So you’ve got the basics down and you’ve started gathering up Pokemon left and right. Now your team is itching for some action. Well then, you’ll want to head towards the nearest Gym. This guide for training and battling at Pokemon Go’s gyms should help you and your Pokemon to be your very best.

Battling Basics

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  • Pick your fighters carefully. Comparing CP will give you a general idea of their chances against an opponent (i.e. a 97 won’t stand a chance against a 1,200).
  • Type also matters. As with other games in the series, a Pokemon’s type can give it an edge in battle. Fire is weak to water, Bug is weak to Flying, and so on. These bonuses won’t make much of a difference if there’s too big a discrepancy between CP values, however.
  • Work fast – fights are timed. Assuming you can luck out and find an opponent that isn’t several times more powerful than your nest Pokemon, you’ll still want to keep the fight brief. Each fight has a timer at the top of the screen, and if it hits zero, you fail. Defeating an opponent’s Pokemon will reset the timer when you move on to the next fight, but you’ll still want to be quick.

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  • Tap, swipe, and hold your way to victory. Tapping will cause your Pokemon to perform a basic attack for basic damage. Swiping will make your Pokemon dodge to the side, hopefully avoiding damage if you can time it properly. Tapping and holding will use your Pokemon’s special attack, which also requires energy (shown underneath its health as little blue boxes that fill over time).
  • Watch your opponent carefully. Different Pokemon have different tells, but whenever you see them doing anything that isn’t an idle animation you’ll know an attack is incoming. Swipe to the left or right to try and dodge it.
  • You can switch out Pokemon if you need to. If you’re suddenly up against a rival pokĂ©mon you know you’re current choice is weak against (or if you simply feel like switching), you can tap on the arrow icon in the bottom-right corner of the battle screen to change your current fighter.

Your Team’s Gyms

Pokemon GO Gym battle

  • Battling your own team is actually a good thing. By training at a gym your team already controls, you can increase the gym’s prestige (if you win). The more prestige, the harder it’ll be for another team to take it over, and if you’re able to increase the gym’s level after training you can even leave one of your own pokĂ©mon there to help defend it.
  • Defending your team’s gym is also a good thing. If you have Pokemon defending a gym, you’ll start to earn pokĂ©coins over time that can be used to buy items in the shop. So make sure you pick your toughest Pokemon so that you can keep your spot longer.
  • Training battles are always one-on-one. Whichever Pokemon you choose to battle with when training will be going it alone, no exceptions. You won’t be able to rely on strength in numbers, so send in whatever you think is toughest.
  • Losing a training battle will not cause your pokĂ©mon to faint. Their health will still go down, but you won’t have to use a Revive to get them back in the action.

Rival Teams’ Gyms

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  • More Pokemon means more chances. When trying to take a rival team’s gym, you’ll be able to select six different Pokemon to bring to the fight. Things like elemental weaknesses and CP values will still matter, of course, but six against one are pretty decent odds.
  • Defeating even one rival Pokemon will help. You and your team will get nothing (good DAY, sir!) if you aren’t able to knock out a single opponent, but even so much as one victory will reduce the gym’s prestige and earn experience for your Pokemon.

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  • Defeating all of the rival pokĂ©mon in one battle helps even more. If you’re able to, knocking out every single opponent will net you a pretty decent bonus when it comes to prestige reduction. So, you know, try to take them all out whenever you can.
  • If you know other team members in your area, see if you can work together to bring down a rival gym. The more trainers there are trying to whittle down those prestige levels, the faster you all can take the gym over.
  • PokĂ©mon that are knocked out when attacking a rival gym will need to be revived. Unlike training battles, your pokĂ©mon will definitely get knocked out when fighting rival teams. Make sure to use revives right away if you want to keep battling, and keep stock of how many you have left before trying to take anyone on.