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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). It should be noted that this is considered more than a simple movement of the stop with the old one removed from the game and the new position being considered a new Pokéstop. As a result, any active Exclusive Raid invitations are revoked.
Inspecting a Gym
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 the 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. A player will get only 1 Raid Pass a day and is guaranteed to drop as long as the player hasn't got one already in their possession. Multiple of the same item can be obtained from a single search. Searching a Gym for the first time will yield a Gym Badge.
The first time a player visits a Gym and uses the Pokéstop there, they will receive a Gym Badge for that location. All subsequent actions taken at that Gym - stationing a defending Pokémon, participating in a Raid Battle, using the Pokéstop or battling a Pokémon - will reward the player Badge Experience to level up the Gym Badge through Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels. Each additional level of the Gym Badge rewards the player an additional item when using the Pokéstop at that Gym, as well as a small amount of trainer experience.
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 and the newest defending Pokémon in the Gym will appear on top of the tower marking the Gym. A Gym can house up to 6 defenders and if a player of the defending team is in range of the Gym and there is room for another defender in the Gym can add one of their own Pokémon to defend the Gym. Only Pokémon with full HP can be deposited in a Gym as a defender. While in a Gym, Pokémon cannot be evolved, Powered Up, or used for battle at another gym.
Trainers on opposing teams will be prompted to challenge the Gym to lower opposing Pokémon's motivation and attempt to defeat the defending teams Pokémon.
When a Pokémon loses a battle, its motivation goes down which is linked to 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 a Pokécoin defender bonus (one for every ten minutes defending). 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 by feeding them berries, which contributes to a Trainers "Berry Master" Medal. However, the more berries fed to a Pokémon by the same trainer, the smaller the recovery in motivation, and as such CP. Feeding a Pokémon a Golden Razz Berry will fully recover a Pokémon's motivation and CP.
A Pokémon battle at a Gym
In Pokémon GO, battles can only be conducted at Gyms between Trainers on opposing Teams. Battles are not turn-based, and they are conducted between a player and a computer-controlled opponent and have a time limit of 100 seconds per defender. Defending Pokémon are battled in sequence, from the oldest defender to the newest.
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 both the player and their associated Gym's badge.
Battling at a Gym decreases a Pokémon's motivation (and CP) for future battles, making them easier to defeat next time they are battled. Once an opposing Pokémon's motivation is reduced to zero, they are knocked out of the Gym and return to their Trainer with zero HP.
After defeating a Pokémon, you have 10 seconds to decide if you want to battle next defender. You can also leave it and the battle will end, but it won't be considered as a Player's defeat.
During Gym battles, the player's Pokémon will take damage, lowering their HP and potentially causing them to faint. Battle-damaged Pokémon can have their HP and consciousness restored with healing items, such as Revives and Potions.
Players can work together to challenge, with the defending Pokémon's HP being shared between players. An icon with a number will appear underneath the countdown timer of the screen indicating the number of players currently fighting that Gym.
Raid Battles can also take place at Gyms. A wild Pokémon, typically one much stronger than can be found in the wild, will be stationed at the Gym for a period of time. Using a Raid Pass players can challenge the wild Pokémon and fight it as though it were a Gym defender. As with Gyms, up to twenty trainers can join together to fight a much stronger Pokémon. Trainers enter into a lobby where they can view other raid participant stats, and they can pick a team of six Pokémon to battle the raid boss. By default the game will pick six Pokémon to fight, depending on the opponent's type, moves, as well as the player's Pokémon HP and stats. Players can also use certain bag items at this screen for bonuses or Pokémon healing.
During the raid, all normal battle techniques are available to the player. Should their team be defeated the player will return to the lobby, where they can heal, return to the battle with another team, or wait it out for the other participants to defeat the opponent.
Upon defeat, the players who participated in the Raid Battle will receive experience (personal and for their Gym Badge), Premier Balls and other various items depending on their performance, and can then use them to attempt to catch the wild Pokémon they defeated.
There are five levels of raids with Pokémon that increase in strength, starting at one star for basic Pokémon that can usually be defeated by a single player, up to five stars for Legendary Pokémon that require players to work together to defeat.
Currently, raids are the only way for player's to encounter Mawile and Absol. The remaining Pokémon tend to cycle and change depending on the latest updates and any currently running events.
These are exclusive raids given out by invitation only to players that have raided at a gym at some point in the previous week. They are generally only activated at sponsored Gyms or a Gym in a park-related area, generally determined by a darker green shade on the map. This is a one-time offer and should a player not be present, the pass will expire and disappear from their inventory. During an EX Raid, players without passes can only see the Gym's color and the first defending Pokémon atop and if they attempt to interact with the Gym they will be informed that the gym is closed and the time that it will reopen.
Currently, these raids are the only way to catch the Pokémon Mewtwo.
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, special type effectiveness rules apply in Pokémon GO; type effectiveness is derived from the type chart in the Generation VI core series games, but there are no immunities and different multipliers. The same-type attack bonus is applied, giving a 25% boost to moves of the same type as the user.
During a 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 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: tap the Special Attack button. 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 and require charging before use.
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Reason: How much is damage reduced by? When was it changed?.
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 75% 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), and is filled by using Fast Attacks or taking damage from the opponent. Should the player be continuing from a previous battle, the Special Attack meter is retained. The Special Attack meter is displayed at the bottom of the screen below the button which activates the Special Attack.
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.
Previously, Special Attacks appeared in the top right of the screen below a Pokémon's HP and was activated by holding down on the screen.
Claiming the Defender bonus
When the defending Pokémon returns from Gym to its trainer, it brings a defender bonus in the form of PokéCoins. The longer the Pokémon was defending a Gym, the more PokéCoins the player will get. The player receives 1 PokéCoin per 10 minutes defended. 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 the number of Pokémon that returned to their trainer.
Gym System updates
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Reason: more information on updates.
There have been many updates introduced to the Gym system since the game's implementation, mostly related to the players quality of life. Various changes include moving the special attack gauge and changing the execution from a long press on the screen to a button, moving around the other elements of the UI, and adding a small battle log to the bottom right delivering players information regarding move effectiveness.
Early Gym System
Inspecting a level 4 Gym controlled by Team Valor (red)
When the game first released the Gym system was very different. Each Gym was capable of having ten defenders, and there was no limit on the species of Pokémon defending. They were ordered with the lowest CP Pokemon at the bottom, going up in rank to the highest CP. Instead of motivation Pokémon had prestige, and players of the defending team could train at the Gym to increase this value and make it harder for opposing teams to defeat the Pokémon and ergo the Gym. Furthermore, the defender bonus was determined by the amount of Pokémon you had in Gyms, for a collection of a hundred Pokécoins a day.
This caused a lot of stagnation and power imbalances early on in Gyms during the release of the game as weaker players had issues taking down Gyms with especially powerful Pokémon defending them. It was significantly more time consuming and difficult to defeat Gyms as Pokémon never lost CP and only lost Prestige as they were defeated. Players that had positions in ten Gyms had no reason to take down other Gyms rather than maintain their positions in the current Gyms as Gym Badges weren't yet implemented. Additionally, if you're Pokémon was at the top of a level ten Gym, a players position was fairly secure as attackers would have to battle their way through the previous nine Pokémon before being able to fight the top position. It created a situation of the strong getting stronger, with the weak being unable to catch up, due to the "free" in-game currency and teh bonuses one could buy with it (such as incubators and bag space) and extra Stardust which allowed them to strengthen their Pokémon.
The new system improved on all of this by introducing the motivation mechanic, limiting species within a Gym, lowering the amount of Pokémon defending a Gym, and only rewarding Pokécoins once a Pokémon was returned to its player.