Pokémon Go Finally Gets The Gym Upgrades We’ve All Been Waiting For

It’s been about a year since Pokémon Go took over the world.

Pokémon Go is not without it’s share of flaws (Gym battles?) and also some mysterious long awaited promises (Legendary Pokémon anyone?).

It’s been a longtime coming but Pokémon Go is finally about to get some of the most anticipated content yet! When the first trailer for Go dropped almost two years ago, it alluded to combined group activities that would bring large swaths of people together to catch legendary Pokémon. With a stunning musical track, and a united group of players battling Mewtwo in times square, it seemed a near magical idea.

The wait has been worth it though because in the coming weeks you will be able to live out that surreal dream.

mewtwo time square

Pokémon Go Gym Updates & Raids

This last week Niantic finally spoke up about some long gestating features. Despite swirling rumors, hoaxes, and a bit of misplaced outrage, Pokémon Go has been waiting for some significant changes, least of all not being Legendary Pokémon.

Revamped Gyms

To start off the changes, Go is finally revamping Gym battles to be a fun, community oriented event.

Gone is the prestige system of the past and the random cycling through 11 Charizards. Instead of being able to spam a gym with high CP characters, the newest changes insure that Gym’s will be trying hard to offer a fair and balanced team.

First off, the lowest level Pokémon is no longer the first opponent at a Gym. Instead, Gyms are now operated in order by the Pokémon placed at the gym. This slight change may offer some new strategic depth as well as work with new Motivation system (More on that in a minute!).

Secondly, the amount of Pokémon is now capped at six, different type, different individual Pokémon. You can no longer have two of a Pokémon, such as having a six Dragonite team as often seen, and rumor is they may not allow the same type of Pokémon to appear at a gym. If that is true, it means a good Gym will be more diverse as well offering more than just dragon-type Pokémon.

That’s not the only change to Gyms! Ever been at a place where there are no Poke stops but for some reason a ton of gyms? Now it’s possible to get items at gyms as well just like at a Pokestop. This also means Starbucks is a lot more fun to loiter in!

Another addition is that of Gym badges! These will be earned by doing specific things and levelled up for benefits. There are literally MASSIVE changes coming to Go!

Motivated and it feels so good…

The prestige system is getting nixed in favor of a newer different way of running gyms. The new system is called the “Motivation System.”

Basically, a Pokémon placed in a gym is no longer there until history defeats him, rather the Pokémon will slowly lose CP and feel less motivated to be at the gym. We can probably all relate to that. To combat this, you need to feed berries to Pokémon at the gym. They will regain strength and become aggressive Gym rats once more. If they don’t get motivated, they will go back to the original trainer once finally defeated. This means you want to stop by local gyms and feed the Pokémon, to help out your team!

This minor change shows how Pokémon Go is starting to push for better use of the original teams. How many of you signed up for Team Mystic, only to feel a bit meh about the whole experience after all?

(IGN did a great summary of all the content here if you want more information on Gyms.)

Raids for Days

Raids. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Some gyms will now show a Giant egg hovering above them. This means a raid is about to begin. By camping out next to the Gym, you can prepare for the raid. Each raid will require some sort of raid pass (One given out daily) which allows you to access the raid. These Pokémon are incredibly powerful and you must team up with other players to take them down. The example shown by Niantic had a CP of over 25,000!

Once the battle begins, a five-minute timer starts, if the Pokémon is defeated in this brief time, the player is given the chance to catch it. These Pokémon will be a mix of unique and legendary ones. Rumor is one of the first Legendary Pokémon coming is the beloved bird, Lugia.

On top of the new Pokémon, there are loot drops after raids as well. For instance, TM machines will now drop allowing you to change the move of a Pokémon. Technical Machines are a unique way to modify the existing Pokémon you love and get them prepped for battle. The much-requested feature is finally coming to Go, allowing you to teach Pokémon. No word yet on whether Magikarp can learn something useful.

This summer looks like it’s revving up to be an incredibly fun time in the world of Pokémon! From worldwide events to MASSIVE updates, Go is becoming better than ever. If you’ve stopped playing a bit, hop on and get back in the game. You won’t regret it!

Note: As of June 20th, 2017, the new Go update is live in the states. It is still in the testing phase though so Gyms and Raids are not open yet but new features are being implemented and tested daily!

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