Hold onto your hats, Trainers! The next update for Pokémon GO will host some updated Gym mechanics in addition to a new feature, called Raid Battles.
After the update, players will be able to get items from Gyms, just as they currently can from PokéStops. Additionally, changes are coming to how you slot Pokémon in a Gym, as there will be six slots for Pokémon to be placed in, and now each slotted Pokémon must be unique. When people challenge your Gym, they will face your Pokémon in the order in which they were assigned to the Gym.
Additionally, a new motivation system will make it that much easier or more difficult to win or lose Gym battles. Pokémon defending a Gym will lose motivation as more defending Pokémon are defeated and, in turn, this will temporarily reduce CP of the defending Pokémon, making them easier to defeat. It is implied that the same will be true of the challenger Pokémon, but the The Pokémon Company did not expressly convey this.
Furthermore, players will now begin to receive Gym badges for defeating Gyms, and these badges can be leveled up by battling, feeding your Pokémon berries, and spinning the Photo Disc at Gyms and PokéStops. Doing so will give you better rewards when spinning Photo Discs and when challenging Gyms.
A new feature, Raid Battles, pits you with up to 20 (!) other Trainers to help defeat the Raid Boss. Raid Battles will take place at Gyms, and you need a Raid Pass in order to participate. You can obtain one Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, and you can hold one Raid Pass at a time. Once you’ve redeemed your Raid Pass, you work alongside other Trainers to defeat the Raid Boss. Once a Raid Boss is defeated, you get rewards including brand new items, such as Rare Candies or TMs, as well as a chance to capture a stronger-than-normal Pokémon.
Before the update, Gyms in Pokémon GO will be turned off, and won’t come back online until the update is pushed out. Per The Pokémon Company, the update is “coming soon,” so keep an eye out for your iOS or Android device to update the game!
I’m a bit surprised we’ve yet to see interpersonal battling and trading, but co-op is a good start. I’m really excited for Raid Battles, as well as having the ability to get items from Gyms in addition to PokéStops (since I’m always running out of Pokéballs and refuse to pay real money). Perhaps this update will create a spike in the player base? Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out…”soon.”