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As a Pokémon trainer newbie, you’re still most likely confused about all the functions and features in the game. One such confusing part of Pokémon GO is the gyms, which are important aspects of the game that will help you improve your skills and become a Pokémon master.

How to identify a gym?

After you’ve caught your Pokémon and leveled it up, you need to take it to a gym to prepare it for battle. Pokémon GO gyms can be identified as giant towers that usually have a Pokémon on top. They are specialised locations in the game that can be held by any one of the three teams. You can identify if it is the red, yellow, or blue team that is holding the gym based on the color and emblem on top of the tower.

Each Pokémon gym will also have a certain amount of prestige and a level. The former is the ranking of a gym and is gained or lost through battles. The more prestige the gym has, the higher its level. The level of a Pokémon GO gym indicates how many slots there are for defending Pokémon. If it is a level five gym, then it means five trainers can leave a Pokémon there.

What will you do in the gym?

The team that is holding the gym will leave a high-level Pokémon there. Your objective is to battle there if it is your enemy team that is holding that tower. Each time you successfully fight, own, or defend a gym, you earn Pokécoins.

How does battle in the gym work?

To activate a battle with other trainers, you just have to tap the boxing glove icon when you’re near the gym. You then choose your Pokémon, then you’ll be transported to an arena. That’s where you are going to fight by tapping the screen as fast as you can. When you see that your health (the blue bars under your Pokémon) is full, unleash a more powerful attack by pressing the screen longer. You can dodge attacks by swiping left and right, and you can even access your backpack to use revives or potions.

Can I take over a Pokémon gym held by another team?

Yes, but you first have to defeat all the Pokémon that are defending the gym. Each enemy you defeat will lower the prestige. And once it reaches zero, you and your team can take over. For every instance you successfully defend a gym, you earn 10 Pokécoins per gym.

Ready to battle? Stay updated on more Pokémon GO tips to become an even more awesome trainer.