1.40 multiplier (instead of 2) and not very effective damage has a 0.741 multiplier (instead of 0.5). The same-type attack bonus is applied, giving a 25% boost to moves of the same type as the user.
During battle, a Pokémon can perform one of three basic actions.
- Dodge: swipe left or right on the screen.
- Fast Attack: tap the screen.
- Special Attack: long press the screen. This can only be used when the Special Attack meter is sufficiently charged to execute at least one special attack.
Each Pokémon has one Fast Attack and one Special Attack, being based on moves the Pokémon can learn in the core series games. Special Attacks are normally more powerful than Fast Attacks.
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When a Pokémon is about to use an attack, swiping to the left or right can cause the player's Pokémon to dodge the attack. A dodged attack will deal significantly less damage. Prior to a certain date, dodged attacks dealt no damage instead.
The challenging Pokémon's Fast Attack can be used at any time during a battle simply by tapping it. Using a Fast Attack charges the Special Attack meter.
Using a Special Attack requires consuming one bar of the Special Attack meter. There is also a warm-up period between commanding the Special Attack and executing it, leaving the Pokémon open to enemy attacks.
The Special Attack meter is empty when the Pokémon is sent out (including after a switch or teammate fainting), and is filled by using Fast Attacks or taking damage from the opponent. The Special Attack meter is displayed below the HP bar.
The amount of the Special Attack meter that is consumed by an attack depends on the number of bar segments for that move (visible on the status screen). Special Attacks with more bar segments use less of the meter for a single use, so can be used more frequently than Special Attacks with fewer bar segments.
Typically, the power of a Special Attack is inversely related to the number of bars in its meter. For example, a weak Special Attack like Struggle with a power of 15 has 5 bars, whereas a strong Special Attack like Hyper Beam has a power of 120 and 1 bar. Consequently, weaker Special Attacks can typically be used more frequently than stronger ones.
Claiming the Defender bonus
When defending Pokémon returns from Gym to its trainer, it brings defender bonus in the form of PokéCoins. The longer Pokémon was defending a Gym, the bigger amount of PokéCoins you'll get. For every 10 minutes, you get 1 PokéCoin. This is the only way to obtain PokéCoins without paying for them with real money.
Daily defender bonus limit is 50 PokéCoins, and it is not influenced by number of Pokémon that returned to their trainer.