Niantic revealed the contents of an upcoming update for the extremely popular iOS and Android game Pokémon Go, and it revamps gyms, adds new items, and introduces unique Raid Battles that players can participate in together.
The first new feature for gyms is that their Photo Discs can now be spun to acquire new items like one can currently do at PokéStops. Gyms have also been restructured to now feature six slots that can be filled by the controlling team’s Pokémon; each of these Pokémon must be unique, so players can’t go and create a gym with 6 super-powerful Pokémon. People challenging the Gym fight the Pokémon in the order they are assigned to the Gym.
Each Pokémon one assigns to a gym has a motivation meter, a Pokémon will lose motivation over time and if they are defeated in battle. CP temporarily decreases alongside motivation, making it easier for opponents to take fatigued Pokémon down, which encourages players to constantly swap out the Pokémon that are in a Gym. Some motivation can also be restored by feeding a Pokémon berries.
Players can also now earn Gym Badges when they interact with Gyms all around the world. Players will also be able to level up their badges by spinning a Gym’s Photo Disc, giving berries to Pokémon within the Gym, and by battling. Raising the level of a Gym Badge can net players an increased number of rewards and bonus items. These are all welcome changes to the Gym’s in Pokémon GO, as they have felt a little underwhelming since the game’s launch.
Pokémon GO’s new Raid Battle feature is also associated with Gyms. Raid Battles allows players that on the same team to work together to attack the Raid Boss of a Gym. Before a Raid begins, a large eggs appears at the Gym, and all Pokémon assigned to said Gym are sent back to their trainers. Once the counter on the egg at the gym reaches zero, the Raid Boss is revealed.
To fight a Raid Boss, players need to have a Raid Pass; players can only hold one of these at a time, and can get them by visiting a Gym. Up to twenty players can join a Raid, and if they can all work together to defeat the Boss within five minutes, they can receive a powerful Pokémon.
The following new items have also been added to the game: Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and the Fast & Charged Technical Machines. Niantic has also temporarily disabled Gyms within the game, but they will go live again alongside the new update, which does not yet have a concrete date.
You can look at some screenshots of things added in the update below. Pokémon Go is currently available on iOS and Android.