Noobs guide to Pokemon Go Gym Battles

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First things first

  • You can only do gym battles when you reach level 5
  • The first time you enter a gym, you will be asked to choose a team
  • It doesn’t matter what team you choose unless you are likely to play with friends in which case you probably all want to be on the same team because it is easier to take over gyms in packs

Approaching the gym

  • The gym will be held by your own team (“friendly”) or one of the two rival teams
  • If you fight your own team, it is called “training”
  • If you fight a rival team, it is called a “battling”
  • Both battling and training earn personal XP when you win




  • You can choose one six Pokemon to train at a time, just like in a battle
  • As long as you win at least one fight, your gym’s prestige and level improves


  • You choose 6 Pokemon to take on the gym
  • The goal of a Pokemon gym battles is to make the opponent faint, by attacking it until its health reaches zero.
  • Battles are one-on-one only and you can only heal damage after the all the fighting is over.
  • Each Pokemon has different strengths and perform better against some than others. Learn advanced battle tactics and moves here.
Pro-tip: You get more XP and gym prestige points when you win a fight against an opponent with higher CP.  Choose a fighter with just slightly less CP than your opponent then out maneuver them!

Battle Moves

  • To attack, you tap the screen as fast as possible to unleash a normal move, or hold down your thumb or finger to build power for a special attack.
  • You can also dodge an attack by swiping side to side
  • At any time, you have the option to run away or switch Pokemon


Healing Damage

  • Training and doing battle will cause your Pokemon to be injured.
  • Injuries can be healed with potions.
  • After a battle, open your “items” page and click revive or one of the potions.
  • The Pokemon listed there are injured. Click them to use the potion/revive to heal damage.
  • Likewise a Pokemon that has been left to defend a gym will be damaged when it is defeated. Heal it the same way.



Gym Prestige

  • The gym prestige is shown in the top left corner of the gym info screen as a fraction (eg 2000 / 4000)
  • Training at a friendly gym will increase the gym’s prestige
  • Battling at a rival gym will reduce the gym’s prestige
  • Every time you defeat a trainer who’s defending a gym, you’ll lower the prestige score, and defeating all the trainers at a gym will lower the score by 2,000.


Claiming a Gym:Putting your Pokemon on the podium

  • Gyms can have multiple Pokemon assigned to defend it, the number of which is dependent on its prestige; the higher the level, the more Pokemon that can be stationed there, making it harder to be taken over down by rival factions.
  • Your team wins the gym for itself when enough victories have been claimed to get the rival team’s prestige down to zero.
  • If a gym is a grey, neutral colour, then it is currently unclaimed, and you are free to claim it for your team by gifting a Pokémon to it.
  • Reducing the gym prestige to 0 causes there rival team’s Pokemon to be removed from the podium. The grey icon will appear (shown below). Now grab it for yourself.



  • If you leave a Pokemon to defend a gym, you don’t need to actively play defending battles – the AI will do this
  • However you may want to continue to train to keep the gym prestige up so that your Pokemon is not replaced by a rival
  • You will not have access to the Pokemon you place at the gym until it is defeated. So if you are planning on battling more gyms, be careful which one you take out of commission to place on the podium.
  • If you place your Pokemon to defend a gym, you are eligible for a Defender Bonus (500 Stardust & 10 Pokecoins). See here. You can only claim a defender bonus every 20 hours and you only get credit for the gyms you are holding at the moment you make the claim.