'Pokémon Go' Gyms Closing: Massive update with raid battles and other changes announced

'Pokémon Go' Gyms Closing: Massive update with raid battles and other changes announced
Source: Pokémon Go
Source: Pokémon Go

If you've been dying for a gym overhaul in order to keep things fresh in Pokémon Go, we've got some extremely good news. Niantic has just announced their plans for a massive gym overhaul and things are looking good.

If you're curious about what's to come for gyms, don't worry — we've got you covered.

Pokémon Go gym update: What's going to be new with gyms?

An official statement on the Pokémon Go website detailed some of the changes players can expect moving forward with gyms.

Let's start with the smallest news first. Gyms will have a photo disc, just like PokéStops. This means that gyms in your area will now yield items as you walk by them. Additionally, gym badges are being added to the game to track your contributions to a gym's success, and you'll get them for battling, spinning the gym's photo disc and feeding your Pokémon berries (more on that below).

Gyms will now have photo discs that players can spin for items.
Source: Pokémon Go


As for the gyms themselves, prestige has been removed as a mechanic, which means that there will be no more unwinnable Pokémon gyms to slog through. Now there are six slots in each gym that the controlling team may place Pokémon into, and each Pokémon must be unique.

You heard that right — only one Dragonite's going to be able to hang out in a gym at any one time.

In addition to that, Pokémon won't stay at gyms indefinitely — a tactic that's been abused by some players driving through rural areas with out-of-the-way gyms. Each Pokémon assigned to a gym will have a motivation meter that depletes over time and through battle losses. Loss of motivation will lower the Pokémon's CP, making it easier to defeat in battle.

In the new update, Pokémons' ability to fight will be tied to their motivation — let it fall too low and your Pokémon will be much easier to defeat than it previously was.
Source: Pokémon Go

Once a Pokémon loses all its motivation and is defeated, it'll be returned to its trainer, so you'll have to return to your gyms frequently to feed your Pokémon berries if you don't want them to quit on your team prematurely.

Pokémon Go gym update: Raid battles are coming to Pokémon Go

Gyms will also be the site of large multi-person events called Raid Battles. These have been teased as a feature in previous APK data mines, and now we finally have some information about what those raid battles are going to look like.

According to Niantic's announcement, all the Pokémon at a specific gym will periodically be returned to trainers and a large egg with a timer will appear on top. When that timer reaches zero, a massive Pokémon called a "raid boss" will spawn, and players will have to work collaboratively to take it down.

This is, presumably, what it'll look like when a raid is about to begin.
Source: Pokémon Go


In order to take down these massive monsters, you'll need a Raid Pass. You can get one of these per day by visiting a gym — though you can also only hold one at a time — or by purchasing one in the shop. This pass will allow you to participate in a raid with up to 20 other players in your area for some great rewards, including ultra-powerful Pokémon, if you manage to beat the raid within the five minute limit.

Raids will also yield special items. Niantic has currently promised three special items to players who successfully take down a raid boss. You'll be able to get rare candies, which transform into a specific Pokémon's power-up candies when used on them, as well as Golden Razz Berries. Golden Razz Berries will either make you much more likely to catch a Pokémon in the wild or fully restore the motivation of a Pokémon left at a gym.

It's going to take everything you've got to take down a Tyranitar this big.
Source: Pokémon Go


The last new item available from raids will be Technical Machines, which you can use to change your Pokémon's fast or charged battle moves. Finally, no more perfect IV Pokémon ruined by poor move-sets.

Gyms are temporarily disabled while these new features are being implemented, but they'll return once they've been rolled out worldwide. The raid battle feature will roll out a little more slowly over the coming weeks, as certain players will be participating in a beta.

Although there's been no mention as of yet about Legendary Pokémon, it's safe to assume their implementation won't be far off once raids are live worldwide.

More Pokémon news and coverage

Read more coverage on the rumored Pokémon Stars, including Nintendo's comments on the potential Switch game and news about GameFreak putting up a "now hiring" sign. Watch how well Sun and Moon could translate to Switch and why we won't see the game come to the home console this year — but at least we're getting portable Pokkén and Gold and Silver again.