Pokémon GO Gym Overview: How to Claim, Defend, and Reinforce

Pokémon GO Teams

What is a Gym in Pokémon GO?

Gyms in Pokémon GO are special points of interest found throughout the world. You can capture a Gym for your Team and battle the Pokémon of rival Teams there. Additionally, Gyms can be challenged by multiple Trainers at the same time.

Three teams: Instinct, Mystic, and Valor

Each team is tied to a Legendary bird: Team Instinct has Zapdos, Team Mystic has Articuno, and Team Valor has Moltres. At the moment, there’s nothing that shows being on a team will provide you with any benefits other than the ability to reinforce fellow teammates at Gyms and train Pokémon.

How to Claim an open Gym for your team:

  1. Walk up to a gray-colored Gym.
  2. Touch the Gym to enter it.
  3. At the bottom of the screen, touch the Add Pokémon
  4. Select a Pokémon to add to the Gym.

You can only add one Pokémon per Gym.

Gym Level

A Gym’s level is determined by its prestige. As a Gym earns prestige, it increases in level. The higher a Gym’s level, the more Pokémon can be assigned to it, making it harder for rival Teams to capture and claim.

Increasing a Gym’s Prestige

A Gym’s prestige increases when you assign a trained Pokémon to it, and also when teammates assign additional Pokémon to reinforce.

Training Your Pokémon at friendly Gyms

Another way to increase your friendly Gym’s prestige is to train your Pokémon at it. You can earn XP and increase the Prestige of friendly Gyms by training your Pokémon there. You can train your Pokémon in a friendly battle, where you select a single Pokémon  to battle against another Pokémon of the same team in a friendly Gym. The more you train, the more Prestige you can earn for your team’s Gym.

Reinforcing a friendly Gym for your Team

You can increase the level and prestige of a friendly Gym by reinforcing it with your own Pokémon, making it harder for rival teams to capture. Each friendly Trainer on your team can add one Pokémon per Gym; however, each Gym can only hold between 1 and 10 Pokémon, depending on its prestige.

How to reinforce a friendly Gym

  1. Walk up to a friendly Gym.
  2. Touch the Gym to enter it.
  3. At the bottom of the screen, touch Add Pokémon 
  4. Select a Pokémon to add to the Gym.

You can only add one Pokémon per Gym, and your Pokémon won’t be returned to your collection until it’s knocked off the Gym.

Claiming a Gym from a rival team

A rival Gym will show up on your map as the other team’s color. You can claim a Gym from a rival team by defeating the other team’s Pokémon inside. You can select up to six Pokémon to use in battle. Each rival Pokémon you defeat reduces the Gym’s Prestige and potentially lowers the Gym’s level.

Defeating the rival Gym Leader reduces Prestige by a significant amount.

To claim the Gym for your team, reduce the Gym’s Prestige to zero.

How to battle Pokémon at rival Gyms:

To battle Pokémon at rival Gyms:

  1. Walk up to a Gym controlled by an opposing team.
  2. Touch the Gym to enter it.
  3. Select up to six Pokémon to use in battle. There are two ways of making your selections.
    • Touch the icon of an individual Pokémon to swap it out for a different Pokémon.
    • Touch the Shuffle  to get a completely different set of six Pokémon to use in battle.
  4. To start the battle, touch the Glove 

Once in the battle, you can perform one of three different actions:

  • Fast Attack
    • Tap your Pokémon to perform a fast attack
    • Fast attacks charge your special attack meter.
  • Dodge attacks
    • Swipe left or right to dodge attacks.
  • Special Attack
    • Once your Special Attack meter is charged, long-press your Pokémon to perform a special attack.
    • Special Attacks cause large amounts of damage.
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