What are Poke Gyms?
Pokemon Gyms are places that you can visit within the game. Once you’re there, it really depends on what you want to do.
So perhaps a more relevant question would be how these Pokemon Gyms work?
You already know, or should know, that the primary objective of Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile video game is to level up your Pokemon Go monsters and your trainer.
Once you hit higher trainer levels, Pokemon Go enables you to capture more powerful Pokemon Go monsters.
To get to that point, you need to go to Pokemon Gyms to collect bonus XP for your trainer as well as for your weak Pokemon Go monsters.
Anyway, the important thing to remember here is that Professor Willow will only introduce you to Pokemon Gyms once you hit level five. Not before that.
When you’re introduced to gyms in Pokemon Go, you will also be given the option to choose your team.
In other words, it will be your affiliation for the rest of your time in Pokemon Go. You’ll be able to either join instinct, Mystic, or Valor. You can only join one team from the three options given.
Now, let’s move to the part where you com across an actual Pokemon Gym.
When playing Pokemon Go, if you come across a Pokemon Gym, you’ll have three possible options in how to interact with the Pokemon Gym.
If the Gym is unclaimed, you’ll be given the opportunity to claim the gym. If a rival team owns a particular Pokemon Gym, then you will have to fight the other team’s Pokemon present at the Gym.
And finally, if the Pokemon Gym is claimed by your chosen team, then the game will allow you to train your Pokemon there and upgrade it.
On a side note, if a Pokemon Gym is unclaimed, it would appear white on your Pokemon Go world map.
Remember, if you want to train your Pokemon Go monster to gain more XP then you will have to fight other Pokemon present at the Pokemon Gym.
You can also store your Pokemon at any Pokemon Gym that is either unclaimed or owned by your own team. If you do that, you’ll be rewarded with extra Stardust and Poke Coins.
You will only be able to collect these rewards once every 21 hours.
Don’t forget that if you confront a Pokemon Gym that belongs to an opposing team then you will have to battle for Pokemon Gym’s control with the Pokemon that has been placed at the Pokemon Gym by the opposing team.
However, if you are able to beat all the Pokemon Go monsters that a particular Pokemon Gym has thrown at you, then you’ll shave off a massive amount of Prestige Points away from that particular Pokemon Gym.
Another Pro tip; Pokemon Gyms that are at a higher level have gigantic amounts of Prestige Points. If you want to conquer these type of Pokemon Gyms then you may have to defeat the whole Pokemon Gym several times before you can lay a claim on that particular Pokemon Gym.
Want to Conquer More Gyms?
Remember, if a Pokemon Gym appears white, it is unclaimed. You need to claim it as soon as possible. After you have tapped on an unclaimed Pokemon Gym, you’ll be able to place a Pokemon at Pokemon Gym to guard it.
Don’t worry; the Gym will give you the option of choosing which Pokemon you want to leave at the Gym to protect it.
However, don’t just put your weakest Pokemon at a Pokemon Gym. In other words, don’t be stingy.
You must choose a strong Pokemon Go monster to defend a Gym because this “placed” Pokemon Go monster will have to fight other Pokemon when other trainers encounter the same Pokemon Gym at some other time.
Your Pokemon Gyms will always get challenged by other Pokemon Go players. Honestly, it would be a miracle if you ever manage to hold onto a particular Pokemon Gym for more than 24 hours.
Remember, that if a Pokemon Go trainer from a rival team defeats your Pokemon that is defending the Gym, then that rival Pokemon Go team would lay a claim on that Pokemon Gym.
Always remember that good students know all the rules, but great students know when to break those rules.
So if you only have one strong Pokemon in your collection, don’t place it at a Pokemon Gym for its defense.
In order to level up quickly, you’ll probably be battling it out to take control of other Pokemon Gyms and hence, you’ll need your most powerful Pokemon in order to conquer those Gyms.
How to Support Your Team’s Gyms
You can strengthen your own team’s Gyms by placing more than one Pokemon at that particular Gym.
While it can become fascinating to raid an opposing team’s Pokemon Gym and try to conquer it time after time again, don’t get preoccupied with taking over other team’s Pokemon Gyms.
The better method is to ensure that your own team’s gyms are appropriately strengthened.
You can do that by choosing to “train” your Pokemon Go monster at your team’s Pokemon Gym.
When you chose the “train” option at your Pokemon Gym, you’ll be able to fight the Pokemon Go monster that your allies have stored at the Gym.
How does that help you or your team?
Well, when you battle Pokemon Go monsters at a particular Gym that is owned by your own team, then that specific Pokemon Gym gains Prestige Points.
And more Prestige Points mean that your team will be able to store more Pokemon Go monsters at that particular Gym to defend it.
Thus, more Prestige Points make it incredibly difficult for opposing teams to take over your Pokemon Gym.
Additionally, training at a Pokemon Gym grants your bonus XP and the best part is that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose while training at your team’s Pokemon Gym as long as you have defeated at least one Pokemon.
And don’t worry about beating up a Pokemon severely at your own team’s Pokemon Gym. When a Pokemon is defeated by a friendly trainer, it doesn’t need to be revived.
Team Gyms for Pokemon Storage?
As mentioned before, Pokemon Gyms allow you far more options than just to battle other Pokemon. You can use your team’s Pokemon Gyms to store your Pokemon.
When you store your Pokemon at a friendly Pokemon Gym, you actually add another Pokemon to defend that Pokemon Gym against opposing team trainers.
Mind you; you can only store one Pokemon per Pokemon Gym. However, you can defend up to 10 Gyms depending on your trainer’s level.
Pokemon Go rewards you with 10 Poke Coins and 200 Stardust points for every Pokemon stored. You can only claim these rewards once every 21 hours. In order to actually redeem these rewards, you must to the Shop.
When you get there, simply tap the shield symbol that is present in the top right corner of the Shop section.
One caveat though; once you have stored a Pokemon at a particular Gym, you cannot use or recall that Pokemon unless and until it is beaten by someone. In other words, your Pokemon is tied to that Pokemon Gym as long as it is unbeaten.
But if you’re away hunting more Pokemon Go monsters and your stored Pokemon is defeated in a battle, it will return to your Pokemon collection. It will be damaged, so you will have to heal your Pokemon.
How to Defeat Rival Gyms
Defeating rival Pokemon Gyms is like going to war. So you need to prepare a lot before even thinking about trespassing enemy territory.
When you’re near an opposing team’s Pokemon Gym, you can tap in and scroll to the right in order to observe the lineup of Pokemon Go monsters your rival team has installed at the Gym in order to defend it.
Typically, Gym battles start with the lowest-CP ranked Pokemon in a particular Gym. Gradually, higher CP Pokemon Go monsters have to defend the Gym when it gets attacked.
But before you take your strongest Pokemon to rout a rival team’s Gym, remember to give a lot of consideration to Pokemon elemental types.
As a rule of thumb, water type Pokemon will always beat fire type Pokemon. Fire type Pokemon will always beat grass type Pokemon and grass type Pokemon will always beat water type Pokemon.
Obviously, this isn’t the only factor involved in winning a battle but it does improve your odds of winning by a significant margin.
To perform well in combat, you can tap the smartphone screen repeatedly in order to perform basic damage attacks.
These attacks will build up your Pokemon’s special meter that appears underneath its health bar.
Each Pokemon has a different set of special moves and these special moves require varying amounts of that special meter.
Every Pokemon comes with a basic attack and a special attack.
When your special meter is filled up to the max, you need to press up against the screen and hold that position until your Pokemon performs its special attack.
On the flip side, if you need to dodge special attacks, you must swipe the screen left or right depending on the situation.
You can time your dodge movements by carefully studying when the screen flashes yellow and the opposing Pokemon changes its movement in an unexpected manner.
These subtle movements should act as your indicators if and when a special attack is coming your way.
But the pro-Pokemon Go trainers recommend that you’re better off just attacking the other Pokemon until it drops instead of wasting time in dodging attacks.
Remember, you don’t have to attack a Pokemon Gym alone. You can team up with players that have chosen the same side as you and can attack a Pokemon Gym.
The Pokemon defending the Gym will receive damage from all attackers simultaneously.
The other benefit of teamwork is that the more people you have with you to attack another Pokemon Gym, the more quickly that Pokemon Gym’s Prestige Points will drop.
You must defeat at least one Pokemon in the Gym to lower the overall Prestige Points of an opposing team’s Gym.
Eventually, the rival Gym will drop its level and once it does that, it will have less Pokemon defending it.
Once you have beaten all Pokemon that are defending a rival Gym, you’ll be able to claim that Gym for your own team.
Afterward, you can repeat the same process of storing Pokemon in the claimed Gym to defend it and training at the Gym to raise the Gym’s prestige level.
On a final thought, if a rival team takes away your team’s Gym then feel free to jump right back in there and fight to reclaim your lost Gym.
Never lay down and die. Die fighting.