Pokémon Go Gyms are dead. Long like Pokémon Go Gyms!

Niantic is killing the Gym system in Pokémon Go, and replacing it with a more complex and interactive system. The actual Gym locations aren’t going anywhere, but it’s clear you’re going to be spending a lot more time to stay at the top of the increasingly complicated (and cooperative) system in place.

Here’s what we know so far about the new Gyms, and the more interesting Raids system coming to live on top of them.

Meet the new Pokémon Go Gym

First things first — Pokémon Go Gyms will now also have PokeStop discs on them, meaning every five minutes you can spin them for more items to use in the game. This is especially good news for rural areas, where Pokémon Go content is more spread out and less easy to walk to.

The days of stacking five Blissey on a Gym to ensure your team maintains control are over. Niantic has removed that system from the game entirely, and a new system will take its place shortly. In this new system, only one version of any Pokémon can live at a Gym simultaneously. If you put a Tyranitar on a Gym, no one else will be able to as long as it is there.

Gym battles are changing as well. Instead of fighting Pokémon from lowest CP to highest, you’ll be fighting in the order they were placed at the Gym. In theory, this means you might fight the strongest Pokémon placed at a Gym first, which would make taking down a Gym by yourself a bit more challenging.

Perhaps most important, Gyms will now give you badges for continued participation.

Every time you defeat any one Pokémon, however, that creature loses something called Motivation. As Motivation decreases, the CP of that Pokémon temporarily decreases as well. Trainers can keep Pokémon motivated by feeding berries, which means trainers can interact with a Gym remotely instead of needing to be right there. When Motivation is completely lost, that Pokémon returns to its trainer.

Finally, and perhaps most important, Gyms will now give you badges for continued participation. These badges can be leveled up based on your continued participation, and the badges will offer rewards based on the current level.

Raids are coming

The whole reason Niantic is retooling Gyms is to prepare for Raids. If you watched the initial launch trailer for Pokémon Go, you saw a section where multiple Pokémon Trainers were working together to fight a MewTwo. That obviously doesn’t exist in the game right now, and Raids are how this is being addressed. Here’s what we know so far!

Raid Bosses clear a Gym: When a Raid Boss shows up, all of the Pokémon at that Gym will be sent back to Trainers. After the Raid Boss leaves, the fight to control that Gym restarts anew.
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