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Pokemon GO: Gyms Guide

July 4, 2021

Pokemon GO Gyms allow players to battle and defend specific locations all over the world, giving players a chance to earn the valuable PokeCoins that they can spend in the shop. Pokemon GO Gyms also give various rewards similar to Poke Stops by spinning the Photo Discs.

This guide will details how you can use Pokemon GO Gyms to earn coins and strategies you can use to hold them down for longer.

Pokemon Gym Leaders and Teams

Upon reaching Level 5, players in Pokemon GO will be invited to join a Pokemon Team. There are three teams to choose from:

Team Mystic Leader BlancheTeam Valor Leader CandelaTeam Instinct Leader Spark

  • Team Mystic - Leader Blanche
  • Team Valor - Leader Candela
  • Team Instinct - Leader Spark

Each team in Pokemon GO can work together to battle and defend gyms. A gym can be held by only one specific team at a time; other teams must engage in Gym Battles in order to defeat those who are defending it.

The Team you choose will mean you can only work with players who have also chosen that team to help defend and defeat Gyms. The only way to change your team is to purchase a Team Medallion from the Shop for 1,000 PokeCoins- so choose wisely!

The Team you choose will also give you various other rewards and benefits when playing Pokemon GO, such as:

  • Increase rewards when fighting Pokemon Go Raids where the Gym is held by your Team.
  • Better rewards when spinning Pokemon Go Gyms held by your team.
  • Can give Berries to Pokemon defending your team's Gyms for Stardust and Candy rewards.
  • Your Team will be represented when you fight Gyms, Appraise Pokemon and viewing your Profile.

Pokemon Gyms Mechanics

Pokemon Go Gym

Pokemon Go Gyms are featured all over the world and are usually specific points of interest. Gyms are created by Niantic (Pokemon GO Developers) and like Poke Stops remain as fixed features.

A Pokemon Go Gym can be held by one of three teams: Mystic, Valor or Instinct. When a Gym is being held by a team, a player of that team can place a Pokemon to defend the Gym on it.

Opposing teams can then engage in battles to defeat the defending Pokemon.

When all Pokemon defending the Gym have been knocked-out, the Gym will then become neutral and allow the player who defeated the Pokemon to claim the Gym for their team. This will then allow other players to place Pokemon on it to defend.

Gyms also act as Poke Stops, so you can spin the Photo Disc every 10 minutes to gain rewards. Tools like Pokemon Go-tcha can auto spin Gyms for you.

Pokemon CP

Pokemon Go Gym Fighting

There can be a max of 6 Pokemon on a Pokemon Gym at any one time.

Players from other teams can battle the Pokemon defending the Pokemon Gym and attempt to knock them out.

When you view a Gym, you can see all the Pokemon currently defending it, along with their CP.

CP is a measure of their health and is based on the Pokemon's level.

Overtime, a Pokemon's CP will slowly dwindle down, making them easier to knock out. When a Pokemon's CP reaches 0, they are removed from the Gym.

A Pokemon's CP will never reach 0 without another trainer knocking them out of a Gym.

You can help defend Gyms by feeding the defending Pokemon Berries, which will revive some of the CP of the Pokemon you feed.

For each Berry you give to a Pokemon, you are given 20 Stardust and a chance to earn some of that Pokemon's specific candy. You can only feed berries to Pokemon that are defending Gyms held by your Team.

Gym Battles

Pokemon Go Gym Battle

Pokemon Gym Battles allow opposing teams to KO defending Pokemon. Pokemon GO Gym Battles are one-on-one and a player can quit mid-way or stop after a single battle.

Each Pokemon will have a CP rating that will determine how much health it has and how strong they are when you fight them. When a Pokemon reaches 0 CP in battle, a portion of that CP is knocked off the Pokemon defending the Gym. You may have to fight the same defending Pokemon multiple times in order to fully knock it off the Gym.

You only get a small amount of XP for defeating Pokemon from a Gym. The real reward lies with Pokecoins, which is explained in the section below.

Gym Badges

For each Gym you defend, you will earn a Gym badge. Your Gym badges are displayed on your profile and can be either Basic, Bronze, Silver or Gold.

Each time you spin Pokemon Gym Photodisc, battle another Pokemon at that Gym or feed a Berry to a Pokemon, you gain progression for your Gym Badge.

When you view a Gym badge, you can see the total stats for that Gym, which include how long you have defended the Gym, how many battles you have won and how many treats you have given to Pokemon defending the Gym.

Pokemon Go Raids

Pokemon Go Raid Pass

Any Gym in Pokemon GO can also play host to a Pokemon Go Raid. A raid allows up to 19 players to fight a strong Pokemon and if defeated, gives players a chance to capture it. You will notice when a raid is available by a special icon over the Gym.

Gyms with a countdown and giant egg on them mean a Raid is about to start.

You can spin a Gym with an active Raid on to gain a free Raid Pass each day.

Pokemon Gym PokeCoins


Pokecoins are a special currency in Pokemon GO that allows players to buy items from the item shop. The shop contains useful items such as Raid Passes, Egg Incubators, Double XP Eggs and more, making Pokecoins very valuable to players.

Pokecoins are rewarded to players who defend Gyms. A player can earn 50 Pokecoins a day for defending a Pokemon Gym.

For every 10 minutes a Pokemon is defending a Gym, they will be rewarded with 1 PokeCoin when they are knocked out. It takes about 8 hours of defending a Gym to get the full 50 PokeCoins.

PokeCoins are only rewarded when your Pokemon is knocked out of a Gym by an opposing team.

You cannot earn more than 50 Coins in a single day, so even if you were defending 10 Gyms for 24 hours+, you still would only be rewarded the 50 PokeCoins limit when they were all knocked out.

Gyms can be heavily contested in popular cities, so many players like to try and find multiple Gyms each day to ensure they reach the 50 PokeCoins cap limit.

If you live in an area where Pokemon Gyms are rarely contested, you might find yourself with a Pokemon sitting on a Gym for days and days with no rewards.


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Aleph is the main writer and programmer of DigitalTQ. His aim is to provide quality gaming guides, articles and news from the video game industry. We've been playing games since the 90s and are always on the lookout for new gems to play.


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