Pokémon Go’s big gym overhaul hasn’t been live for very long, but many players already dislike some of the new mechanics.

PokeCoins, as many of you know, are the currency of Pokémon Go—you can use coins to purchase shop items, such as incubators (150 coins) and lures (100 coins.) Previously, players could install monsters at gyms, and then immediately collect a defender bonus of 10 coins once a day, per gym. Under the new system, players can still take over and defend gyms, except the payout is different. Right now, you earn about one coin per hour defended, but you don’t gain the currency until after your monster is defeated. The whole thing is automatic. UPDATE 3:11PM: According to multiple user reports at The Silph Road, the coin payout has increased to be multiple times an hour, about 1 coin per 10 minutes of defense time at gyms—which is way more sensible! Here’s Niantic on the new limit:

You can redeem a maximum bonus of 50 PokéCoins per day. If you have more than one Pokémon return from Gyms in a single day, the maximum bonus for the day is still limited to 50 PokéCoins.

That said, the cheating described in the lower portion of this article is still an issue.


The problem is two-fold. Some players can’t actually hold a gym for long enough to earn coins, despite putting in the work of defeating rivals. As an example: I took a gym yesterday, got defeated in like 20 minutes, and then felt robbed—under the older system, I would have gotten something for my efforts if I just checked in. The hour minimum stipulation will be a problem for anyone who lives in a major city with high turnover, or for anyone who doesn’t have very powerful monsters. Other players, especially those who live in rural areas without many players, are annoyed that they have to wait too long to reap the rewards—until their monsters are beat, they don’t get anything. The whole thing is a bummer for casual and uber players alike, judging by reactions online.

It’s not just the coins, though. Monsters now have a “motivation” stat that steadily decays through time passed, or via gym defeats. Motivation can be replenished via berries, however. Many players are reporting that cheaters who use fake GPS locations (AKA spoofers) are permanently installing their monsters at gyms by remotely feeding them with endless supplies of berries. Legit players, meanwhile, have to actually visit the location IRL in order to feed their critters berries, putting them at a disadvantage. Even though the new update gives some cheaters a mark of shame, and despite reports that some branded cheaters can’t damage gyms, cheaters still pose a huge problem in Pokémon Go.


Folks are also griping about the the new “raids,” which require players to be at least level 31 to participate in battles against souped-up monsters. I’ve spoken to a number of fans who have been playing since day one, yet they can’t do raids. Granted, by their very nature, raids in most games are exclusive affairs open only to the most dedicated of players. The good news is that Niantic is slowly rolling out more options for lower-level players (in less than a day, it’s gone from level 35 to 31, and likely to drop some more in the coming days). Until then, I can’t help but laugh the initial raid announcement on Twitter:

Don’t see it? Why, even Niantic is not a high enough level to raid yet!