Pokemon GO has a huge update coming our way, and it will be revamping how Gyms work as well as introducing Raid Battles!
The new Gyms will be able to do a handful of things they couldn’t in the past. For starters, they will now have spinnable Photo Discs to drop items like PokeStops and they will no longer be based on Prestige and training.
Instead, Gyms will be populated by six permanent slots that are filled by the controlling team’s Pokemon; with each slot to be filled by a unique Pokemon. So no more Gyms full of Snorlaxes and Gyaradoses. In addition to that, Pokemon in the Gym will be battled according to the order they are assigned, a little more like a traditional Gym in a Pokemon game.
Also, there’s the new motivation system. When a Pokemon is assigned to a Gym it will display a motivation meter. As the time goes by and Pokemon gets defeated in battle it will experience motivation decay, making its CP temporarily drop and thus becoming easier to defeat. To keep the Pokemon’s motivation up, trainers can feed the Pokemon Berries. Should the Pokemon’s motivation hit zero, it will leave so make sure they’re well treated!
Interacting with Gyms will also allow players to collect Gym Badges, and these can be leveled up by battling, feeding the Gym Pokemon berries and spinning said Gym’s Photo Disc. Leveled Gym Badges will give bonus items and increased rewards in general.
While the new Gyms are getting implemented, all Gyms are currently disabled.
As for the new Raid Battle feature, this will let players partake in a cooperative gameplay experience to defeat extremely strong Pokemon known as the Raid Boss. This is likely what they were referring to when people were battling Mewtwo in one of the earlier trailers for the game.
Before a Raid Battle begins, a giant egg will appear on top of the Gym, when the timer reaches zero the Raid Boss will be revealed. However, to participate you need a Raid Pass, which you will receive once a day for free when you visit a Gym. You can only hold one at a time though.
Battles on the Raid Boss will take you and 20 other trainers to defeat it, and if you can take it down within the five-minute time limit, you’ll have a chance to capture this extra powerful Pokemon!
Raid Bosses drop items too, some of which can only be gotten from defeating a boss. These include Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries and two types of Technical Machines, Fast and Charged.
Rare Candies are useable by all Pokemon because it turns into that Pokemon’s Candy when being used, while Golden Razz Berries highly increases the capture chance of a Wild Pokemon or feed it to a Gym Pokemon and it’ll shoot its motivation back to max. Technical Machines on the other hand, can be used to teach a Pokemon a new Fast or Charged attack.
The new features will be rolled out soon and Gyms will return then. Raid Battles, on the other hand, will be rolled out over the next few weeks and will be visible to certain players at certain locations only.