Well, it looks like we now know why Niantic has temporarily closed the Pokémon Gyms in Pokémon GO!
Earlier today, Niantic published a post detailing all that there is coming up in what they call “the biggest update to Pokémon GO.” The new update will include a new feature to the game known as Raids, plus changes in how Gyms work. Additionally, the update is set to include new items for the game as well. Below, we summarize all of the details on what the update includes.
Coming soon to Gyms is a feature you may already be familiar with—the spinning Photo Disc! Yep, just like PokéStops, you will now be able to collect items at Gyms. Additionally, the gyms will no longer be based solely on skill and training, but rather a place where six slots fill up by using one unique Pokémon each by the controlling team. Additionally, the order in which the Pokémon are assigned to the Gym is the order in which members of opposing teams will take them on.
Also, a new motivation system was announced. A Pokémon’s motivation will go down over time, or as it gets defeated. A loss of motivation will also mean a decrease in CP as well, making it easier for it to be taken out. However, a trainer can keep their Pokémon’s motivation up by feeding it Berries. If all motivation is lost, the Pokémon will return to their trainer.
The Coin system is being revamped too. Now you’ll gain Coins only when a Defending Pokémon is returned to you. The number of Coins gained depends on how long the Pokémon spent on the Gym.
Finally, Badges have been announced for Gyms! There aren’t any specific Badges to earn, but you earn Badges by taking down Gyms as a memento of your journey. Badges also go up in level by battling, spinning their Photo Discs, and feeding Berries to Pokémon in the Gym. You can get bonus items from Badges by levelling them up.
Raid Battling is the next new feature available in the update. It allows trainers to cooperatively work together to take down extremely strong Pokémon at Gyms, known as the Raid Boss. Prior to a Raid Battle beginning, all Pokémon assigned to a Gym will return to the trainers, and a large egg appears over the top of the Gym. A countdown then appears, and when it reaches zero, the Raid Boss is revealed. Examples of Raid Bosses known so far include Dragonite, Alakazam and Tyranitar. But they’re not all powerhouses – Ninetails, Charmeleon and even Magikarp have been seen as the Raid Boss.
In order to take on a Raid Boss, you will need to be holding a Raid Pass. Trainers get one free Raid Pass per day by going to Gyms, but you also only get to hold one at a time. There are also Premium Raid Passes available in the in-game shop. You can do private battles as well, which requires a code.
Upon challenging the Raid Boss, you get to cooperate with 20 other trainers to defeat the Raid Boss, all within a five-minute time limit. If you emerge victorious, you have the chance to capture an extra-powerful Pokémon. Examples
This is certainly an interesting new feature and is reminiscent of the game’s first trailer where we saw people fighting Mewtwo with a countdown and when it ended, everyone got Mewtwo. Could we obtain legendaries through this new Raid Boss method possibly? It won’t be long before we know for sure.
It’s also worth noting there is an upcoming Pokémon GO fest that seems to be a potential beta for this new feature. Perhaps we can learn more from that beta and even get some footage! The game is certainly looking to be exciting again.
Niantic also announced a new batch of items Trainers can receive by defeating Raid Bosses: Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and two Technical Machines—Fast and Charged.
Rare Candies, when given to Pokémon, will transform them into their species’ Candy. Golden Razz Berries will greatly increase the chances of capturing Pokémon in the wild, or could also be given to a Pokémon assigned to a Gym to have their motivation recovered. And finally, Technical Machines can be used to permanently teach a new move (Fast Attack or Charged Attack) to your Pokémon. Technical Machines (or TMs) will randomly roll a new attack. And fear not – it can’t be the same as the attack your Pokémon currently has, and you can get multiple.
Premier Balls shall also be introduced. These can only be used for catching the Boss Pokémon following Raid Battles. You can get different amounts of Premier Balls based on your contribution to the battle, what team you are in and how many participated in the Raid, and whether you had a Pokémon assigned to that Gym.
While the update is being worked on, Gyms will remain closed. Additionally, Raid Battles will be a gradual rollout as well, starting with select beta players in a few areas and increasing over time over the following days.
Stay tuned as we get more information!
Special thanks to Achromatic for the tip!
Edited by bobandbill and Z25.