Once the player reaches level 5, they can choose to affiliate with one of the three teams in Pokémon GO. Once selected, this cannot be changed. To choose, visit a Gym and Professor Willow will have each team leader introduce themselves and their team.
Team Instinct (Yellow)
- Legendary Bird: Zapdos
- Leader: Spark
Hey! The name's Spark — the leader of Team Instinct. Pokemon are creatures with excellent intuition. I bet the secret to their intuition is related to how they're hatched. Come and join my team! You never lose when you trust your instincts!
Team Mystic (Blue)
- Legendary Bird: Articuno
- Leader: Blanche
I am Blanche, leader of Team Mystic. The wisdom of Pokemon is immeasurably deep. I am researching why it is that they evolve. With our calm analysis of every situation, we can't lose!
Team Valor (Red)
- Legendary Bird: Moltres
- Leader: Candela
I'm Candela — Team Valor's leader! Pokemon are stronger than humans, and they're warmhearted, too! I'm researching ways to enhance Pokemon's natural power in the pursuit of true strength. There's no doubt that the Pokemon our team have trained at the strongest in battle! Are you ready?
Gyms can be found throughout cities, though usually concentrated in higher population areas. They're generally attached to historic monuments. You can click on any Gym you can see from the map to check the defenders.
If a gym is controlled by your team, you can station one of your Pokémon as a defender if there is an open slot. You can also train the gym to raise the prestige to open a slot. Gyms controlled by the enemy team can be battled to lower their prestige.
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By clicking the battle icon at the bottom right of the Gym screen, you can challenge the defending Pokémon to lower the Gym's prestige. A screen with a selection of attackers, chosen by the game, will show up. You can click each attacker to switch it with a different one. Once you're ready, click "Go" to start the battle.
Each battle lasts 99 seconds. If multiple allies challenge together, you are granted 10 seconds per ally. You can have up to 20 allies attacking together.
During battle, tap to use your Pokémon's quick attack. Touching and holding the screen will activate your Special move, if it's charged. There's a button at the bottom-right to bring up a screen to switch your attacker. Alternatively, swipe up to show it.
The attacker's first quick attack can occur at 99.3 seconds of the time.
The defenders' first quick attack can occur at 98.4 seconds of the time.
A gym starts out grey. Any player may place a Pokémon in the Gym as a defender, claiming the gym for their team, which will be indicate by the gym changing colour to match the player's team.
The prestige level of a gym decides how many defenders can be stationed at the gym. The higher the prestige, the more spots are available for defenders. Placing a defender in an empty slot at a gym increases the prestige by 2000. Prestige can also be increased by training at a friendly gym.
Increasing the prestige above a threshold will open a new empty slot for trainers to place their Pokémon. Dropping below a threshold will expel the lowest Pokémon. Trainers can only put one Pokémon per gym at a time.
If the prestige of a gym drops to 0, and all the defenders are kicked out, the gym will lose it's team affiliation and turn back to grey.
When training at a friendly Gym, you will increase the prestige based on whether your attacker has higher or lower CP than the defender. Defeating all the defenders gives you a bonus of 1500 prestige.
- Attacker with higher CP: (minimum 100 Prestige)
- Attacker with lower CP: (maximum 1000 Prestige)
Battling at an enemy Gym will decrease the prestige by 1000 for each defender defeated. Defeating all the defenders decrease a 1000 bonus prestige.
You will also gain 1/10 of the prestige change as XP.
Once you control at least one Gym, you can go to the Shop and click the green shield icon at the top right. This will grant you 500 Stardust and 10 PokéCoins for every Gym you have a Pokémon defending at that moment, up to a maximum of 10 Gyms. Once you collect the reward, you must wait 21 hours before you can collect it again.