After days of having gyms “under construction,” Pokémon Go’s biggest overhaul is now available to all players. Not only that, but players logging in today may also find new gyms in areas that used to be Pokestops. Neat.
Here’s how it works, per our preview of the feature from earlier in the month:
Gyms will soon have six slots that can be filled by one team’s Pokemon, and Pokemon presiding over gyms will have a new stat called “motivation.” Even if you can’t knock a rival team from their throne, their individual Pokemon will lose motivation over time and as a result of defeats, temporarily lowering their CP. So basically you’ll be able to aid in chipping away at them, if nothing else.
However, members of the controlling team can raise Pokemon’s spirits with berries, making both sides of the equation a cooperative effort. For your efforts, you’ll be able to earn gym badges, which you can level up to potentially get better items at PokeStops and gyms. On top of all that, gyms are getting spinnable “photo discs” (ala PokeStops) in order to hopefully alleviate some of the problems faced by players in less densely populated locations.
For those of you taking on gyms, note that some under-the-hood mechanics have also changed now. For example, “Super Effective” moves now dole out 140% damage, while same-type-attack-boost (STAB) moves have been nerfed down to 120%. Players are predicting that monsters with double weaknesses defending gyms are going to be particularly hurt by this change.
Once available, I rushed to a Pokestop near me. It was blank. I did what any strong, proud trainer would do:
Okay, enough joking. Here are some things you should know:
- To earn coins, you need to defend gyms for at least ten minutes. Players are reporting a rate of 1 coin per ten minutes defended right now. Coins are awarded after your monster is defeated, and only if you kept the gym for long enough.
- To earn badges, you need to spin the Photo Disc atop gyms. If you’re having trouble actually receiving badges, a Niantic representative says they are “still in the process of rolling out features” and that players should try again if they had trouble the first time.
- Gyms, players are reporting, can only hold one of each monster at a time.
- Gym defenders won’t start out with full motivation. You need to feed them berries.
- Feeding berries to teammates will get you Stardust and Candy rewards, so don’t be stingy.
- If you have a “slashed” monster, you will not be able to damage gym defenders. So, don’t cheat!
- As for raids...they have started going live, but:
Most gyms around me at the time filled up rather quickly, often with familiar faces, such as Blissey, Dragonite, Gyarados, and Snorlax. If you’re going to take on a gym, make note and prepare for such threats! A list of the top defenders as of the latest update can be found here.