This guide covers battle strategies and tips to take over and defend a gym in Pokemon Go. When you first start the game you’ll need to find and catch Pokemon as you level up your Trainer. Once your Trainer reaches level 5 you can select your team between Mystic (blue), Valor (red) and Instinct (yellow). At that point you can also join a gym.

Generally speaking you want to look at the gyms in your immediate area and select a team that corresponds with your closest gym so you don’t have far to travel. While there are some unclaimed gyms (grey) that you can instantly take over, they are few and far between. When you reach a gym, tap on it then swipe to see the members. If there are any open slots available you can join the friendly gym. If not you can still send a Pokemon to train at the gym and earn points and prestige. You can also find another gym or wait a bit for the gym to fend off a few attacks, which opens up more slots for new members.

Be sure to check out our Pokemon Go guide hub for more tips on the best way to hatch eggsfuture updates and more!

Attacking and Taking Over a Gym

If you plan on attacking an opposing gym (a gym controlled by a different team), you need to make sure you have several strong Pokemon. The strength of your Pokemon is measured by combat points (CP). The lower the level of your Pokemon Trainer, the weaker the Pokemon you find in the wild will be. To get really strong Pokemon you need to have a higher level Trainer.

You can also evolve your existing Pokemon, but they’ll still be limited by their starting level. Evolve your early Pokemon once, but don’t worry about getting three evolutions on the Eevee you found as a level four Trainer. It’s better to save your candy for the Pokemon you catch at higher levels, then evolve them into fighting machines. You can see the CP level of the Pokemon in a gym before you fight them, so make sure you have matching or better CP before you start a battle.

It’s also important to check out our battle type chart to figure out which Pokemon are the best and what they are weak and strong against. While using a Pokemon that is strong against the opposing Pokemon in a gym is beneficial, it’s not quite as impactful as it would be in a mainline Pokemon title.

As you defeat the Pokemon in a gym the prestige for that gym will drop. When it reaches zero you can take control of the gym and claim it as your own. While you have a gym under your control you will earn PokeCoins each day without needing to do anything other than maintain your hold on that gym.

Defend Your Gym

After joining a gym it’s time to assign one of your Pokemon to defend the gym and increase its prestige. Ideally you want this to be one of your strongest Pokemon because when another Trainer attempts to take over the gym, they’ll have to go through all of the Pokemon stationed there to defend the gym. If you use a weaker Pokemon it will make it that much easier for the gym to be taken over.