If you’ve got a few levels under your belt in Pokemon Go you’re probably thinking about trying gym battles. Gym battles are tons of fun and a great way to meet other players on your team. It can be a little intimidating at first since gym battles are more action oriented than previous Pokemon titles. If you’ve tried out a gym battle at a low level it was probably over before you even knew what happened. Fear not, once you start leveling up they’ll become easier and make way more sense.
Before you get to battling gyms and claiming territory for your team let’s go over exactly gym battles work. It’s best to be prepared so you can do it right and get the most out of those gym rewards.
Gym Strategies: Gym Battle Benefits
Gym battles are important because of the great benefits they can give you. Catching Pokemon is fun but it only gets you a little stardust and candy for specific Pokemon. Gym battles get you so much more including those all important Pokecoins. Here’s what gym battling will get you:
Experience: Every Pokemon you defeat in a gym gives you a little bit of experience. The more victories the more experience.
Stardust: Holding a gym will get you a little bit of stardust for powering up your Pokemon. It’s not a ton but it’s a bigger amount than you get for capturing a single Pokemon.
Pokecoins: This is the big one. Getting involved in gym battles and claiming gyms is the only way to get Pokecoins without paying for them. You get 10 coins right away for putting a Pokemon into a friendly gym and if the gym is held you get more every day.
Gym Strategies: Gym Details
Now that you’re interested in getting those sweet gym rewards let’s talk about gyms themselves. Battling a gym takes some preparation and planning so it’s important to fully inspect one before attacking.
Beacons: Gym beacons appear on the map as a floating disc in the sky. It will be the color of the team that currently controls it and the most powerful Pokemon defending it will appear on top. Watch for smoke and lightning since that means the gym is currently under attack. Gyms are their weakest after they’ve recently changed hands.
Main Gym Screen: After you tap on a gym beacon you’ll be taken to the main gym screen. Here you’ll see all the details of the gym and be able to plan the details of your gym battle.
Gym Level: At the top left of the screen you’ll see the gym level. The higher the gym level, the more Pokemon can be used to defend it. You’ll also see a score under the gym’s location icon. This is really important and I’ll get to it in a minute.
Pokemon Details: The Pokemon defending the gym can be viewed by swiping to the left. You’ll see the Pokemon, their Combat Points and the player who put them there. Each gym level opens a spot for a Pokemon to defend. So a level five gym can hold five Pokemon.
Boxing Glove Icon: At the bottom right is a boxing glove icon that begins the gym battle.
Gym Strategies: Gym Points
It’s important to know how the gym point system works. You don’t take a gym by simply defeating the Pokemon that defend it. You have to reduce the gym level by removing gym points which reduces it’s ability to house Pokemon. Each battle you win will take off only a few points so you’ll have to battle quite a few times to take over a high level gym. I highly recommend getting a big crew together to take out a big gym otherwise it could take a long time if you do it by yourself.
Gym Strategies: Picking Your Team
When you’re ready to enter a Pokemon gym battle hit the boxing glove icon to start.
Default Team: A box will appear at the bottom of the screen with six Pokemon that the game thinks will be your best team. Usually this is just the six most powerful Pokemon in your collection. You can fine tune this team by tapping a Pokemon to bring up your collection and tap a new Pokemon to replace it.
Types: Pokemon all have one or more ‘types’. If you’re familiar with Pokemon games this is old news but if you’re new this can get confusing. Certain Pokemon types are stronger or weaker against other types. There are charts online you can study and I suggest you download one to your phone for easy access. There are volumes of information about Pokemon types and their effectiveness so I won’t get into it in detail.
Fight!: Once your team is assembled hit the Go button and get ready. The battle screen will load and the action begins immediately.
Basic Attack:Power Attack: Your power attack charges as you do basic attacks. You can track it’s progress by keeping an eye on the blue bar under your health bar at the top left of the screen. Once it’s charged you can unleash it by tapping and holding on the enemy Pokemon. You’ll know it’s triggered when the attack name appears on the screen. After that, watch it do it’s thing and resume tapping.
Dodge: You can dodge enemy attacks by swiping left or right across the screen. Dodging isn’t always reliable and tough to do at first. You’ll get better at it the more gym battles you do so go out and practice.
Winning or Losing: When a Pokemon’s hit points are reduced to zero they are defeated. If you win, you’ll be immediately put up against the next Pokemon and start all over. If you lose the next Pokemon on your team will step up to take a turn. Once your team is defeated the battle is over. If you defeat all the gym’s Pokemon the battle will be over.
Summary: When the battle is over you’ll see a summary. The number of Pokemon defeated, your XP points gained and the number of points removed from the gym will all be displayed.
Gym Strategies: Wrapping Up
Once the battle is over you’ll need to go in and revive or heal up any injured Pokemon. They won’t be available for gym battles until they are back to healthy.
If you defeated a few Pokemon the gym’s points will be reduced. You can keep battling until the gym’s points are reduced to zero if you have the time. Once it is reduced to zero the gym will go gray and be open for capture. Get a Pokemon in there quick! An open gym can be claimed by anyone so make sure you defend it right away.
It won’t help you win any battles but a Pokemon Go phone cases and decals can help you find allies out in the world. Check them out!